Radiological Emergency Management Independent Study Course4-4The high intensity of light is strong enough to cause skin burns. A 10 kiloton blast can cause firstdegree burns 2 miles (3.2 km) away on a clear day. First degree burns are equivalent to a bad sunburn. Thesame blast can cause second degree burns 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away. Second degree burns over 30 percent ofthe body will result in serious shock and death without medical attention. Blisters from second degree burnswill become infected if untreated. The same blast can cause third degree burns about1.0 miles (1.6 km) away. Third degree burns destroy skin tissue, to the extent that such burns over 24percent of the body will cause serious shock and death without specialized medical care.The temperatures at the center of a nuclear explosion can reach tens of millions of degrees. Althoughtemperatures fall off rapidly with increasing distance, a nuclear blast is capable of causing skin burns andsetting fires at considerable distances. There is evidence from data gathered in Japan that temperatures may
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