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14.2 Potential Hazards

Like any form of energy, ionizing radiation can be harmful if a person is exposed to an excessive amount. Exposure to ionizing radiation causes chemical damage to body tissues and can be harmful. Just as with exposure to any toxic chemical, the human body can tolerate exposure to ionizing radiation up to a point without producing any immediate injury. However, just as with toxic chemicals, high levels of exposure can cause serious injuries including skin burns, hair loss, internal bleeding, anemia and immune system suppression. In addition, exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation has been proven to cause an increased lifetime risk of cancer.