Though all isotopes of an element behave in the same manner chemically, but one distinct advantage of a radioisotope is that its position can be easily identified by radiation it emits. This property has made radioisotopes very useful in medicine, agriculture , industry and archaeology.
1) Uses of radioactive isotopes in industry :
a) Estimate of wear and tear in machine tools is extremely important in various industrial processes, especially in moving part like bearings. Radioisotopes in impregnated into the bearing, the fine bearing filling obtained as result of wear and tear are washed away by lubricating oil.
b) Radioisotopes are also used widely to check whether the thickness of a material being produced , is constant or note.
c) It can be used to detect cracks in weld joints.
d) Radioisotopes can also used to detect leakages in pipes.
2) Uses of radioactive isotopes in agriculture :
a) Radiation is also used to kill bacteria and preserve food stuff.
b) One very important use of radioisotopes is to determine the optimum amount of fertilizers , and other nutrient intake by plants.
c) Radioisotopes can detect or identify the rate of absorption of water and food plants.
d) Varieties of seeds for various agricultural commodities have been produced through radiation.
e) The process of photosynthesis has been elaborated with the help of radioisotopes.
3) Uses of radioactive isotopes in medicine :
a) They have also helped in understanding the basic working of any internal organs and vital metabolic proses.
b) They have also help in the diagnosis and cure of many complicated diseases.
c) They have also played a vital role in determining the effectively and absorption of medicine in various parts of the body.
d) Certain types of cancers also respond to treatment by radiation emitted by radioisotopes.
e) They have been useful in tracing the blood circulation.
f) They are used to locate precisely the position of tumours in the brain.