Health & Safety

The Difference Between The Terms Ionizing & Non-Ionising Radiation

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Identify the difference between the terms ionizing and non-ionising radiation

Ionising radiation is emitted from radioactive materials either in the form of directly ionizing alpha and beta particles or indirectly ionizing X- and gamma rays or neutrons. It has a high energy potential and an ability to penetrate, ionize and damage body tissue and organs.



Non-ionising radiation includes ultraviolet, visible light (this includes lasers which focus or concentrate visible light), infrared and microwave radiations. Since the wavelength is relatively long, the energy present is too low to ionize atoms which make up the matter.

The action of non-ionising radiation is to heat cells rather than change their chemical composition.



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