HC Deb 14 May 1981 vol 4 c331W
Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether alpha radiation has any harmful effects; and, if so, what they are.

Sir George Young

Alpha radiation scarcely penetrates the dead outer layer of the skin but can have harmful effects if alpha particles are taken into the body by infection, inhalation or the contamination of a wound. There is a statistical risk of the resulting damage to body cells and changes in their system of reproduction leading ultimately to the development of cancer.