MadSci Network: Physics

Re: What are possible effects of massive levels of ionization?

Date: Tue Jul 17 03:26:00 2007
Posted By: Dr. Nagesh N Bhat, Scientific Officer
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1182344663.Ph

If an ionizing agent is present in an enclosed place, the preacautions to 
be observed are manifold. Firstly, the possible direct ionization can be 
potentially lethal. It can cause severe skin burn, damage eye lens and can 
also induce many biological effects if the agent is a penetrating 
radiation type. Apart from that, in spite of best precautions to avoid 
direct ionization, it is possible that such ionizing agents can cause 
noxious gases such as NO2, N2O2, O3(Ozone) and so on. These noxious gases 
are highly oxidizing agents and can cause lot of damage to respiratory 
system if inhaled for prolonged time or if present at very high 

This problem is very common in high intensity irradiators such as medical, 
industrial sterilizers, UV chambers, etc. The usual precautions to be 
taken are delay and exhaust so that these noxious gases would either decay 
or be driven away from the working area.

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