The raindrops that keep falling on our heads (and (gardens) may not cause our hair to fall out but they
are radioactive. Rainwater scavenges atmospheric airborne radioactivity
in such a way that surface contamination can be deduced from rainfall
rate and rainwater radioactivity content Each drop contains radioactive
particles that emit level approximately five times greater than the
normal background count. Radiation exposure can increase the
probability of developing diseases such as mainly cancer and tumors and
can cause genetic damage. There is no firm basis for setting a safe
level of exposure above background for stochastic effects. Many sources
emit radiation that is well below natural background levels. This makes
it extremely difficult to isolate its stochastic effects. In setting
limits the EPA makes the conservative assumption that any increase in
radiation exposure is accompanied by an increased risk of side effects
The winds carry released radiate particles around the world. Rain precipitates its fall to the earth. Most
people consider Cancer the primary health effect from radiation
exposure. Usually natural processes control the rate at which cells
grow and replace themselves. They also control the body's processes for
repairing or replacing damaged tissue. Biological effect begins with
the ionization of atoms. The mechanism by which radiation causes damage
to human tissue, or any other material, is by ionization of atoms in
the material. Damage occurring at the cellular or molecular level may
disrupt the control processes, permitting the uncontrolled growth of
cells cancer. That is the reason that ionizing radiation's ability to
break chemical bonds in atoms and molecules makes it such a potent
Radiation sickness is generally associated with acute (a single large) exposure.
term exposure to radiation, at doses less than that which produces
serious radiation sickness, can induce cancer as cell-cycle genes are
During the period from March, 1955, to August, 1956, explosion tests of nuclear bombs
were made many times. After each experiment high levels of
radioactivity was found in rain water and fallout dust in Japan.
radio-biological hazard of worldwide fallout is essentially a long-term
one because of the potential accumulation of long-lived radioisotopes
(such as strontium-90 and caesium-137) in the body as a result of
ingestion of foods containing the radioactive materials.
Some radiation will taint large amounts of land and drinking water causing formal mutations throughout animal and human life.
The Chernobyl disater should be more than enough to alert us to the hazards of radioactive fallout. 4,000
square miles of Belarus were sacrificed to ensure the safety of Moscow.
The accident raised concerns about the safety of the Soviet nuclear
power industry as well as nuclear power in general, slowing its
expansion for a number of years while forcing the Soviet government to
become less secretive. Claims were made that cold war technology was
used to “seed” clouds and produce contaminated rain so the radiation
would not spread as far as the Russian capital. Genetic defects are
beginning to appear and scientists have detected increases in lung,
liver and kidney cancer following the accident.