Skip Navigation COURSE:  IS-3 
Fundamental Concepts
LESSON:  Radioactivity
FEMA Emergency Management Institute
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  Hazards of Alpha Radiation Back Next
  Alpha stopped by skin surface.

Even the most energetic alpha particle from radioactive decay can be stopped by the outermost layer of dead skin that covers the body. Therefore, exposure to most alpha particles originating outside the body is not a serious hazard. On the other hand, if alpha emitting radioactive materials are taken inside the body, they can be the most damaging source of radiation exposure. The short range of the alpha particle causes the damaging effects of the radiation to be concentrated in a very localized area.

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