Some of the first radiation level test results have been released by EPA and although the reports show that there is not a large amount of radiation being deposited in the USA from the Japan Nuclear Crisis it is important that we all keep informed.
Any increased radiation can cause immediate health problems and increased radiation that is ingested can be harmful in the long term for both children and adults.
Scientists and doctors will often describe levels of radiation exposure from nuclear power materials such as Uranium, Plutonium, Cesium in a relative examples such as Xrays, CT Scans however it is believed that comparing such different types of exposure is similar to comparing apples and softballs. In other words they may be of the same size, weight and you could certainly eat both items if you tried… the differences in what is actually entering and staying in your body for an extended period of time is drastically different.
Unfortunately most news reports and the professionals releasing this data will not go into the needed detail to explain the differences between radiation sources. This is most likely due to fears of causing panic or just not understanding the differences between one type of radiation and another.
At this point health concerns are limited to Japan but on April 3, 2011 Japan official released a statement that it would be months before the Fukushima nuclear accident would be under control. This means radiation from the plants will continue to follow the jet stream and blow east into US Territories.
What Should You Do?
It is important that you inform yourself about what problems could occur due to this nuclear disaster in Japan.
At this point you should not be alarmed but you should be concerned.
You should also understand that Life will go on.
There have been many nuclear bomb tests in the Pacific and Western areas of the USA since WW2. Although there has been no official releases of information on increased health problems it is fundamentally correct to assume that these tests did cause health problems for many individuals.
In addition there have been sites in the US located where radioactive materials have caused long term exposure to citizens. In a suburb of Philadelphia radioactive sand was used in the construction of homes which caused low level exposure to the occupants for decades. In the 1990’s in another release, radioactive material was found being stored on a playground in the same town.
These problems go unnoticed in our communities. People that live near or down wind of nuclear reactors or uranium mines or other sites of contamination will probably have a higher risk of health problems then people that do not. This is not to say people will die within minutes, hours or months.. but if exposure does happen it may and probably will cause health problems over years.
Unfortunately with all of these conditions there is very little we can do about it.
Radiation can not be washed out of your system or neutralized with a magic pill.
So, the best thing you can do is keep informed and understand how to reduce your exposure.
Here is an excerpt from the EPA
April 05, 2011
Today, EPA released its latest RadNet results, which include the first results for drinking water. Drinking water samples from two locations, Boise, Idaho and Richland, Washington, showed trace amounts of Iodine-131 – about 0.2 picocuries per liter in each case. An infant would have to drink almost 7,000 liters of this water to receive a radiation dose equivalent to a day’s worth of the natural background radiation exposure we experience continuously from natural sources of radioactivity in our environment.
As a result of the incident with the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, several EPA air monitors have detected very low levels of radioactive material in the United States consistent with estimated releases from the damaged nuclear reactors. EPA has stepped up monitoring of precipitation, milk, and drinking water in response to the Fukushima events. The detections in air, precipitation, and milk were expected, and the levels detected have been far below levels of public-health concern.
For the latest air monitoring filter data: http://epa.gov/japan2011/docs/rert/radnet-cart-filter-final.pdf
For the latest milk sampling data: http://epa.gov/japan2011/docs/rert/radnet-milk-final.pdf
For the latest precipitation sampling data: http://epa.gov/japan2011/docs/rert/radnet-precipitation-final.pdf