The Japanese government has reluctantly released some more information on their handling of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The AFP/Phsyorg article “Japan says plant clean-up will take decades” of July 12, 2011 reports that cold shut-down will not be achieved until January of 2012. This means that radioactive steam will continue contaminating the environment until then. Keep in mind that the Japanese government and inept TEPCO officials have shown imbecilic incompetence until now so the accuracy of this forecast is questionable at best.
During a meeting of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, Naoto Kan said, “It is expected to take three, five, or 10 years for controlling it, and even several decades until the accident settles finally.” TEPCO announced a provisional goal of starting the removal of melted nuclear fuel in 2021 – that’s ten years from now. In other words, it will take decades to clean up before they can begin the job of dismantling and disposal.
And, don’t forget that the surface area around Fukushima is contaminated with nuclear fuel when No. 4 fuel pool drained, caught fire and exploded. If nuclear fuel is not immersed in water it continues heating, burning and turning to dust to blow in the wind. We have not yet developed the technology to clean this up. Until we do, hot radioactive particles will continue blowing in the wind.
In the meantime, governments and the media continue to downplay the radiation risk so, as always, you have to look out for yourself and your loved ones. Do you think it’s coincidence the U.S. EPA times its data releases for late Fridays to avoid media attention? And really, how much can you trust the lame stream media anyway?
It’s also interesting to note the differences in allowable risk and exposure endurance between the U.S. FDA and the EPA. Jeff McMahon in his article “Harm from Fukushima Radiation: A Matter Of Perspective” July 9, 2011 says, “the EPA’s standard for radionuclides in drinking water is so much more conservative than the FDA’s standard for radionuclides in food.” As well, the FDA anticipates shorter exposure and thus the FDA is willing to accept a higher death rate. Comforting, that is NOT.
It’s not just governments that are playing games and risking your health. Below, from the same article is a photo of a New York sushi chef using a hand-held Geiger counter to test fish for radiation. The trouble is that that type of Geiger counter detects only gamma radiation. It would not detect radioactive iodine, Cesium-137 beta radiation, hot alpha particles and other types of radiation but it’s a great way to trick people into feeling safe.
There is an interesting video on YouTube. Although it’s lengthy, amateurish and has some weird music at the end, it demonstrates how much of our food is radioactively contaminated. It proposes using Zeolite to reduce (not eliminate) some of the radioactivity of food. I have not tried it yet and I’ve only begun to research Zeolite. I cannot yet recommend it but I doubt there’s any harm in trying it to reduce radiation by placing it in an open container beside food. I do know that it is used by the nuclear industry to clean up contamination . The video also mentions RD Fresh which is a dehumidifier so it may extend Zeolite which tends to attract moisture.
Also, be aware that Zeolite is also available for ingestion but be careful using it for anything other than decontaminating food. There are many claims, mostly false for the various ills it supposedly cures. What it can do is reduce a body’s heavy metal contamination if it’s used properly but you must ensure it has been properly cleaned before you buy it. It is contaminated when it is mined and needs to be properly cleaned otherwise it may do more harm than good if you eat or drink it so I cannot recommend ingesting it.
Here is the YouTube video on food contamination. If you can’t see it, try cutting and pasting this to your browser
As important as our food is, far more important is the air we breathe. See some of the other articles in this category. Commenting on Jeff McMahon’s article, reader David Delosangeles says that we inhale about 10,000 liters (quarts) of air daily. That’s about 100 KG (220 lb) of air a day. We only eat and drink a couple of liters of food and water. Also, the interior surface area of our lungs is much larger than our intestines so our lungs can absorb a larger amount of hot particles. He says, “This means that on a per unit mass basis, there is much greater risk from airborne exposures than through consuming water or food, all other things being equal.”
Below I will copy the recommendations from my previous commentary.
If any readers of this blog have more information on Zeolite, please share it by leaving a comment. If it’s a long comment, it might time-out so do it on a word doc first then cut & past it into the comment.
If I come across more information, I’ll post it here.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
There are many things you can do to protect yourself. The key to avoiding Hot Particle contamination is to NOT TO GET IT IN YOUR BODY.
Here are some recommendations. Some of these were listed in the April 17 article “Japan Nuclear Disaster and What You Can Do to Protect Yourself”.
RECOMMENDATIONS – in alphabetical order
Air filters – on air conditioners, car engines and passenger compartments, the filters should be changed or cleaned now because they’ve accumulated Hot Particles for the last three months. Wear a face mask when handling them, dispose the filter promptly and wash your hands afterwards.
Air purifiers – buy HEPA air filters for your furnace and run the blower continuously to turn your furnace into a giant air purifier. If you don’t have a furnace, buy a HEPA air purifier for each major room. Wear a face mask when cleaning or changing filters. Avoid candles and incense as they rapidly clog filters.
Apartment doors – if you live in an apartment – apartment doors are very leaky. Seal the area where the door contacts the frame with foam tape. This may be difficult to find in southern areas but in northern areas it’s used for cold weather insulation, also called weather stripping.
Canned fish – I’ve seen tuna with Best Before dates of 2014, herring at 2015 and salmon at 2016. If you like fish and they should be included in a healthy diet, start buying them now, stockpile them and rotate them (use the oldest first). It may be the last canned fish you can safely eat. Fish from the Pacific close to Japan are already radioactive. Ocean currents spread the contamination. Gundersen thinks our Pacific fisheries will be contaminated by 2013. Start stockpiling now until the end of 2012.
Duct tape – hey men, is it possible to have too much duct tape? Ask Red Green :) You’ll need tape to seal windows in the event one of the Fukushima buildings collapses, loses cooling water and explodes, or if we have a nuclear disaster closer to home. When you need tape, the stores will be sold out.
Exercise – the heavier you breathe outdoors, the greater the likelihood of inhaling Hot Particles so limit heavy outdoor work and outdoor exercise. Consider exercising indoors but make sure you vacuum and wet dust regularly.
Face masks – unfortunately they are hot and uncomfortable. However, it’s the best protection you have to minimize inhaling Hot Particles. Fukushima is still emitting Hot Particles as well as radioactive air and water. Fukushima’s Hot Particles have already circled the globe for three months now. They are in the air, on the ground and in the water. Until rain washes them away, they pose a danger when inhaled. If you don’t have face masks yet, what are you waiting for? When you really need them the stores will be sold out.
Food stockpile – have several weeks of food stored for emergencies. This is a MUST HAVE for any disaster whether it’s an epidemic, ice storm, power outage, earthquake, terrorist attack, etc. For more detailed information, see the article “Stockpiling” in Category “Survival & Emergency Preparedness” on this blog or cut and past the address below
Fruit & vegetables – if you aren’t already washing fruits and vegetables, why not? You cannot rely on food producers to wash all the dirt, chemicals, pesticides and bacteria off fruit and vegetables. That includes Hot Particles. Don’t use dish soap as the residue is not healthy. Most health food stores carry liquid soap for fruits and vegetables. Wash them in lukewarm water and double rinse in cold water. Even wash the outside of fruits and vegetables that you are going to peal. If the outer skin is contaminated, the knife becomes contaminated when it slices through the skin and then the knife contaminates the inside.
Gardening – wear a face mask if you’re working with dry soil. Essentially, Hot Particles are dust. Always wear a face mask with any activity where you stir up dust. If you use gardening knee pads, avoid bringing dirty knee pads inside.
Handbags, grocery bags, other containers – it’s common knowledge that the bottom of handbags are filthy from resting on floors. The same applies to other containers. Be careful in handling them so they don’t pick up dirt that might contain Hot Particles and damp-wipe the bottoms before setting them on tables or counters.
Hawaii – do you remember hearing about those radioactive plumes safely “blowing out to sea” from Fukushima? First stop: Hawaii. Do you really want to vacation there?
Japanese products – You can probably trust large manufacturers to ensure their products and containers are not contaminated but without some government monitoring programs you should be concerned about small manufacturers like pottery and china that’s made of clay or wood. On second thought, given government’s propensity for cover-up, even a monitoring program isn’t to be trusted. Avoid small manufactures’ articles made from clay or wood that might contain Hot Particles.
Lawn care – raking or cutting the lawn on a dry day stirs up dust. You guessed it: wear a face mask. Neighbors wondering about the face mask? Tell ‘em you got allergies.
Milk – reduce or better yet avoid milk and milk products. Their radioactive iodine levels aren’t coming down yet.
Pets? – you know Fido is filthier than you care to admit. Wash your best friend more often.
Pineapple – if it’s from Hawaii, do you want to risk it?
Potassium Iodine – buy Potassium Iodine pills when they’re available at health food stores. They’ll protect your thyroid from cancer when another nuclear disaster strikes close to home. Again, buy them NOW. When the stores are sold out, it’s too late! However, they’ll protect ONLY your thyroid from Iodine-131; they won’t protect your other organs or from other forms of radiation.
Renovations – renovations raise dust. Outside renovations may stir up more Hot Particles than inside renovations so avoid outside renovations. And, inside? Wear a face mask as a precaution.
Seaweed – although it’s healthy, find out where it came from. Seaweed absorbs radioactive Cesium. If it’s from Japan, forget it. If it’s from our Pacific coast, you’ve got about a year before it’s contaminated.
Shoes – it’s not just the soles that pick up Hot Particles. Shoes are an article of clothing closest to the ground and they get dusty. Take them off and don’t wear them in your home. If you have a mud-room or an entrance area for footwear, when’s the last time it was thoroughly cleaned?
Spring clean your car – your car interior has had three months to collect Hot Particles. Now is the time to vacuum the carpets and upholstery.
Supplements – check the ingredients of supplements such as calcium, glucosamine, etc. If they are made of shellfish, they are ok for now but in future all seafood including shellfish will be radioactive. Many of these supplements can be made from other ingredients. Also, look at other supplements you regularly use to determine if they are seafood-based such as Salmon oil and begin a stockpile program.
Vacuum often – but wear a face mask when doing so because vacuuming also stirs up dust. In Tokyo they are finding more Hot Particles indoors than outdoors because it has been tracked inside for the past three months. Also, keep you mask on when changing vacuum filters and wash your hands afterwards.
Water – Buy water containers such as 25 litre (5 gal U.S.) used for camping. Rinse them before you use them. Calculate a bare minimum of 1 litre (quart) per person per day just for drinking then double that for cooking. Remember this is still a bare minimum and doesn’t include water for washing. Fill them, store them, drain them after 6 months and re-fill. Again, this is a MUST HAVE for any disaster.
Water Filter – consider buying a good quality portable water filter. You want it portable in case the electricity goes out and you need to operate it manually. Once the Hot Particles are “washed away” by the rain, where do they go? If they end up in the municipal water supply, do you want to trust your life to municipal filters? Katadyn make one of the best but they are expensive. On the other hand, the filter is permanent (porous ceramic, back-flow washable) so you don’t need to buy replacement filters.
Wet dust – do not dry dust (home, car, boat, RV, etc.) as that stirs up dust. Wet dust instead.
Wind – also stirs up dust especially during dry conditions. Avoid the outdoors on dry windy days. Yeah, I know, it’s summer and you want to get out. But, you want to stay alive don’t you?
Windows – many of us were raised to believe sleeping with a window cracked open a little for fresh air was healthy. Not anymore. Also, keep vehicle windows rolled up when driving. If it’s hot, use the air conditioner.
Remember, be careful out there. The life you save may be your own or a loved one’s.
July 16, 2001
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