Radioactivity

Radioactivity is indeed a physical phenomenon in which unstable nuclei are transformed into nuclei of other elements or isotopes (identical atom nuclei from the chemical viewpoint but with different mass, owing to the different number of neutrons) of the starting nuclei, by emitting nuclear radiation. The core, before decaying to a lower energy level, can remain in a radioactive state for a period of time ranging from a fraction of a second to 100 million years.
Radioactivity is naturally present in the Earth’s environment, it has biological effects on human beings due to its  ionizing characteristics. These effects are exploited in medical diagnostics (X-rays, scintigraphy/body scans, Computer Assisted Tomography, Positron Emission Tomography etc.) and in anti-tumour therapies (radiotherapy, boron neutron capture therapy, particle or hadron therapy) but they can be harmful if they are not administered carefully. In fact, over a certain limit, radiation can become very dangerous for human health, also in relation to the time of exposure.  Radioactivity is dangerous specially if the radioactive elements have a very long “half-time ” (transformation into other nuclei) that can last millennia and they become fixed permanently in the human body or in other living creatures.
Radioactivity is also used for sterilization, and to examine the properties and defects of construction materials.
The production of nuclear waste, generating radiotoxic elements, is extremely important and delicate in the nuclear power production cycle  and great attention must be paid so that no situation arises in which radioactive elements come into contact with human beings.

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