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Name: Lior A.
Status: Student
Age: 18
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: April 2003

I would like to know how ionizing radiation (alpha, beta, electromagnetic (gamma, X-ray)) can cause the production of hydrogen peroxide? (Let us say the radiation hits the water inside a living cell).

H-O-H + E (from radiation) --> H + O-H

2 O-H --> H-O-O-H (hydrogen peroxide)

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.
PG Research Foundation, Darien, Illinois

There is an extensive body of literature on the "radiolysis of water" because of the significance of those reactions in relation to human exposure to radiation and also in relation to water-cooled nuclear reactors. There are several reactions that produce free radicals that react further to produce H2O2. In addition, some of the mechanisms are fairly involved. The following web sites will get you on your way to examining the production of H2O2 by ionizing radiation: r.pdf

Vince Calder

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