Possible Health Effects of Radiation Exposure and Contamination
If you are injured or think you are injured, seek medical attention right away. Injuries could be at high risk for infection and other long lasting health effects.
Radioactive contamination and radiation exposure could occur if radioactive materials are released into the environment as the result of an accident, an event in nature, or an act of terrorism. Such a release could expose people and contaminate their surroundings and personal property.
Short-Term Health Effects of Radiation Exposure and Contamination
- Acute Radiation Syndrome
Radiation sickness, known as acute radiation syndrome (ARS).
- Cutaneous Radiation Injury (CRI)
Happens when exposure to a large dose of radiation causes injury to the skin.
Long-Term Health Effects of Radiation Exposure and Contamination
People who receive high doses of radiation could have a greater risk of developing cancer later in life, depending on the level of radiation exposure.
- Prenatal Radiation Exposure
It is especially important that pregnant women follow instructions from emergency officials and seek medical attention as soon as emergency officials say it is safe to do so after a radiation emergency.
- Mental Health
Any emergency, including those involving radiation, can cause emotional and psychological distress.
- Page last updated August 22, 2013
- Page last reviewed August 22, 2013
- Content source: Radiation Studies Branch (RSB), Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects (EHHE), National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH), Coordinating Center for Environmental Health and Injury Prevention (CCEHIP)
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