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This restriction extends to animals that consume seafood in their diets, as well.Carbon dating also cannot be used on artifacts over about 50,000 years old.Also, many fossils are contaminated with carbon from the environment during collection or preservation proceedures.When scientists first began to compare carbon dating data to data from tree rings, they found carbon dating provided "too-young" estimates of artifact age.This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers. The short half-life of carbon-14 means its cannot be used to date extremely old fossils.Carbon-14 dating has been used successfully on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Minoan ruins and tombs of the pharohs among other things. Levels of carbon-14 become difficult to measure and compare after about 50,000 years (between 8 and 9 half lives; where 1% of the original carbon-14 remains undecayed).Nitrogen normally occurs in a seven proton, seven nuetron, nitrogen-14 state.When it collides with an energetic neutron it becomes carbon-14, with six protons and eight neutrons and gives off a hydrogen atom with one proton and zero neutrons. Carbon-14 is an isotope of carbon, which exists only is small amounts in the environment (1 in one trillion carbon atoms is carbon-14).
Then, First, carbon-14 cannot be used to date biological artifacts of organisms that did not get thier carbon dioxide from the air.
Scientists now realize that production of carbon-14 has not been constant over the last 10,000 years, but has changed as the radiation from the sun has changed.