Radioisotopes in Medicine and Industry
Technetium-99m uses in Medicine
Technetium-99m is utilized in over 20 million nuclear diagnostic medical procedures annually. It is used for approximately 85% of all imaging procedures done in nuclear medicine. Technetium-99m is artificially produced by bombarding Molybdenum98 with a proton which then produces Molybdenum99 which decays to produce Technetium 99m. Technetium-99m is used as a medical tracer in a number of medical tests. It is used in the treatment of diseases relating to the brain, myocardium, thyroid, lungs, liver, gallbladder, kidney, skeleton, blood and tumors.
Technetium is used commonly in medical procedures due to its innumerable amount of benefits. The principal benefit being that it has a half-life of only 6 hours. This is a perfect amount of time as it is long enough to comfortably run various medical examinations but is also short enough for the technetium-99m to be eliminated from the patient’s system without causing any bodily harm. Technetium-99m decays through “isomeric” which is a process which emits gamma rays. This is also ideal in medicine as the low dose of radiation should not harm the patient but the gamma radiation is highly detectable which is efficient in medical examinations.
Cobalt-60 in Industry
Apart from being used in the treatment of cancer and radiotherapy, Cobalt-60 is utilized in industry in many different ways. Cobalt- 60 is used commonly for sterilization of spices and foods before they are distributed. It is also used for the sterilization of single use medical supplies such as syringes, implants, gloves and gauzes, sterilization of biological based products and sterilization in the automotive industry. Since Cobalt-60 is naturally unstable, it emits two gamma rays which provide the energy to sterilize objects. The gamma radiation which is emitted from Cobalt-60 effectively kills bacteria and other pathogens without affecting the origi...