Radioactive Isotopes

Chemistry Speech
Good morning/ afternoon,
Today I will be talking to you about the radioactive isotopes Cobalt-60 and Americium-241, there uses in industry and medicine and the benefits and problems associated with each of them.
Cobalt-60 has a half-life of 5.27 years and is formed through the neutron bombardment of Cobalt-59 and eventually it decays into nickel-60 emitting beta and gamma particles.
Cobalt-60 is used in medicine in therapy machines to treat cancer with gamma rays to areas like the brain. Cobalt-60 is also used in the sterilization of medical tools and the pasteurization of food to stop bacteria from affecting patients.
There are many benefits and problems associated with the use of cobalt-60 in medicine. Some of the problems with cobalt-60 are that it has a relatively short half life in comparison to some radioactive isotopes and needs to be replaced every few years. Another problem associated with cobalt-60 is that it can be dangerous for humans in large doses if it is not handled and used properly. A benefit of cobalt-60 is that it is relatively cheap in comparison to other radioactive isotopes.
Americium-241 has a half life of 432 years and is formed through the neutron bombardment of plutonium-239 which forms plutonium-240 which also undergoes neutron bombardment so that it becomes plutonium-241 which then experiences beta decay till it becomes Americium-241. Americium then undergoes alpha decay till it forms Neptunium-237.
Americium is mostly used in the production of smoke detectors and is encased so that it does not pose a threat to humans. The amount of Americium used in these smoke detectors is miniscule in any case so it does not really pose a threat.
Americium also has many benefits and problems associated with its use. Some benefits of Americium is that it is a portable source of both alpha and gamma particles and can be used to detect cracks in planes etc. A problem caused by americium is that when used in large quantities it...