What, actually, is radiation? Radiation is nothing but emission and propagation of energy. It is, however, not necessary that radiation will only be emitted by radioactive substances. Radiation includes all the forms of energy. It has been a part of the environment since times immemorial. Whatever we do or wherever we go, we cannot escape this form of energy. We are surrounded by a number of radioactive substances like the floors, walls, and roofs of our homes and offices. In addition, radioactive materials are present in the food we eat. Not only this, but the air around us, also, contains radioactive gases. You might find it quite surprising but our own bodies harbour many naturally occurring radioactive elements.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the real-life examples of radiation.
One of the most important sources of energy is the Sun. The cosmic radiation emitted from the Sun is a mixture of electromagnetic waves; which range from infrared (IR) to ultraviolet rays (UV). In addition, it also emits visible light. Most of the radiation emitted by the Sun is absorbed by the atmosphere. However, the part which is not absorbed by the atmosphere reaches the earth. Humans are exposed to this part of the radiation almost all times.
While boiling water or cooking food, you are yet again exposed to radiation. The visible sign of radiation is when you heat up a substance as much as you can, say, for example, heating a stove for a long time will make it glow red. This is a visible sign of radiation. However, even if it is visibly not glowing, then also it radiates heat. Moreover, if the stove and the bottom of the pan are not in contact physically, radiation is responsible for transferring heat from the stove to the pan.
Television has formed one of the most common forms of entertainment in the past few years. Television, too, emits radiations. The old television sets emit x-ray waves which can easily be absorbed by the human body, and is harmful as well. However, modern TV sets use Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) or Plasma Displays which are not only less harmful than the older sets but are also incapable of producing x-rays. Nonetheless, modern-day technological types of equipment do emit radio waves.
4. Bonfire & Candle
Whenever you would have gone camping, you might have had the chance to set up a bonfire and bask along with your friends. While sitting around the campfire, you are exposed to radiations. Same happens when you light a candle. Exposure to fire also leads to exposure to radiations.
5. Medical Imaging
There is no doubt that during medical imaging, an individual is exposed to radiations at a high level. During an x-ray, CT, and nuclear imaging, the body’s internal organs and structures are revealed by the penetration of high-energy wavelength or particles.
Radio waves are most commonly used in communication. Television, cell phones, and radios utilise radio waves and, in turn, convert them into vibrations so that sound waves can be created. The artificial sources of radio waves include electrical generators, power lines, appliances and radio transmitters.
To heat food in a microwave oven, high levels of radiation are employed. Food in the microwave oven is heated when microwaves are absorbed by the water content present in the food. Absorption of the microwaves causes water molecules to vibrate and, hence, produce heat.
8. Mobile Phones
This might not come as a surprise for you that mobile phones emit non-ionizing radiations from their antennas. The exposure to radiofrequency radiation causes heating of the area of the body where a mobile phone is being held like near the ear. However, the amount of heat radiated is not sufficient to increase the temperature of the body.
9. Black Light
Large amounts of ultraviolet radiations are produced by tanning booths, black lights, mercury vapour lamps, halogen lights, fluorescent and incandescent sources, and some types of lasers, which are artificial sources of radiation. Black lights, also known as ultraviolet lamps, emit ultraviolet radiation which appears as black light to human eyes.
10. Wifi Router
With the advancement in technology, wifi routers have found their way in each and every household. There can be no denying the fact that wifi has become an important part of our daily life. However, you might be surprised to know that the wifi routers also emit electromagnetic radiations. The exposure to such electromagnetic radiations can also have consequences on human health.
11. Laser Beam
As the name indicates, Light Amplification Stimulated Emission of Radiation also produces radiation. The exposure to laser has often been the cause of temporary blindness, disorientation, and headaches. However, lasers have found widespread uses in lithography, printing, optics, DNA sequencing, medicine and surgery, and laser cutting.