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Transcript of 6:5 Radioactivity
By : Isaiah Mills
Radium was discovered in pitchblende or uraninite. Radium is found in all uranium minerals. There is approximately 1 gram of radium for each 7 tons of pitchblende. Radium was first isolated by electrolysis of a radium chloride solution, using a mercury cathode. The resulting amalgam yielded pure radium metal upon distillation in hydrogen. Radium is commercially obtained as its chloride or bromide and tends not to be purified as an element.
The type of radiation
Radium (chemical symbol Ra) is a naturally-occurring radioactive metal. Its most common isotopes are radium-226, radium 224, and radium-228. Radium is a radionuclide formed by the decay of uranium and thorium in the environment. It occurs at low levels in virtually all rock, soil, water, plants, and animals.
Radiation is often is naturally in the environment. It is commonly seen as all rock, soil and water. All isotopes of radium are radioactive. As they decay, they emit radiation and form new radioactive elements, until they reach stable lead. Isotopes of radium decay to form different isotopes of radon. For example, radium-226 decays to radon-222, and radium-228 goes through several decays to radium-224 before forming radon-220.
Radium radiation and People
Radium emits several different kinds of radiation, in particular, alpha particles and gamma rays. Alpha particles are generally only harmful if emitted inside the body. However, both internal and external exposure to gamma radiation is harmful. Gamma rays can penetrate the body, so gamma emitters like radium can result in exposures even when the source is a distance away. Long-term exposure to radium increases the risk of developing several diseases. Inhaled or ingested radium increases the risk of developing such diseases as lymphoma, bone cancer, and diseases that affect the formation of blood, such as leukemia and aplastic anemia. These effects usually take years to develop. External exposure to radium's gamma radiation increases the risk of cancer to varying degrees in all tissues and organs
Protection from radium radiation
You need special equipment to detect the presence of radium. However, you can buy radon detection kits at most hardware stores. The most effective way to protect yourself and your family is to test your home for radium's decay product, radon.
Uses of radium radiation
In the earlier age , radium was used as hair tonic, toothpaste, ointments, and elixirs. Glow in the dark watch and clock faces were immensely popular. aircraft dials, gauges and other instruments visible to their operators at night. Radium was also an early radiation source for cancer treatment. Small seeds were implanted in tumors to kill cancerous cells. Now it is used for some industrial radiography devices and has been added to the tips of lightening rods, improving their effectiveness by ionizing the air around it.