Radiation: Sometimes Scary, Sometimes Not

The electromagnetic force is with you. It surrounds you with its power. Radiating from the sun, it brings you warmth, light, and color. From the center of the earth, it seeps through soil and into water and the air. From radios, computers, and other electronic devices it brings you sights, information, and sounds. Electromagnetic energy, or radiation, fills the environment. Studies have been completed on radiation. Some is vital to your life. Some is harmful.

All electromagnetic energy consists of vibrating electric and magnetic fields that spread out in all directions. Each kind has its own wavelength or frequency that gives it unique properties. You can see, for example, the colors of visible light, and you can feel the heat of infrared radiation. Other rays, such as radio waves and X-rays, cannot be seen or felt.

Non-ionizing radiation, which is emitted as electricity flows, includes microwaves; radar; UHF (ultrahigh frequency) and VHF (very high frequency) …


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