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Would additional radiation from Fukushima really be lethal?

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posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:01 PM
With the Fukushima crisis, people are talking about the additional radiation affecting the Northern Hemisphere and how deadly it could be. Perhaps there might be additional radiation, that would really suck, but is it really as deadly as it's been made out to be on the forum? By no means am I trying to say Fukushima isn't a big deal, but there's been a lot of fear mongering going on and i'm just trying to find out what's really going on.

I found a Cancer website with a handy calculator. Sure, it's for x-rays, but you can put in a custom mSv dose, and the algorithm still works the same. I put in 40 doses of 2mSv and came out with an additional ~1% risk of Cancer. Doesn't really seem like a huge deal, not to sound inconsiderate. With all the fear going around, I would have expected 20-25% additional risk at least. Perhaps I'm just misunderstanding the radiation equations and the situation. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

According to this chart, the lowest yearly dose clearly linked to Cancer is 50mSv, so 2mSv would probably be a marginal difference, much more than we receive on a yearly basis from background sources (around 3.6mSv depending on location), but much less than is clearly linked to Cancer.

If I'm wrong, I'd really appreciate it if someone could give a reasonable estimate of additional Cancer risk of, say 2mSv per year for 40 years.

Here's another handy chart that shows radiation levels and Fukushima.
edit on 19-6-2011 by mossme89 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:25 PM
The dose to cause cancer with radiation is far higher than for radio-particulates. That is a dose of x-rays last several seconds while the dose from inhaling or ingesting a radio-particulate is ongoing for some times years.
In another perspective think of the UV in sunlight. It can have negative effects that go away when you get out of the sun. Now imagine that you somehow inhaled or ate a small high power UV source. You can not get away from it so the damage would be ongoing.
Now with the "radiation" from Fukushima came an undisclosed(more like totally unknown) amount of radioactive gasses and nano-sized particulates containing radio-cesium and strontium as well as an unknown amount of trans-uranic elements like Americium. All of these particulates are radiation sources them selves and some remain radioactive hundred to thousands of yrs while some last only days the thing is the worst are the ones who live a long time or are very "bioavailable" like Cesium which mimics Potassium in the body or Strontium which mimics Calcium. Long lived elements like Americium remain toxic contaminants for thousands of yrs.
So overall ,no, the radiation at present levels ,if accurate are not presently much above background,that said I watched as a reactor blew up it's spent fuel pond into a mushroom cloud. That spent fuel contained all the stuff I mentioned and more.To think that we are not right now virtually swimming in radio-particulates in comparison to back ground is to have ones head deep, the sand. That is the real "problem" not the slight increase in background radiation.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:27 PM
im in florida, so im not worried about it. if i lived within about 400 miles of a meltdown id be worried about being downwind from the place. radiation isnt something to mess with. im getting this urge to buy a geiger counter.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:29 PM
reply to post by stevooo

What about the jet stream? That's sort of what i'm worried about, it blowing "hot" particles across the Northern Hemisphere.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:30 PM
As mustard so astutely pointed out, the danger from external emitters is minimal. The problem is all of the radioactive particles traveling vast distances and then settling on the ground. In then just sits there and waits to be ingested or inhaled, it works its way in to the food chain and there it stays for some time.

The charts you're referring to are handy, but don't take into consideration effects of ingesting alpha or beta particles. While another large release (one of which happened on 6/13) could be catastrophic to the northern hemisphere, the result wouldn't be immediately evident.

edit on 19-6-2011 by Backslider because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:33 PM
One problem I see is that your equation fails to include the exponential factor of radiation based on the levels being elevated to the same degree across wide areas. For example, if over the course of say a year, the United States received a similar amount of increased radiation across wide areas, the milk we drink will have higher levels because the cows are breathing the same air as us and eating plants growing in soil with higher amounts of radiation, the crops we eat will have elevated levels, the water we drink, etc.

I have not attempted to do the math, but it will most certainly increase our overall consumption of radiation in my opinion. Perhaps it won't change your overall theory, but it will change the numbers. Interesting topic.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:36 PM
Just to note .... You can get cancer from sunburn.

If you look at the effects from Chernobyl, there was an initial surge in deaths from radiation poisoning, however, those who survived initially, generally went on to lead "relatively" normal lives. The big cause of concern from Chernobyl is the "knock-on" effect to the next generation. There is a considerable spike in the cancer cases amongst children with leukaemia being a major issue.

I wouldn't pay too much attention to the cancer calculator as it varies with each person.

What is terminally fatal for one man, may only be a "tan" for another.

If you are really concerned, then buy a gieger-muller counter and check everything that you are exposed to.

Personally, I try not to worry about it......Que Sera, Sera

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:38 PM
reply to post by mossme89

There are several things to consider when speaking of radiation.

There is the background radiation as measured by counters, which has a maximum dose of absorption due to exposure time.

There is also particulate radiation, which is the absorption of radioactive particles into the body.

While one may absorb up to the maximum lifetime exposure of field radiation and still live without cancer, i would not recommend having offspring as the chance of mutation will increase with exposure.

If you are unlucky and absorb radioactive particles however, then you will suffer the death of every cell that surrounds said particle until your body can no longer repair itself.

There are also several emitted rays Alpha/Beta/Gamma and X, so it would depend on which ray one was exposed to.

In general any extra radiation would be harmful as it acts in a cumulative fashion, eventually your DNA will be damaged, so yes, additional radiation would be lethal.


posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:44 PM

Originally posted by mossme89
reply to post by stevooo

What about the jet stream? That's sort of what i'm worried about, it blowing "hot" particles across the Northern Hemisphere.

Its not really an issue with Fukushima.

Given the nature of the situation, the Pacific Ocean is going to be the cause for concern. Fish breathing irradiated water will get eaten, thus entering the food chain. Given the distance that some fish (etc..) migrate seasonally, it isn't hard to comprehend seeing table fish in USA showing elevated levels of radiation.

As to the atmosphere, most of the airborne fallout is irradiated steam. This has very little impact on anything but the immediate area around Japan. as it sheds its "heat" quickly.

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 07:50 PM
OP: you don't get it. The deadly nature of Fukushima isn't from the external dose, it's from the internal dose. One particle of plutonium breathed in can kill you due to the massive damage it causes in one little spot in your lung. Or one particle sticking to the wall of your colon from something you eat. It's like a giant game of russian roulette for everyone. How lucky do you feel?

Some babies in the US already weren't very lucky, they're dead because of Fukushima. Their cities got rained on at the wrong time, rain carries the radioactive particles down from the atmosphere. It's already pretty obvious from the death rates, and this is just the beginning. Babies and fetuses grow fast, replace cells fast and use nutrients fast. In their case it may have been an internal dose of radioactive iodine, cesium (body uses it as potassium) or strontium (body uses it as calcium.) Strontium may be the worst of those 3 due to how much our DNA is based on calcium. Will the autopsies be done to try to find these radioactive particles? I seriously doubt it. It all happens silently. Only when you look at the larger statistics can the trend be clearly shown.

Avoid rain. Run a reverse-osmosis filter on water, or drink bottled water (gives the iodine more time to decay at least.) Stop drinking milk. Stop eating pacific ocean food or anything from Japan or Hawaii. Avoid west-coast foods. Wear breathing protection while doing yard work and wash all clothes & shower immediately afterward. Put a HEPA filter in your AC and change it regularly.

If we really wanted to be super-smart, we'd figure out where the contaminants came down specifically, from emission, jet-stream and rainfall data. Then we could avoid food from those locations.
edit on 19-6-2011 by Observer99 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 19 2011 @ 09:18 PM
This may be a good time to mention that humans shouldn't be drinking cow's milk, which is meant for baby cows (and then only for a small amount of time), at all. There is no reason for a human to drink any kind of milk once it's weaned off mother's milk. Now, with radiation entering the milk supply, it may be much easier to just stop drinking the stuff. If you need something on your cereal, soy milk or almond milk is pretty tasty nowadays. And chocolate soy milk still gives that ole chocolate kick!

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