Monday, March 28, 2011

Radiation found in Massachusetts rainwater

Trace amounts of radioactive iodine linked to Japan's nuclear meltdown have been found in Massachusetts rainwater.  If radioactive iodine has reached Massachusetts, one has to wonder how serious the levels are on the West Coast.  For now, officials are telling us that there are no health risks.  Why do I not believe this? 

Radioactive iodine can cause thyroid problems, and help diagnose and treat thyroid problems. Long-term (chronic) exposure to radioactive iodine can cause nodules, or cancer of the thyroid. However, once thyroid cancer occurs, treatment with high doses of I-131 may be used to treat it. Doctors also use lower doses of I-131 to treat overactive thyroids.

Low doses can reduce activity of the thyroid gland, lowering hormone production in the gland. Doctors must maintain the fine balance between the risks and benefits of using radioactive iodine. On one hand, this small, additional exposure may tip the balance in favor of cancer formation. On the other, this small additional exposure can restore health by slowing an overactive thyroid and improve health conditions.

I'm naturally suspicious of government.  For weeks the Japanese government tried to minimize the seriousness of what was going on.  Now our officials are assuring us that there is nothing to worry about.  But, as one website explains, there is plenty to worry about.  We are told that, "Usually you can walk away from radioactive substances, lowering your risk. But if you ingest radioactive elements, they stay with you. Particularly nasty radioactive elements include radon and radioactive iodine. Radon is a chemically inert gas with a short half-life (and therefore decays rapidly, emitting radiation faster than other elements). It is produced naturally as a decay product of longer-lived radioactive elements in rock and soil. It may diffuse through basement walls and into people's homes. It increases the rate of lung cancer when people breathe it in. It is a good idea to ventilate basements and have them checked, particularly in areas of the country where radon is common.

Radioactive iodine is also readily absorbed by the body and becomes incorporated in bones, and is therefore difficult to eliminate from the body. The radiation it emits can cause bone cancer over long periods of time."  See here.


Jonathan said...

I'll bet that we are not being told everything. The meltdown in Japan is a huge disaster and it's getting worse. This is serious.

Rhonda Cherben said...

I think our governments ARE lying to us about the exact scope of this problem.

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