Radiation Toxicity The image at right depicts a molecule of an extremely toxic substance. Since its initial identification in 1917, it has been shown that a dose as little as 10 mg can result in painful softening and swelling of the bones, yellowing and peeling off of large sections of skin, cracking at the corners of the mouth, hypersensitivity to light, blurred vision, hair loss, increased intracranial pressure, liver damage, vomiting, distorted consciousness, and subsequent birth defects if the exposure is chronic. For the average adult, just 140 grams proves fatal in half of all cases. You probably know this substance as vitamin A , and you would die very quickly without it. The key lies in understanding that its toxicity in large doses does not mean it is bad in any quantity. For comparison purposes, it should be considered that the median lethal dosages for the average adult are 210 grams of table salt or 14 grams of aspirin. A person
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