How many people really know what radiation is and how it affects us? In physics, radiation is described as the energy that is transmitted in the form of rays or waves. Generally speaking, there are three elements of radiation that are of concern to us; alpha, beta, and gamma. Alpha particles are slow-moving, have low energy levels, and don’t penetrate clothing or skin but can cause harm if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through open wounds. Beta particles have a slightly higher energy level than Alpha and can moderately penetrate human skin 1 to 2 cm. Gamma particles are forms of electromagnetic radiation commonly associated with x-rays. Gamma rays readily penetrate clothing and human skin and are very damaging depending on exposure.