Whats more dangerous: Irradiation or contamination?

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tfh
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I have my physics GCSE tomorrow, and i have a feeling that something about contamination or irradiation might come up. I know both are dangerous either way, but which one is more dangerous? and what are they exactly?
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username2552331
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Are they not the same thing? Irradiation is just contamination via radiation. Contamination could include any substance (usually toxic) that enters the body.
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tfh
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(Original post by Exotoxin)
Are they not the same thing? Irradiation is just contamination via radiation. Contamination could include any substance (usually toxic) that enters the body.
I thought they were the same thing too, but the CGP guide refers to them separately, and I dont have the CGP guide on me right now so I can't check what it said.
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YourCaesar
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(Original post by tfh)
I thought they were the same thing too, but the CGP guide refers to them separately, and I dont have the CGP guide on me right now so I can't check what it said.
Reading it now, it says: "Irradiation - being exposed to radiation without coming into contact with the source. The damage to your body stops as soon as your leave the radioactive area.

Contamination - picking up some radioactive material, e.g. by breathing it in, drinking contaminated water or getting it on your skin. You'll still be exposed to the radiation once you've left the area."
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tfh
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(Original post by YourCaesar)
Reading it now, it says: "Irradiation - being exposed to radiation without coming into contact with the source. The damage to your body stops as soon as your leave the radioactive area.

Contamination - picking up some radioactive material, e.g. by breathing it in, drinking contaminated water or getting it on your skin. You'll still be exposed to the radiation once you've left the area."
Thank you! It makes sense now.
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username2998742
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(Original post by tfh)
I have my physics GCSE tomorrow, and i have a feeling that something about contamination or irradiation might come up. I know both are dangerous either way, but which one is more dangerous? and what are they exactly?
Yo!!!

Irradiation is when a material just comes into contact with a radioactive substance.
Contamination is when that radioactive stuff actually gets inside your body. From there on, it depends what radioactive particle you're talking about. Gamma is the most penetrable so you can get contaminated easy, but Alpha is the most ionizing so when it gets inside your body, you're screwed because it starts tearing up your cells.
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jw102
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(Original post by tfh)
I have my physics GCSE tomorrow, and i have a feeling that something about contamination or irradiation might come up. I know both are dangerous either way, but which one is more dangerous? and what are they exactly?
Contamination is worse, as that's when your cells are actually exposed to it. Irradiation is where it is outside the body so isn't very dangerous at all, as you will no longer be irradiated if you walk away from the source. Hope this helps.
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