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Ionization occurs when an electron is stripped (or "knocked out") from an electron shell of the atom, which leaves the atom with a net positive charge.
Because living cells and, more importantly, the DNA in those cells can be damaged by this ionization, exposure to ionizing radiation is considered to increase the risk of cancer.
Because such radiation expands as it passes through space, and as its energy is conserved (in vacuum).
The intensity of all types of radiation from a point source follows an inverse-square law in relation to the distance from its source.
Other animals such as elk and reindeer have also been affected but the radiation levels in boar are reportedly increasing.
Other sources include X-rays from medical radiography examinations and muons, mesons, positrons, neutrons and other particles that constitute the secondary cosmic rays that are produced after primary cosmic rays interact with Earth's atmosphere.
People, however, who consume meat with these radiation levels face an increased risk of developing cancer.
Illustration of the relative abilities of three different types of ionizing radiation to penetrate solid matter.
Note caveats in the text about this simplified diagram.
Radiation is often categorized as either ionizing or non-ionizing depending on the energy of the radiated particles.
Typical alpha particles (α) are stopped by a sheet of paper, while beta particles (β) are stopped by an aluminum plate.