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Radiation in the Environment

Many forms of "radiation" are encountered in the natural environment and are produced by modern technology. Most of them have the potential for both beneficial and harmful effects. Even sunlight, the most essential radiation of all, can be harmful in excessive amounts. Most public attention is given to the category of radiation known as "ionizing radiation." This radiation can disrupt atoms, creating positive ions and negative electrons, and cause biological harm. Ionizing radiation includes x-rays, gamma rays, alpha particles, beta particles, neutrons, and the varieties of cosmic rays.

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