In the early periods, x-rays were employed in different ways. Apart from the medical therapy whereby the x-rays are used, there are non-medical ways in which they are used. They can be utilized for, carbon dating, sterilization of foods and equipment and then they can be used for industrial purposes. Use of radioactive substances exposes the users to significant dangers. When human beings are exposed to radioactive materials, they may develop cancer. In case somebody had cancer like lung cancer, x-rays increase the rate of cancer. In this essay, I will discuss the early non-medical uses of X-ray and their consequences.
Radiation was used in carbon dating. While living, every living organism absorbs carbon compounds including the carbon 14 isotope. Carbon 14 atom is radioactive when exposed to beta emission, and it has a half-life of about 5700 years. Once the specimen dies, it stops absorbing carbon. So to establish the age of the sample, it is a matter of measuring the amount of carbon in the sample (Kraft, 2006).
The radiation can also be used as a sterilizer. X-ray radiation can destroy biological materials. Medical equipment might be dangerous when invaded with bio-organics. To avoid the cases where medical equipment are affected with bio-organisms, sterilization is done before they are used. Any contamination is destroyed through the use of radiation sterilization. On the other hand, emissions are used to lengthen the period which food can spoil. Radiations are used to kill all the agents that hasten the rate of food spoilage. If food is not exposed to microorganisms, and micro organic matter, then it will remain fresh for a long time. Radiation rays are used to destroy these microorganisms so food can be stored for longer periods of time (Kraft, 2006).
Radiation is also paramount in industrial development. For instance, emissions are used as a tool for removing toxic pollutants like exhaust gases emitted from coal powered industries. A radiated electron beam is capable of eliminating dangerous Sulphur dioxides and oxides of nitrogen from the environment. Fabrics used to make clothes are also irradiated before they are taken to the wrinkle resistant and soil releasing chemicals. The irradiation is used to keep the chemicals bind on the clothes and keep clothes wrinkle free and fresh all day long. Cooking utensils are also treated with gamma rays to ensure that food does not stick on the metal surface. Engineers also use radioactive gauges to measure paper thickness and level of fluids in the tanks. X-ray process is used in finding hidden defects in metals (Kraft, 2006).
With the vast uses of the radiations, there are dangers which are associated with human exposure to the radiation. A scientist has revealed that the exposure to radiation can cause cancer. Radioactive waves are small such that they can make a way through human body destroying genetic makeup found in human DNA. Cancer is thus caused by strange mutations when one is exposed to excessive amounts of radiation (Bushong, 2013).
When one walks away from radioactive substances, they reduce risks associated with them. But once inhaled, the radioactive elements stay in the body. Once inhaled, the radioactive products diffuse into the body, and they trigger the rate of lung cancer. They increase the rate and intense which lung cancer attacks the patient (Bushong, 2013).
In conclusion, X-rays is a radioactive substance that was used in carbon dating, sterilization of foods and medical instruments as well as industrial component. In the industries, radioactive materials are used in clothing for fabrics, making of cooking utensils as well as means of measuring by engineers. There are dangers associated with the utilization of the X-rays. They cause cancer as well as accelerating the rate of cancer in human beings.