Electromagnetic Radiation: Ionizing and Non-ionizing
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electromagnetic radiation
Adapted from Safety and Health Topics: Radiation (OSHA, U.S. Department of Labor)

Electromagnetic Radiation:

  • The most familiar form of electromagnetic (EM) radiation is sunshine, which provides light and heat.
  • Sunshine consists primarily of radiation in infrared (IR), visible, and ultraviolet (UV) frequencies.
  • Lasers also emit EM radiation in these "optical frequencies."
  • The higher frequencies of EM radiation, consisting of x-rays and gamma rays, are types of ionizing radiation.
  • Lower frequency radiation, consisting of ultraviolet (UV), infrared (IR), microwave (MW), Radio Frequency (RF), and extremely low frequency (ELF) are types of non-ionizing radiation.