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Try it risk-free Ever wondered how scientists know the age of old bones in an ancient site or how old a scrap of linen is?
However, fortunately, our body can withstand low level radiation without ill effects because it is able to repair any damage.
The ratio of carbon -12 to carbon -14 at the time of death is the same as every other living thing, but the carbon -14 decays and is not replaced.
If radiation collides with molecules in the air or in your body, it throws out of them electrons.
By throwing out electrons you produce charged particles called ions. We are surrounded by background radiation all of the time!
Each radioactive isotope decays by a fixed amount, and this amount is called the half-life.
The half-life is the time required for half of the original sample of radioactive nuclei to decay.
This means it is the radiation responsible for ionising molecules. Small doses of radiation over a long period of time can cause the cells to multiply. Background radiation comes from the soil, rocks, the air, water, plants, building materials and food.