Poisoning by radioactive



Poisoning by radioactive

The main radioactive substances


Iodine-131 is a serious danger in the short term, since it has a half life of 8 days, decaying so beta (90%) and gamma (10%). He concentrates in the thyroid, where it can cause several types of cancer and other disorders such as Graves' disease and autoimmune thyroiditis. However, it is an organ to be removed by radical surgery and radioiodine therapy. The function of the thyroid gland can be replaced with thyroxine or with extracts of desiccated thyroid.


Cesium-137 is a biological hazard because the same chemical group of sodium and potassium, and accumulates in the muscles, including the fission products released from explosions and accidents is a serious danger in the medium term, given that its half-life is about 30 years. He concentrates in the muscle and is suspected to be balanced against the increased incidence of the extremely deadly cancer of the pancreas.


Strontium-90 is a danger in the medium and long term, is concentrated in the bones and is one of the most dangerous radioactive substances.


Although not a product of fission, explosions and accidents at nuclear reactors are free enriched uranium (235U higher rate to 0.71% of natural uranium) which is a danger in the short and long term, since it is a strong emitter of gamma rays. Prevalent in the nuclear reactor accident (why not consummated) and nucleated explosions "fizzled," fuel rods in the isotope 235U is present in concentrations ranging from 1.5% to 4.5%. Highly carcinogenic (especially leukemia and lymphoma), mutagenic and immune system depressant (neutropenia due to bone marrow aplasia even leading to opportunistic infections). Also damages the hematologic system, skin, intestinal and nervous.

Depleted uranium (235U percentage of less than 0.45%) is a weak emitter of gamma rays, but since it is a heavy metal, highly reactive, however, constitutes a hazard to human health.


Among the radioactive substances, the Neptune is formed by absorption of a neutron by uranium in nuclear reactors. It has a double beta decay, which turns it into plutonium. The isotopes of neptunium heavier decays rapidly, while the lighter can not be produced for neutron capture as a result, the chemical separation of neptunium from spent nuclear fuel produces substantially the only 237Np. For this reason and for lack of relevance as a product of natural decay in the mineral deposits of neptunium uranili this radionuclide is suitable as an indicator of pollution associated with long-term human nuclear activities.

As three other fission products (99Tc, 129I and 234U) the radioisotope has a half-life 237Np very long, it is easily soluble in water and is poorly absorbed from minerals, for which, despite being a low-emission radioactive nuclide, may represent, a danger in the long term (> 10 000 years from storage) due to the progressive accumulation and high mobility, becoming the most significant agent of radioactive pollution to groundwater and river basins proximal to the deposit of waste if the latter were deteriorate.

Treatments for contamination by radioactive

There is currently no treatment that will reverse the effects of radiation from radioactive substances, you can treat the symptoms that are derived or infections resulting from exposure (by antibiotics). In some cases use is made of preparations in which they are associated thiamine hydrochloride and cyanocobalamin (action substances antinevritica) with pyridoxine hydrochloride (substance acting disintossificante).

Bone Marrow Transplant

In severe cases, which give rise to bone marrow aplasia, we proceed to bone marrow transplantation. The donation is made from a living donor (often a sibling or parent) with a withdrawal and iliac bone marrow stem cell injection into a vein of the recipient.

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