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Radiation and YOU: Fearmongerers/Those in Fear, Read This!

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posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:27 AM
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Alright, I've been seeing a lot of numbers being thrown around here in posts asking whether they should be afraid of radiation from Fukushima or not in the U.S., quoting rising radiation levels and telling people to get potassium iodide, stock up on safe foods and run to their bomb shelters... Well, maybe not so much, but people are becoming scared. I see it in just about every thread I read here on ATS. Although those who are still suffering through the disaster in Japan are in our hearts and minds, I'm sure many of you have that itchy feeling in the back of your head wondering, "Is this radiation dangerous to me?"

This is compounded by constant media reports of rising/lowering amounts of the "mysterious" sieverts, comparisons to percentages of yearly intake of radiation or to chest X-rays... It goes on and on, manufactured not to inform but to create panic (I'm looking at you, CNN). But what does this actually mean to you? What is a "normal" amount of radiation? What's considered dangerous? How can we understand the scale of the problems we face during disasters such as this??

I found this chart for your viewing pleasure, showing real world comparisons of radiation intake so you can better visualize the amounts of radiation we are talking about here, and to hopefully calm some of the more panicked people in North America down a tad.

It might be easier if you download the following images to your computer and open it there - it's annoying having to scroll.


Source

I'm also posting a "Layman's Intro to Radiation", written by a Senior Reactor Operator at the Reed Research Reactor. Here are daily radiation doses, compared to U.S. regulatory dosage limits (much of this is covered in the above diagram):




A dose which is acute, that is, received over a short period of time, has a much greater biolgoical effect than one received over a longer period of time. This is because radiation acts by depositing energy in tissue, damaging your cells. Very minor damage, repeated often, will be better repaired than a major assault. Doses can then cause either deterministic effects, where X dose causes Y problems, or stochastic effects, where X dose raises the probability of Y by Z amount.

The most well-known deterministic effects are what's commonly known as radiation poisoning, while stochastic effects mostly consist of cancer of one sort or another. Both the timing and absolute dose determine the effect -- 1 Sv over the course of 20 years (a US radiation worker receiving his or her limit for the year 20 years in a row) will not cause radiation poisoning, but a dose of 1 Sv over 5 minutes certainly will.


Here are some effects from extreme dosage levels:




A brief digression on units: All units in these charts are in sieverts, the SI unit of effective dose. The SI unit of dose, the gray, is a unit of energy deposited in matter. 1 Gy is equal to 1 Joule/kilogram. Sieverts are calculated by multiplying grays by a quality factor based on the type of radiation producing the dose.

The quality factor captures how bad the type of radiation is for you. For gamma rays, the most common and farthest-traveling form of radiation, the quality factor is 1. In the US, the government and many reactors use units of rem and rad, corresponding to sieverts and gray, respectively. 1 Gy = 100 Rad.

Confusingly, Roentgens (pronounced renkens), an outdated unit of exposure, is sometimes used interchangably with rem and rad.


And finally, a calculation of the dose rate as it relates to distance by using the inverse square law:





What this means is, getting farther away from the radiation source goes a long way towards limiting your exposure.

If you can't get and stay far away from the radiation source, your second option to limit your dose is to just not spend that much time next to it. Radiation fields usually have units of dose rate, meaning the time you spend in them is just as important as the strength of the field.

Finally, if you have to spend a long time near a large radiation source, you can still limit your exposure by putting a lot of the appropriate shield between you and it. Lead is most commonly used, but if the source is giving off a lot of neutrons, you will want some water and boron instead. These three principles are often distilled down into just "time, distance, and shielding", and, along with the control of radiological contamination, form the motivation for almost every measure taken for radiation protection.


Second Source

Here's a bit more info on the units of measurement being talked about, this really helped me:


There are three fundamental concepts that are important when discussing radiation and its effects on physical objects:

(i) the actual radioactivity involved,
(ii) the amount of energy the radiation imparts on other objects, and
(iii) the question of the biological effects of that radiation, particularly on humans.

These concepts are behind the three units most commonly used to measure radiation. As it turns out, the sport of boxing provides a rather useful analogy for understanding these three concepts. From the point of view of a boxer facing a tough opponent, the three concepts of radiation mentioned above could be thought of as:

(i) how many punches are being thrown,
(ii) how powerful the punches are, as in a jab versus an uppercut, and
(iii) how much the punches actually hurt when they land.



The three units that measure the three concepts mentioned above are:

(i) The becquerel (ultimately after French nuclear physicist Atoine Henri Becquerel who shared a 1903 Nobel Prize in nuclear physics).
(ii) The gray (after British radiobiologist Louis Harold Gray).
(iii) The sievert (after Swedish radiologist Rolf Maximilian Sievert).


Here's a good intro on units

I hope this thread helps to calm some nerves and puts some perspective on what you may be hearing about radiation levels in your area/abroad. Feel free to post additional information that you feel is lacking!
edit on 20-3-2011 by pforkp because: added info on units of measurement




posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:35 AM
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reply to post by pforkp
 


Thanks for posting this. It's nice to know that at least one person on this site is trying to calm nerves instead of agitate them.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:39 AM
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Originally posted by dvrt10
reply to post by pforkp
 


Thanks for posting this. It's nice to know that at least one person on this site is trying to calm nerves instead of agitate them.


Hehe about a week ago I posted a similar comparison using flights, bananas and xrays and was told off by someone for trying to make light the tragedy in japan.... some people just want to panic.

They then went on to say that as long as levels were under 3sieverts everything would be a-ok! oO

There will still be people who will jump off a cliff to save themselves regardless how the information is presented to them...



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:49 AM
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Sure, there are rational numbers..
which go out the window with certain sources of contamination
Which is different then readiation itself

at what dose will you get cancer?
and how much cumulative radiation exposure do you already have?

If you look at the fact that cancer is now inflicting a huge slice of the population when it was non existant they say before Nuclear technology, it kinda makes the numbers MOOT.

Then there is the lying...the japanese government has been castegated for not tlling the truth...
or
Like in the case of the porno scanners the TSA would not release the stats and it turns out that it is because the dose is ten times higher then what is supposed to be safe.

Do you recall last year when they found out that all these people in US hospitals were suffering from radiation sickness and it turned out that the machines were set on BARBQ
and no one had checked their calibration?

as Reagan said
trust but verify

Also beyond the amplitude there is the frquency.
For instance it just so happens that even though the scanners aren't that powerfull compared to say flying at altitude, they operate in a frequency range that unzips your DNA
resonance.

You breath any uranium particles or eat contaminated food or hang around anything contaminated...numbers mean little then

Also who is bying up the scrap metal...where and into what is it being remanufactured?

hey, we just had a leak into lake Ontario....add that to the collection
edit on 20-3-2011 by Danbones because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 01:08 AM
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reply to post by Danbones
 


If you look at the fact that cancer is now inflicting a huge slice of the population when it was non existant they say before Nuclear technology, it kinda makes the numbers MOOT.


It seems like cancer is attributed to many factors in Western lifestyles - eating processed foods, not getting enough nutrients/vitamins, being out in the sun, fossil fuels... The list goes on and on. There's no reason to believe that nuclear technology itself is a major factor. Modern medicine has advanced by harnessing the power of radiation - which makes me wonder how accurate it is to say cancer was non-existent in the past when we may not have had the technology or know-how to detect it.

There are several independent sources measuring radiation levels separate from what is told in the media. Of course media sources lie to either spread fear (U.S. media) or limit panic (Japanese media) - or to up their ratings - but again, the media is thankfully not the only source of quantifiable measurements of current and future radiation.

As my post has shown, we are exposed to radiation and "contamination" every day. It's the amount of time you're exposed, the quantities involved, and the distance to such quantities that matter. The amounts being reported right now for the U.S. and Canada are negligible.

I do agree with you that there are many variables that effect how your body responds to dosage levels, but there is much research done in order to detect harm from chemicals that enter our bodies from day to day, and to treat damages.

As of right now, there is no reason to spread fear and panic. When swaths of scientists start to contradict this, it might be time to take precautions - but not right now.

edit on 20-3-2011 by pforkp because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 01:54 AM
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Every single person in the nuclear crisis thread should read this (especially you unity_99). It would help them clear their heads of at least one concern. I gave up trying to figure out conversions a long time ago, but this helped immensely.

thanks



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 02:01 AM
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arggg.. and now whats this?

The amount of iodine detected in Tochigi was 1,300 megabecquerel per square kilometer

are they just making up new words now that we kinda understand seiverts


from here
edit on 20-3-2011 by bitbytebit because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 02:14 AM
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reply to post by pforkp
 


Thank you for this detailed thread, I especially liked the chart.

More people need to read this.

S+F



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 02:19 AM
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edit on 20-3-2011 by pforkp because: added info on units of measurement to OP



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 02:29 AM
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reply to post by bitbytebit
 


Here's a good analogy to picture what becquerels are, compared to boxing:


...a becquerel would just be a measure of how many punches are thrown without regard to whether they are roundhouses, hooks, jabs, or even if they connect at all. They also say nothing about how much the punches hurt, once landed.


The rest of the units I've posted in the OP - I can see how large numbers of becquerels can sound intimidating, but it says nothing about the amount of danger or damage involved.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 02:32 AM
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It took me a couple minutes to find this, so I figured I would share it in case others are unsure of the difference.


(cropped from OP's chart)



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:21 PM
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This chart says 1 sievert (Sv) only causes "minor radiation sickness" and "recovery almost certain".

REALLY????


Garwin's criticism centers on what he sees as a glaring omission--the report's failure to cite the findings of a 1993 study produced by the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), which estimated that the worldwide 'collective effective dose' from the Chernobyl accident was about 600,000 man-sieverts. He also refers to a report published last summer by the National Academy of Sciences on the effects of ionizing radiation, which concludes that each dose of whole-body radiation causes a lethal cancer at the rate of 0.04 cancer deaths per sievert of exposure.

The Garwin Archive

each dose of whole-body radiation causes a lethal cancer at the rate of 0.04 cancer deaths per sievert of exposure

So lets see what would happen to a population of 1 million living in conditions of 20 mSv which the chart and the government have said is no risk.

1 sievert(Sv) = 1,000,000 microsieverts(mSv)

20 mSv/per hour x 24/hours = 480 mSv/per day
480 mSv/per day x 365/days = 175,200 mSv/per year
175,200 mSv/per year x 6/years = 1,051,200 mSv or 1 sievert

.04 of 1 million is 40,000 people dead in 6 years.

Yep, nothing to worry about.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:28 PM
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Here's an email I received from a colleague on the effects of radiation [reproduced in full]. It argues the fears we harbour are exaggerated, and that there are, in fact, beneficial aspects to being irradiated. ... seriously... read on

A Glowing Report on Radiation, by Ann Coulter, 03/16/2011

With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer.


This only seems counterintuitive because of media hysteria for the past 20 years trying to convince Americans that radiation at any dose is bad. There is, however, burgeoning evidence that excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine.

As The New York Times science section reported in 2001, an increasing number of scientists believe that at some level -- much higher than the minimums set by the U.S. government -- radiation is good for you. "They theorize," the Times said, that "these doses protect against cancer by activating cells' natural defense mechanisms."


Among the studies mentioned by the Times was one in Canada finding that tuberculosis patients subjected to multiple chest X-rays had much lower rates of breast cancer than the general population.

And there are lots more!

A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships' nuclear reactors. The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers.

Isn't that just incredible? I mean, that the Department of Energy spent $10 million doing something useful? Amazing, right?

In 1983, a series of apartment buildings in Taiwan were accidentally constructed with massive amounts of cobalt 60, a radioactive substance. After 16 years, the buildings' 10,000 occupants developed only five cases of cancer. The cancer rate for the same age group in the general Taiwanese population over that time period predicted 170 cancers.

The people in those buildings had been exposed to radiation nearly five times the maximum "safe" level according to the U.S. government. But they ended up with a cancer rate 96 percent lower than the general population.

Bernard L. Cohen, a physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh, compared radon exposure and lung cancer rates in 1,729 counties covering 90 percent of the U.S. population. His study in the 1990s found far fewer cases of lung cancer in those counties with the highest amounts of radon -- a correlation that could not be explained by smoking rates.

Tom Bethell, author of the "Politically Incorrect Guide to Science," has been writing for years about the beneficial effects of some radiation, or "hormesis." A few years ago, he reported on a group of scientists who concluded their conference on hormesis at the University of Massachusetts by repairing to a spa in Boulder, Mont., specifically in order to expose themselves to excess radiation.

At the Free Enterprise Radon Health Mine in Boulder, people pay $5 to descend 85 feet into an old mining pit to be irradiated with more than 400 times the EPA-recommended level of radon. In the summer, 50 people a day visit the mine hoping for relief from chronic pain and autoimmune disorders.

Amazingly, even the Soviet-engineered disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 can be directly blamed for the deaths of no more than the 31 people inside the plant who died in the explosion. Although news reports generally claimed a few thousand people died as a result of Chernobyl -- far fewer than the tens of thousands initially predicted -- that hasn't been confirmed by studies.

Indeed, after endless investigations, including by the United Nations, Manhattan Project veteran Theodore Rockwell summarized the reports to Bethell in 2002, saying, "They have not yet reported any deaths outside of the 30 who died in the plant."

Even the thyroid cancers in people who lived near the reactor were attributed to low iodine in the Russian diet -- and consequently had no effect on the cancer rate.

Meanwhile, the animals around the Chernobyl reactor, who were not evacuated, are "thriving," according to scientists quoted in the April 28, 2002 Sunday Times (UK) (This part I DID know - they ARE thriving, some species even showing a comeback compared to other areas where they're still stressed. Granted, all of this may be because there are no PEOPLE there anymore, but still - makes you wonder-lwg)

Dr. Dade W. Moeller, a radiation expert and professor emeritus at Harvard, told the Times that it's been hard to find excess cancers even from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, particularly because one-third of the population will get cancer anyway. There were about 90,000 survivors of the atomic bombs in 1945 and, more than 50 years later, half of them were still alive. (Other scientists say there were 700 excess cancer deaths among the 90,000.)

Although it is hardly a settled scientific fact that excess radiation is a health benefit, there's certainly evidence that it decreases the risk of some cancers -- and there are plenty of scientists willing to say so. But Jenny McCarthy's vaccine theories get more press than Harvard physics professors' studies on the potential benefits of radiation. (And they say conservatives are anti-science!)

I guess good radiation stories are not as exciting as news anchors warning of mutant humans and scary nuclear power plants -- news anchors who, by the way, have injected small amounts of poison into their foreheads to stave off wrinkles. Which is to say: The general theory that small amounts of toxins can be healthy is widely accepted --except in the case of radiation.

Every day Americans pop multivitamins containing trace amount of zinc, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, boron -- all poisons.

They get flu shots. They'll drink copious amounts of coffee to ingest a poison: caffeine. (Back in the '70s, Professor Cohen offered to eat as much plutonium as Ralph Nader would eat caffeine -- an offer Nader never accepted.)

But in the case of radiation, the media have Americans convinced that the minutest amount is always deadly.

Although reporters love to issue sensationalized reports about the danger from Japan's nuclear reactors, remember that, so far, thousands have died only because of Mother Nature. And the survivors may outlive all of us over here in hermetically sealed, radiation-free America.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:32 PM
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Fear mongering keeps people on their toes.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by FreeSpeaker
 


linear extrapolation has its uses within the same order of magnitude, not so much when comparing no less than nearly a million fold difference.

since the cancers in question are caused by bone and thyroid seeking isotopes and have known onset delays, attributing any increase with some confidence should be easy. i know there are people who will tell you Chernobyl killed 'millions of people' when such an increase would have meant a huge spike in the statistics, which you'd have been shown a thousand times since March 11th if only it existed.

PS: OP, pls consider resizing your pictures, as they are, they need scrolling


reply to post by chocise
 



sources please, and remember that irradiation by an external gamma radiation source is different from being contaminated with alpha & beta emitters. Pu is chemically toxic beyond your imagination, so i'd go with caffeine, just saying.

i'll give you one link about the Cobalt 60 irradiation experiment in Taiwan, even though i strongly disagree with clandestine involuntary human experimentation, if you have links corroborating the rest of your stories please post them.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
edit on 2011.3.20 by Long Lance because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by Long Lance
reply to post by chocise
 



sources please, and remember that irradiation by an external gamma radiation source is different from being contaminated with alpha & beta emitters. Pu is chemically toxic beyond your imagination, so i'd go with caffeine, just saying.

i'll give you one link about the Cobalt 60 irradiation experiment in Taiwan, even though i strongly disagree with clandestine involuntary human experimentation, if you have links corroborating the rest of your stories please post them.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
edit on 2011.3.20 by Long Lance because: (no reason given)


Thank you Lance, I don't have the sources as I explained clearly from the outset this was a received email from a colleague. I felt it was relevant to the current discussion and decided to post it in its entirety.

The references you seek are in the text itself: whether quoted directly from The Times [New York or UK] or within the text directly, attributed to individual specialist professors on the subject. I could trace these links, but really, c'mon... I'm not writing a thesis, just carrying the banter along.

EDit. It's an interesting read though, as it dispells the usuall fear mongering rubbish we're all subject to. Cancers are, afteral, treated with radiation... and many ailments are effectively treated by toxins. Incredible results have been made with highly venomous snake toxins.

We know # all.
edit on 20-3-2011 by chocise because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by chocise

Thank you Lance, I don't have the sources as I explained clearly from the outset this was a received email from a colleague. I felt it was relevant to the current discussion and decided to post it in its entirety.

The references you seek are in the text itself: whether quoted directly from The Times [New York or UK] or within the text directly, attributed to individual specialist professors on the subject. I could trace these links, but really, c'mon... I'm not writing a thesis, just carrying the banter along.


yes, i see but links can be mailed, which helps a lot for forum use, since very single step you take will be called into doubt before you're even finished.



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 04:30 PM
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reply to post by chocise
 


Really interesting read! Thanks for passing that along! I'm going to take it with a grain of salt, and assume that the answer lies somewhere between the conservative "best case scenarios" in your email and the "OMG the world is ending!" fearmongerers. I do feel radiation is being way overhyped - just mention the word and people begin scrambling.

Also, Lance I would have loved to resize the first chart for easier viewing, but the text is really small. When I resize it, it becomes almost unreadable. I recommend you save it to your computer and check it out there, or visit the source site underneath the pic. I resized the other biggie though:





posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 04:41 PM
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OMG a thread on radiation that does not include hyperbole. Congrats OP you've raised the level of discourse on the topic quite a bit. This is an example of denying ignorance while many posts and threads on the topic are only "embracing hysteria".



posted on Mar, 20 2011 @ 04:51 PM
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I'm not sure how this is suppose to be calming?


xkcd.com...



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