With the radiation leakage from the tragic events in Japan, I’ve been asked if there are anything to worry about. While I believe that 40-50% of my patients could benefit from iodine. I don’t believe that there will be any radiation exposure to us to worry about.%20Iran%20or%20North%20Korea%21%29″ target=”_blank”> Here is a great article that talks about the threat of radiation fallout. Here is a quote used in the article that I thought was useful:
“The public’s exaggerated fears of extremely small amounts of radiation also are worsened by the media’s use without explanations of very small units of radiation measurement, including the picocurie. (The picocurie is used to express the radioactive contamination of milk, water, etc., and is only one millionth of a millionth [1/1,000,000,000,000] of a curie.) One episode in which fears of radiation were thus worsened occurred shortly after the invisible fallout cloud from the Chernobyl disaster first reached the United States. Some listeners were frightened when a radio announcer merely stated that milk samples in northwest Oregon showed 118 picocuries per liter of radioactive iodine. Few Americans know that they will not be advised to stop using fresh milk unless its contamination is 15,000 picocuries or more per liter – as specified in the Food and Drug Administration’s official, very cautious “Protective Action Guidance”, published in the Federal Register of October 22, 1982.”
The redundancies of the Japanese nuclear power operations are significantly better than what they had at Chernobyl, and the crisis in Japan hasn’t reached a Chernobyl type situation. Now, if you are having low thyroid symptoms (like cold hands and feet, hair loss, low body temperature, difficult losing weight, and crying easily) let me know next visit.
Also, check out:
Update #1: (Saturday 3-12-11 4:56pm) I just read Dr. Brownstein’s blog and where he is more alarmist than I am, he states that the earliest that any radiation would hit the western U.S. is 6-10 days from now. He is also not recommending people start to take additional iodine at this time.
We’ll have a clearer picture as the next couple of days progress.
Update #2: (Saturday 3-12-11). It seems that there has been one meltdown at one of the reactors. My understanding is that there is significantly less radiation released than at Chernobyl (and a magnitude less than an atomic bomb). Remember we have 6-10 days before any radiation gets to the West Coast and according to this article, radioactive iodine has a half life of 8 days. To understand how the reactors work check out Nuclear energy 101: Inside the “black box” of power plants at Boing Boing. Also check out Nuclear Experts Explain Worst-Case Scenario at Fukushima Power Plant at Scientific American.
Update #3: (Sunday 3-13-11) 3:25pm. They are rating the one plant as a number 4 crisis and the new Onagowa emergency as a number 1 crisis. (Chernobyl was a number 7). They are flooding the reactors with sea water which will cool them, but destroy the plants.
Iodine and Radiation