TOXIC POLLUTION OF THE SPACE, AROUND US, UNDER US AND OVER US - IONIZING RADIATION AND NON-IONIZING (ELECTROMAGNETIC) POLLUTION, EVERYDAY OF OUR LIVES
Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation are separated on the electromagnetic spectrum by visible light - a frequency of approximately 500 trillion cycles a second. Above that frequency, ionizing radiation which contains enough energy to physically alter the atoms it strikes, changing them into charged particles called ions. Below visible light the low frequency waves are non-ionizing – they do not possess enough energy to be harmful as ionizing radiation , but nevertheless, they do cause harm in a different way. Both categories of radiation influences humans profoundly in history, especially in recent times when science is introducing them to enhance human life quality but found to our dismay, these radiation affect our health in such an extent that diseases hardly heard of, in children in the olden days, e.g. cancer, arthritis, diabetes, etc. are now accepted as norm. The toxic pollution of the space around us by these invisible radiation are changing the very fabric of society, quality of life and length of existence of human beings of which there is little we can do, prevent or eliminate the sources and origin of these invisible, penetrating health detrimental radiation pollution of our body. We can only try to minimise the exposure to it.
MANMADE AND NATURAL IONIZING RADIATION
What is Ionizing
Matter is made up of atoms of which some are unstable and its change to more stable atoms, they emit invisible energy waves or particles called radiation. Radioactive decay is a process by which radioactive atoms or radioisotopes emit or eject sub-atomic particles and high energy photons from their nuclei, to become more stable. There are different types of radiation. One type, non-ionizing has enough energy to move atoms but not enough to alter them chemically but ionizing radiation has enough power to remove electrons from atoms. Since the birth of this world, radiation is all around us and it comes from outer space, the ground and even from within our own bodies. Naturally occurring radioactive materials were already discovered in 1896. Around 1930’s, physicists Irene and Frederick Joliot-Curie found that radioactive elements can be artificially created from stable elements. Later, physicist Enrico Fermi splits the atom and today both manmade and natural ionizing
radiation form part of our lives benefiting us in some ways and threatening our health in other ways.
and Sources of Ionizing Radiation
Unstable isotopes of radium, radon, uranium, and thorium exists naturally while others are being created continuously by nature or manmade such as the atomic splitting in a nuclear reactor and release ionizing radiation. The main types of ionizing radiation due to spontaneous decay are alpha, beta particles and gamma rays while another type of radiation, x’rays are from processes outside the nucleus of the atom.
i) Alpha Particles
Alpha particles are commonly emitted in the radioactive decay of natural radioactive decay of natural radioactive elements such as radium and uranium as well as some manmade elements. They are energetic, positively charged particles (helium nuclei) that rapidly lose energy when particles penetrating through matter. They do not penetrate deep into tissue but they can cause damage over their short path. Alpha particles can be stopped by a sheet of paper but alpha emitting radioisotopes can be very dangerous if they are inhaled or ingested.
ii) Beta particles
Beta particles are energetic, positively negatively charged electrons from the nucleus during radioactive decay from manmade and natural sources such as tritium, carbon-14 and strontium-90. Beta particles penetrate better than alpha particles but not so damaging. However some beta particles can cause radiation damage as they can penetrate the skin. A layer of clothing or a few millimeters of aluminium can reduce or stop beta particles.
iii) Gamma Rays
Gamma rays are like visible light and x’rays and compose of photons and normally emitted from a nucleus accompanying the emission of alpha or beta particles. They are neither negative nor positive charged, have no mass and very penetrating through the human body or be absorbed by tissue. The more penetrating gamma rays may need a few inches of lead shield or several feet of concrete to stop them.
X’rays are high –energy photos similar to gamma rays except they differ in origin. X’rays are emitted from processes outside the nucleus and gamma rays comes from inside the nulceus. They have less energy and penetration power than gamma rays, a few millimeters of lead can stop medically used x’rays.
v) Manmade Ionizing Radiation
The ionizing radiations emitting alpha and beta particles, gamma rays, and x’rays can be technologically produced by destabilising stable elements. Most of the x’ray exposure people received in x’ray laboratory is technologically produced. Majority users of manmade radiation covers medical institutions such as hospitals, pharmaceutical facilities, research and teaching institutions, nulcear reactors, uranium activators, nuclear weapons production and fuel preparation plants.
The radioactive waste generated by them would release radiation into the environment. More mundane users of radioactive materials are artificial teeth, smoke detectors, digital and luminous dial of wrist watches.
vi) Natural Ionizing radiation
Natural ionizing radiation comes from the sun, and naturally radioactive elements found in nature such as uranium and radium. Naturally occurring ionizing radiation accounts for approximately eighty percent of our exposure and fifty five percent of it comes from indoor radon. Radon is a colourless, tasteless, and odourless gas that comes from the decay of uranium found in almost all soils. We receive about eight percent of exposure from other radioactive elements in the ground such as thorium and potassium. Another eight percent comes from outer space from our galaxy, other galaxies and our own sun and these cosmic ionizing radiation exposures depend on the elevation of land where we live, the higher the level of the place, the more intense is the cosmic radiation as thicker atmosphere filters out some of the cosmic radiation.
Exposure and Beneficial Usages of Ionizing Radiation to Humans
i) Harmful Exposure - Chronic and Acute
Ionizing radiation harms people by depositing energy in body tissue, which can induce cell damage or cell death. In some instances, the cells are not affected while in others, the cells become mutated either temporarily or permanently and the mutated cell may become malignant.
Smaller amount of exposure, the person or particular tissues may live but the cells are mutated or damaged and may become cancerous. Larger amount of ionizing radiation can cause extensive cellular damage resulting in death of the person. The extent of the damage depends on the total amount of energy absorbed, the duration of exposure , the intensity of exposure and the particular organ ( organs ) exposed. The effect from low or medium exposure to ionizing radiation may show up much later, sometimes years later. The types of effects depend on the chronic exposure – over a large part of a person’s life or acute exposure – a very short span of the person’s life. Chronic exposure is continuous or intermittent exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation over a long period of time and the effects can be seen only after some time lapse between initial exposure and later effects development. The effects are genetic mutation, cancer, pre-cancerous lesions, cataracts, benign tumors, congenital defects and skin cancer. Acute exposure refers to a large, single exposure of ionizing radiation or a number of intense exposure for a short span of time. It could happen during accidental or emergency exposures or from special medical radiation therapy. These ionizing radiation exposures can cause both immediate and delayed effects. In humans, the intense exposure can cause radiation sickness, effected by gastrointestinal disorders, hemorrhaging, loss of body fluids, bacterial infections, anemia and electrolyte imbalance. Later developments can be cancer, genetic mutations, cataracts and temporary sterility – very intense levels of acute ionizing radiation may result in death within a few weeks, days or even a few hours. Everybody is chronically exposed to ionizing radiation in the environment. Some receive additional chronic exposure and / or relative small acute exposure eg. those who work in x’ray laboratory or gone for x’ray therapy. Based on current scientific studies, any exposure to ionizing radiation can be harmful and the probability of a ionizing radiation – caused cancer or genetic mutation is related to the total amount of ionizing radiation accumulated by an individual over a period of time depending on acute or / and chronic exposure.
Even over exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays threatens human health. Besides the immediate effect of sunburn, chronic exposure to excess UV radiation can cause cancer, eye damage, immune system, suppression and premature ageing. Children are more susceptible in developing melanoma (skin cancer) as they are more tender and play in the sun much more often than adults.
ii) Beneficial Usages
The beneficial usages of ionizing radiation are basically used in industries associated or uitilised the radioactive nature of the elements concerned such as manmade ionizing radiation used in x’rays laboratory to take x’ray films for diagnostic purposes in medical clinics. They are also used for control or destruction of cancer cells by controlled emission of ionizing radiation in hospitals, medical training facilities. Manmade ionizing radiation is also used also used in nuclear reactor to produce electricity for domestic and industrial uses. Other usage beneficial for humans cover dentistry, medicinal facilities and industries.
MANMADE AND NATURAL ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS (EMFs)
What is Electromagnetic
Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are created whenever electric currents flow through conducting materials and the strength (intensity) and area of influence (EMFs) depends on the strength of the current and the type of conducting materials.
The Origin and Sources
i) Natural EMFs
The earth itself is surrounded by its own geomagnetic field which is influenced and disrupted by solar flares which cause magnetic storms within the earth’s magnetic fields. The earth’s field pulsates at a range of 1-30 hertz (Hz) or cycles per second with the greatest field strength at between 7 to 10 Hz which is the normal frequency of the human brain. Our heads generate our own magnetic fields which might extend several feet outwards from the source. The magnitude and configuration of our magnetic field is directly influenced by celeral activity Human electromagnetic fields or “Aura” have been photographed in Russia by a technique called “Kirlian Photography”.
effects of Exposure to Dangerous Levels of EMFs
The harmful effects of exposure to dangerous levels of EMFs is now being researched and debated among many leading scientists around the world. In effect, even natural sources of EMFs, such as that of the earth’s magnetic field being affected by solar flares contribute to the upsetting of the human magnetic field. It has been observed that during such times of solar flares creating major magnetic storms, a significant rise in admission to mental hospitals and outbursts of extremely aberrant behaviour of existing patients. Solar flares have been known to disrupt radio and television transmissions and caused blowouts in electrical power and telephone lines. In many laboratories in the world, research scientists are doing research observations on the effects of EMFs on animals and human beings. Among the findings and statements issued, are by a bio-electromagnetic scientist who says “In my opinion, and in the opinion of many scientists, anyone who use a mobile telephone for more than 20 minutes at a time needs to have their brain tested.” Other scientists also said that electromagnetic radiation from cellular-phones warms brain tissue and that some strains of mice developed cancer in tests in Australia and Finland while others became disorientated. There are a number of scientific tests by scientific researches on animals, especially rats or mice – focusing on body parts, systems such as the cardiovascular systems, blood, immune response, reproduction, growth and healing, the endocrine systems, mutagenis and others, which the interested reader can obtain abundance scientific materials from the internet (we have not enough space here to put so much of those materials). These scientific tests and researches found definite and conclusive proof of the detrimental effects to health from exposure to different levels and intensity of chronic or acute exposure to manmade EMFs. In 1988, Dr. Marjorie Speers of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, reported results of a study on brain tumours in workers whose jobs expose them to a field of 60 Hz. The incidents of brain tumours in such workers was thirteen times higher than those in an unexposed control group. Dr. Becker writes in Cross Currents “At this time, the scientific evidence is absolutely conclusive”. 60 Hz magnetic fields cause human cancer cells to permanently increase their rate of growth by as much as 1,600 per cent and to develop more malignant characteristics. Many scientific studies showed that the magnetic fields of power lines and transformers, as well as microwave radiation, primarily damage two types of tissues, brain tissues and rapidly growing tissues, such as developing foetuses, young children and cancerous tumours. Brain tissues and rapidly growing tissues are the two types of human tissues which normally display the greatest electrical activity and definitely most sensitive to electromagnetic fields. In June 1989, the New Yorker Magazine ran a three-part series on the health dangers of exposure to electric power lines and computer terminals, based on several exhaustive scientific studies. These studies showed that Leukemia and other cancers in children are closely linked to exposure to electric power fields, and that pregnant women who worked long hours at computer terminals suffer a significantly higher rate of miscarriage than others. A growing number of people whose work exposes them to artificial electromagnetic fields, as in the computer and electronics industries in California’s Silicon Valley, have been reporting the full range of symptoms, associated with immune deficiency syndrome, including chronic fatigue, hypersensitivity, allergies, headaches, chronic depression and the inevitable cancer-all of “flu-like symptoms”. The medical establishments claim that HIV causes AIDS is based on the observation that HIV kills or impairs the function of some T-cells in a culture dish in the laboratory. Recently Dr. Daniel Lyle of the veteran’s Hospital in Loma Linda, California, exposed human T-cells in a culture dish in a laboratory to a 60 Hz electric field (similar to ordinary power lines) for 48 hrs. He reported a significant impairment of the T-cells capacity to fight foreign cells and microbes. This implicates abnormal electromagnetic fields as a causative factor in AIDS, yet today, the entire population is subjected constantly to immunosuppressive electromagnetism in homes, offices and schools, as well as in hospitals and clinics. Studies in Sweden and England have observed significant rises in suicide rates among young people living and going to school in close proximity to electric power lines or radar stations. Manic depression and suicide are often related to low levels of serotonin, secreted by the pineal gland. The record shows that between 1050 and 1977 in the USA, the suicide rate among 15-19 years old, rose four times for males and two times for females. The time frame coincides with a big increase in the exposure of children to television sets, electrical appliances, electronic toys, fluorescent lighting, power lines and so on. As an interesting after thought, below are examples of household and personal items which one must be careful in our usage, bearing in mind that EMFs of only about 3 milligauss have been conclusively linked to highten risks of birth defects, genetic mutation, brain cancer, etc.
i) Hair Dryers
They produce about EMFs of 50 milligauss at about 6 inches and it has been observed that female beauticians have very high incidences of breast cancer due to their usage of hair dryers within 6 inches of their breasts.
ii) Electric Stoves
They produce about EMFs of 50milligauss at a distance of 18 inches.
iii) Flourescent Lights
The abnormal light waves emitted by flourescent tubes are detrimental, especially on growing children. A 10 watt florescent tube emit twenty times higher EMFs than an ordinary 60 watt light bulb.
They emit X’rays besides EMFs and these X’rays can penetrate into the human body and even solid materials as ionizing radiation. It is better to sit at least 6 ft away to avoid close exposure.
v) Personal Computers and Video Display terminals
They have caused users a series of problems, such as chronic fatigue, depression, menstrual irregularities, headaches, body aches and caused a higher risk of miscarriage among pregnant woman.
vi) Electric Blankets
They create a EMFs of 50-100 milligauss and being used on very close proximity on long period of wrapping around the body is very hazardous and have produced a much higher rate of miscarriage than normal among pregnant woman user according to a study by a university professor in Colorado.
vii) Electric Razors
They have been found to generate EMFs of 200 to 400 milligauss when in use from a plug in power line.
viii) Electric Clock
Even an ordinary plug in electric clock produces EMFs of 5 –10 milligauss about 2 ft away.
SO IN CONCLUSION, we are living in the modern age, where electricity and its appliances, machines, setups and apparatus form part of our lives, we have to be cautious in reducing this type of pollution on to our body by ionizing and non-ionizing (EMFs) by having less exposure to them and by daily readjusting our own EMFs (through practicing Master Wong Mun Chong’s Qi-synergy cleansing and healing techniques) and to live a more healthy life.