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Benefits & Dangers of Radioisotopes PowerPoint Presentation
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Benefits & Dangers of Radioisotopes

Benefits & Dangers of Radioisotopes

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Benefits & Dangers of Radioisotopes

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  1. Benefits & Dangers of Radioisotopes

  2. Dating (not that kind) C-14 used to date organic (previously living) materials Living organisms incorporate C-14 into their structure, along with C-12 C-14 decays with known half-life (5730 yrs) 14 6C 14 7N + 0 -1 figure out how many half-lives occurred since died: compare amounts C-14 & C-12

  3. ROCKS U-238 decays to Pb-206 (through many decay steps) Over time, amount U-238  as amount Pb-206  use ratio of U-238 to Pb-206 to date rocks

  4. Chemical Tracers Can detect radioactive materials and their decay products Tracer = any radioisotope used to follow path of substance in system P-31: determine P uptake in plants C-14: map C in metabolic processes C-14: map organic molecules; figure out reaction mechanisms

  5. Industrial Applications Kill bacteria and spores in food and mail

  6. Medical Uses Use radioisotopes with short half-lives quickly eliminated from body Tracers used for medical diagnosis & treatment of cancers

  7. I-131: Diagnosis & treatment of thyroid disorders Co-60: gamma emitter use: kill cancerous tumors Co-60 and Cs-137 use: destroy anthrax bacilli Co-60 use: kill bacteria in foods Tc-99: treatment of brain cancers

  8. Power Plants Use: fuel source to generate electricity No contributions to greenhouse gases No mercury contamination of atmosphere

  9. Radiation Risks Can damage normal tissue High doses can cause illness & death Can cause mutations in DNA Disposal of waste is difficult Fuel rods are mix of many substances Storage & transportation both problematic