Ionizing radiation can affect health via different mechanisms:
- It causes, by damaging the DNA, genetic modifications like mutations which lead to hereditary diseases.
- It obstructs the reduplication of cells which will lead to radiation sickness and fetal deformities.
- It leads, by affecting the cell division, to aberrant chromosome sets (aneuploidy) which will result in leukemia and diverse types of cancer.
Once incorporated radioactive substances can, by means of drugs, neither be made innocuous nor can their excretion be speeded up.