Radiolysis of Water

Radiolysis of intracellular water (H20)

    Exposure of cells to ionizing radiation induces high-energy radiolysis of H20 water molecules into H+ and OH- radicals. These radical are themselves chemically reactive, and in turn recombine to produce a series of highly reactive combinations such as superoxide (H02) and peroxide (H202), which produce oxidative damage within the cell.


Figure after Arena 1971 "Ionizing Radiation and Life"; all text material © 2012 by Steven M. Carr