The term radiotoxicity describes the adverse effects of incorporated substances (taken up into the body e.g. with food or breathing air) on health due to their radioactive property, as opposed e.g. to the chemical effects ("chemical toxicity"). In terms of a substance's radiotoxicity it is important to what extent the ionising radiation causes bodily harm. This depends on

  • the type and energy of radiation,
  • the incorporation path (path via which the substance enters the body (via food, breathing air, intact skin, open wounds or injection),
  • the organ concentration,
  • the radionuclide's half-life, and
  • the substance's retention period inside the body or, respectively, in the organs.