Radio active dating isotop
In developed countries (a quarter of the world population) about one person in 50 uses diagnostic nuclear medicine each year, and the frequency of therapy with radioisotopes is about one-tenth of this.
Nuclear medicine uses radiation to provide information about the functioning of a person's specific organs, or to treat disease.
To understand what isotopes are and how we can use them, we need to take a closer look at the interior of an atom.
An atom is composed of an incredibly dense core (called a nucleus) of protons and neutrons, surrounded by a diffuse cloud of electrons.
However, the term is used more specifically for all naturally occurring radioactive materials where human activities have increased the potential for exposure compared with the unaltered situation.
Concentrations of actual radionuclides may or may not have been increased; if they have, the term Technologically-Enhanced (TENORM) may be used.
In some cases radiation can be used to treat diseased organs, or tumours.
Five Nobel Laureates have been closely involved with the use of radioactive tracers in medicine.
There is widespread awareness of the use of radiation and radioisotopes in medicine, particularly for diagnosis (identification) and therapy (treatment) of various medical conditions.
Material giving rise to these enhanced exposures has become known as naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM).
NORM is the acronym for Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material, which potentially includes all radioactive elements found in the environment.
Long-lived radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and potassium and any of their decay products, such as radium and radon are examples of NORM.
These elements have always been present in the Earth's crust and atmosphere, and are concentrated in some places, such as uranium orebodies which may be mined.