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Nuclear Engineering

Posted by lucyhamilton in News on February 14th, 2020

Strontium 90 is an isotope produced during nuclear power reactions and nuclear detonations. The explosion of strontium 90 is highly dangerous because it spreads very fast over vast distances. The mushroom formed is thrown into the air, and later the precipitates fall into waterways, soil, homes, and the vegetation. It has a very long lifespan (29 years) making it a highly hazardous substance to the environment . It requires to be handled with expertise to avoid its harmful effects on plants and animals. It is easily absorbed into the tissues of living things because it has properties that are similar to those of calcium.

The immediate action to take after such a nuclear explosion is to run away from the site while alerting people of the danger around them. Running away will help avoid undesired outcomes such as injuries and deaths from the explosion. It will also be important to cover the nose with a handkerchief to avoid inhaling the strontium 90 particles. Usually, such explosions cause dispersion of small particles which can kill or cause bodily harm. Upon reaching a safe place, one should call the emergency department to inform them of the incident to offer help quickly.

The effects of strontium exposure depend on the dose, duration, and how the exposure occurs. There are also other factors such as age, lifestyle, sex, family traits, the state of health, and diet which determine the effects of strontium 90 . When it is absorbed into the body, strontium 90 continues to emit radiation which damages bones and surrounding tissues. When it gets into contact with the bone marrow, the blood cells count reduces. Loss of blood cells and platelets results in the shrinking of oxygen supply into the body, anemia, and lowered immunity. The presence of the element on the epidermis layer of the skin causes thinning, leading to physical harm from the surrounding environment. Besides, the exposure of the element to the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) causes conditions such as leukemia, cancer of the bone, nose, and the lungs.

Strontium 90 gets into the body through many ways, making it a high risk and dangerous substance. Once it is released into the environment, it settles in air, drinking water, food, soil, dust, and homes. Water and food are two main hosts of the substance and due to its nature; it is easily absorbed by the body because it can be mistaken for calcium. Leafy vegetables, dairy products, and grains make the largest fraction of dietary strontium 90. Moreover, it enters the body through the skin, lungs, and the digestive system. Once it gets into the blood stream, it is distributed throughout the entire body organs, and a large part of it accumulates in the bones . Children who are exposed to strontium 90 develop weak bones and may develop rickets as a result.

It is possible to protect oneself from the dangers of strontium 90 as well as exposure to it. The government has identified and published a list of the sites that pose a risk from strontium 90. Such places should be avoided, but in any case that one dwells in or near such an environment, they should have protective clothing. One should wear a special overall suit and a mask when visiting such a site to avoid exposure to the element. When someone feels that they have breathed air or eaten food contaminated with the Strontium 90, he or she should go to the hospital for a checkup and immediate treatment. Egestion and urination are some of the ways that one can use to eliminate the substance from the body system.

The article was written by Lucy Hamilton, a leading scholar at https://bestessaywriters.org/powerpoint-projects-for-students.html.

 

 

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