Talk:Radiation Hazards

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 Definition what everyone concerned about radiation and health should know [d] [e]
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ionizing radiation

Can someone explain what makes a radiation ionizing? Total non-physicist rube here. Pat Palmer (talk) 19:11, 27 March 2022 (CDT)

Ionization is the process of separating electrons from neutral atoms or molecules, leaving behind a positive ion. This can happen from high temperature (an arc welder) or from radiation. David MacQuigg (talk) 22:42, 27 March 2022 (CDT)
I know the formal definition of ionization, but I still don't understand which kinds of radiation are ionizing and which are not. Is all the radiation that we are exposed too ionizing? Are X-rays ionizing radiation? Is radiation from concrete blocks (yes, they are quite radioactive) ionizing radiation? To use a descriptive term like this, we need to explain it for lay reader upon first use. If all the radiation is ionizing, then do we need that word at all?  :-) Pat Palmer (talk) 08:45, 28 March 2022 (CDT)
Radiation is ionizing if its quantum energy is enough to ionize a neutral atom or molecule, typically 2eV. For electromagnetic radiation, this means the wavelength must be shorter than a half micron (blue light). So ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays are all ionizing. Cell phones and microwave ovens are not. Quantum energy is not the same as intensity (quantity of the radiation). A microwave produces a huge quantity of low-energy photons. It will heat your food, but thermal energy is not ionizing until you get up to a few thousand degrees C (when the flame emits light). The sun is 5000 degrees, so if you go there, you would be totally ionized.
Charged particle radiation (alpha, beta) is ionizing, because the particles typically have energy much larger than 2eV. Neutrons cause ionization indirectly. They are absorbed by a nucleus, activating it to emit a charged particle or a gamma ray.
Thank you for asking a good question. This should be included in our Radiation Hazards article.
David MacQuigg (talk) 06:12, 1 April 2022 (CDT)
Thanks, David. This is exactly the explanation I needed. If we keep that word in this article, I would suggest putting this information in a footnote. Pat Palmer (talk) 12:04, 1 April 2022 (CDT)
Rather than add a footnote, I made another section, "What is Ionizing Radiation" and inserted your text with slight alterations. Jess Brewer (talk) 14:00, 7 September 2022 (CDT)

DNA in people with compromised immunity

When speaking of DNA healing after exposures, is there a concern for people of weakened immunity? Do studies really show they are as resilient as the average human, or do we care? In the pandemic, people don't care much, having dismissed as ignorable millions of vulnerable people. Who can still vote. Sorry to be obnoxious but this question arose in my mind, if the goal here is to allay concerns. Pat Palmer (talk) 19:18, 27 March 2022 (CDT)