Dependent on the quantity and dosage rate, radiation can have two types of consequences:
- the direct consequences: within several hours or weeks. Cell damage, burns or genetic mutations occur;
- the later consequences: sometimes decades later abnormalities are expressed (genetic mutations, cancer) or abnormalities occur in the offspring.
Irradiation and contamination
- Irradiation is understood to mean external exposure; this stops as soon as you remove yourself from the source.
- Contamination is understood to mean internal exposure. The exposure stops as soon as the radioactive source is excreted from the body. This can proceed very slowly.