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Somatic effects and genetic effects

According to the subjects on which the effects occur, the biological effects of radiation are classified into: "Somatic effects" and "Genetic effects".

Somatic effects

This is the biological effects that occur on the exposed individuals.

Genetic effects

Genetic effects refer to biological changes on the descendants of the exposed individuals due to mutation of their genetic cells.

When genetic cells are irradiated, the chromosomes or DNA of the cells may be affected which may lead to genetic mutations, chromosome aberrations or changes in the number of chromosomes in the cells. As a result, the probability of genetic changes will increase, bringing detrimental effects to the descendants of the exposed persons.


The above information is provided by RHU of DH
Department of Health

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Last revision date: <19 Dec 2012>