Enabling students to understand and analyse contemporary issues in science and technology

Weblinks for radiation: risks and uses

General sources of information:
The Health Protection Agency are a useful source of information and data about many health issues, and this section deals with ionising and non-ionising radiation.

The Physics and Ethics Education Programme looks at radiation as an issue within public health, and the ethical issues involved.

A calculator which allows you to convert a radiation dose into a lifetime risk of cancer.

The Stats website is an American site which looks at how statistics are used in news stories. The FAQ section has useful information about how to evaluate health risks, and some of the difficulties involved.

The World Nuclear Energy website has a lot of information about nuclear radiation and energy. Some bias in favour of nuclear energy.

Short and long term effects of ionising radiation on living cells:
This open-source course from Princeton University is a good source for detailed information about the biological effects of radiation.

This h2g2 entry from the BBC gives a summary of the different radiation units and how they are related.

Medical uses of radiation – benefits and risks:
For information about the way in which radiation is used within the health service the HPA radiation topics section is a good starting point, and also has a very comprehensive list of further links

The Royal College of Radiologists provide leaflets about different radiological techniques which may be used as well as more general information.

The Food and Drug Administration in the USA have an interesting section about whole body scanning using Computed Tomograph (CT) scans. This considers the risks as well as the potential benefits.

The DIPEx site contains interviews of personal experiences of health and illness. Students could search for specific conditions which use radiation in its treatment to hear first hand what the experience is like. (e.g. many cancers are treated using radiotherapy).

Low doses of radiation
This summary of a report from the BEIR committee of the National Research Councils in USA provides information about the effects of low doses of radiation.
http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/reports-in-brief/beir_vii_final.pdf

Radiation Protection
In the UK the Health and Safety Executive play a large role in radiation protection. Their website contains detailed information about the topic.