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When Is Radiation Good for You?
Radioactive materials are known as harmful substances whose emitted radiation can create sickness and even death in humans due to damage to our internal organs. While we’re normally advised to steer clear of radiation due to these dangers, there are some instances when radiation is good for you.


Hormesis is the idea that a low dose of a bad thing can create a positive effect. For example, a small amount of chocolate or alcohol in your diet is said to be good for you, but large doses equates to poor health.

Our bodies have cell enzymes that repair damage from radiation that the Earth and space give off naturally. Exposure to low doses of radiation, which is slightly higher than the level we’re naturally exposed to, is theorized to push our bodies to create more enzymes that will manage the low doses radiation. This higher tolerance would make the risk of using radiation in medical practices less dangerous and build a definitive line between what level of radiation should and should not be used in medical settings. A study in rats also showed improvements in wound healing times and kidney damage as a result of low-dose radiation.

Diagnosis and Therapy

Radiation can be used in the diagnosis of health conditions such as cancer and neurological disorders. Radiopharmaceuticals are pharmaceutical drugs with radioactive isotopes. Radiopharmaceuticals characteristics such as radiotracers accumulate or bind to the specific area of the body being treated. Gamma rays are then emitted, and a camera or device such as a PET scan will produce pictures and molecular information necessary for diagnosis.

Treatment is another instance of when radiation is good for you. For therapeutic use, substances such as radioactive iodine are introduced to the body via an injection into the bloodstream or ingestion of a pill. The harmful cells will then absorb the radioactive substance and die, while the healthy cells remain untouched.

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