Published on Jan 19, 2020

Radiation Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

You really do not want to get sick from radiation exposure and that is why the supreme rule in dealing with radiation is to avoid exposure. You want to move as far away from the danger as possible and you surely do not want to eat radioactively-contaminated foods.

There is great individual variation in how people respond to radiation and the process is not fully understood.

If you are feeling sick from radiation exposures, be assured this is not a figment of your imagination. Radiation syndrome, radiation toxicity, radiation illness and/or radiation damage will make you and your children very ill possibly to the point of causing death in one of a number of different ways.


The New York Times says, “Experts hesitate to predict where the radiation will go. Once harmful radioactive elements are released into the outdoors, their travel patterns are as mercurial as the weather and as complicated as the food chains and biochemical pathways along which they move. When and where radioactive contamination becomes a problem depends on a vast array of factors: the specific element released, which way the wind is blowing, whether rain will bring suspended radioactivity to earth, and what types of crops and animals are in an exposed area. Research related to the 1986 Chernobyl accident makes clear that for decades, scientists will be able to detect the presence of radioactive particles released by the crippled Japanese reactors thousands of miles away.”

The CDC tells us: The first symptoms of ARS are typically nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms will start within minutes to days after the exposure, will last from minutes to up to several days, and may come and go. Then the person usually looks and feels healthy for a short time, after which he or she will become sick again with loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly even seizures and coma. This stage of serious illness may last from a few hours to several months.

People with ARS typically also have some skin damage. This damage can start to show within a few hours after exposure and can include swelling, itching, and redness of the skin (like a bad sunburn). There can also be hair loss. As with the other symptoms, the skin may heal for a short time, followed by the return of swelling, itching, and redness days or weeks later. Complete healing of the skin may take from several weeks up to a few years depending on the radiation dose the person’s skin received.

The chance of survival for people with ARS decreases with increasing radiation dose. Most people who do not recover from ARS will die within several months of exposure. The cause of death in most cases is the destruction of the person’s bone marrow, which results in infections and internal bleeding. For the survivors, the recovery process may last from several weeks up to two years.

There are many types of radiation exposures we can be confronted with, such as X-ray exams that are seemingly harmless or cancer radiation therapy that may result in nausea, anemia, hemorrhaging and fibrosis. Getting CAT scans and PET scans involving the injection of radioactive dyes and other substances for medical diagnostic purposes results in exposure to very high levels of radiation. Even living at high altitudes or taking frequent airplane flights results in higher exposure to ionizing radiation.

Living near a nuclear power plant, a coal-burning plant or an old government radiation testing ground (such as in Nevada or New Mexico) exposes you higher than normal levels of radiation. If you’ve worked in uranium mining, uranium or plutonium processing or in weapons manufacturing, your contaminant exposure is definitely above normal and ill effects are not far behind. Plenty of Gulf War veterans have been exposed to “depleted uranium” military sources and believe strongly that their health problems are due to this exposure.

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