[ RadSafe ] [EXTERNAL] Bq/kg soil

John R Johnson idias at interchange.ubc.ca
Tue Dec 6 13:04:03 CST 2011


I usually add that K-40 is a naturally occurring isotope, and we need 
potassium to live.


-----Original Message----- 
From: Brennan, Mike (DOH)
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 9:34 AM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) MailingList
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] [EXTERNAL] Bq/kg soil

Hi, Karen.

When I am explaining rad issues to members of the public, I usually
explain some of the basic principles, such as decay and energy and
specific activity/ half life, and then address the specific topic
(radon, fallout, depleted uranium, whatever) in broad, qualitative
terms.  At that point I pause and say, "Now, from here on out, it gets
complicated."  That usually gets a laugh.

That isn't, however, a cop-out.  A question like, "How does risk
increase with increased contamination on farm land?" has probably 100
assumptions that need to be made or clarifying questions that need to be
asked before a meaningful answer can be given (and if we parsed it out
and found it was closer to 200, I wouldn't be surprised).  Some of the
assumptions can be fairly straight forward, but some would require
gathering data in order to come up with something useful.

Without for a moment claiming I can hold a candle to Einstein, I like to
think I understand what he meant when he said, "Do not worry about your
difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."
This isn't discouragement; rather it  implies that even when you've
learned a lot about a cool subject (like rad), there is still a lot left
to learn.

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Karen Street
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2011 8:02 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] [EXTERNAL] Bq/kg soil

Jim and others, much thanks for your help! Now to figure out what I want
to explain to the public.

You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list

Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the 
RadSafe rules. These can be found at: 

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit: 

More information about the RadSafe mailing list