41 HealthHazards&Review

41 HealthHazards&Review - A Scotch-drinking...

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1 1 A Scotch-drinking physicist, Nanette, suspected that the 50-year old Scotch she purchased was misrepresented. Reasoning that water must contain the radioactive hydrogen isotope, tritium, because it is produced in the atmosphere by cosmic rays, she decided she could use the tritium concentration in the Scotch to determine when it was bottled. She found that the tritium concentration in the Scotch was only 64% that of the tritium concentration in the water on the Isle of Islay where the Scotch was bottled. Was her Scotch really 50 years old? The half-life of tritium is 12.3 years. A) Yes B) No C) Can’t tell, don’t have the equations memorized. 2 A Scotch-drinking physicist, Nanette, suspected that the 50-year old Scotch she purchased was misrepresented. Reasoning that water must contain the radioactive hydrogen isotope, tritium, because it is produced in the atmosphere by cosmic rays, she decided she could use the tritium concentration in the Scotch to determine when it was bottled. She found that the tritium concentration in the Scotch was only 64% that of the tritium concentration in the water on the Isle of Islay where the Scotch was bottled. How old really was this 50 year old Scotch? The half-life of tritium is 12.3 years. A) 6 years B) 8 years C) 12 years D) 24 years E) It really was 50 years old. ln(N/N 0 ) = - kt k = ln(2)/t 1/2
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2 3 Health Hazards of Radiation 4 X-rays and -rays are the most penetrating and cause the most damage. Damage is not caused directly, but by ionization events (mostly ionization of water) along the path of the particle or ray. Ionization of water produces OH radicals and ions that attack the molecules in your body that are essential for life. Cells can be replaced, but only if the genetic material (DNA, RNA, ribosomes) is intact. Your cells have enzymes that go up and down the strands of DNA and RNA and repair the defects. But this repair mechanism doesn’t work if 2 defects are close to each other. Low doses of radiation can be tolerated.
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3 5 Do you need a radon detector? Radon (Rn) is formed from the radioactive decay of uranium-238 in rock and soil, mostly granite. Long Island sand does not have this problem. 1.6 to 2.0 vs 4.0 picocuries per liter of air
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This note was uploaded on 02/13/2011 for the course CHE 132 taught by Professor Hanson during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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41 HealthHazards&Review - A Scotch-drinking...

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