[ RadSafe ] "Highly toxic" Pu found near Fukushima - what about natural U and Th?

Miller, Mark L mmiller at sandia.gov
Thu Jun 9 09:14:38 CDT 2011

One thing that has always confused me is why Pu (an alpha emitter) can be the "most toxic substance known to man" ...NOT...  while the natural thorium and uranium decay series have several alpha-emitting radionuclides in their decay chains.  Why don't people see these radionuclides as similarly "toxic"?
(not glowing) In the Dark,
Mark Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: SAFarber at optonline.net [mailto:SAFarber at optonline.net] 
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2011 11:56 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu; gfinnigan at aol.com
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] 109 million million atoms of Pu-239 per sq. meter Measured! --was Re: "Highly toxic" Pu found near Fukushima

Hi gfinnigan,

Thanks for pointing out my typo. 88  billion atoms of Pu-239 per square  
meter after 10 half lives is the right number given the current deposition  
of 1 E+14 atoms/m^2 noted. I noticed the error after posting my note, but  
decided not to write a correction to see if anyone was reading my posts!   

The real significance point in the numbers involved is in showing the  
distortion in the endless repeated myth that "a minute speck" of plutonium  
is enough to cause a case of lung cancer. Pu-239 was dispersed by nuclear  
bomb testing throughout the world as a fine dust [a total mass of a bit  
over 6,000 kg of Pu-239] and after leaving the stratosphere was inhaled  
deep into the lungs of everyone on earth. If the claims by various  
anti-nuke activists were true, rather than distortions by factors of a  
hundred million or more, every person on earth would have contracted lung  

S. Farber

On Wed, 08 Jun 2011 23:29:14 -0400, <gfinnigan at aol.com> wrote:

> If 1.1E+14 atoms per sq. meter of Pu-239 is a supposed significant risk
> now, on what basis are 88,000,000,000 atoms [ 88 billion or 8.8E+9 atoms  
> ( How about 8.8E+10 )]
> in 250,000 years not a risk after 10 half lifes of decay?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: RADPROJECT - SAF <radproject at sbcglobal.net>
> To: Jerry Cohen <jjcohen at prodigy.net>; The International Radiation  
> Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>;  
> Edmond Baratta <edmond0033 at comcast.net>
> Sent: Wed, Jun 8, 2011 4:05 pm
> Subject: [ RadSafe ] 109 million million atoms of Pu-239 per sq. meter  
> Measured! --was Re: "Highly toxic" Pu found near Fukushima
> In the mid-1970s the EPA reported that the areal terrestial deposition of
> u-239 essentially everywhere on earth in the Northern Hemisphere from
> rior open air tests of nuclear weapons was:
> 2.65 milli-Curies/km^2 = 9.8E+7 Bq/km^2 = 98 Bq/m^2  [*1]
> Of course we can measure Pu-239 everywhere. What didn't deposit on land,
> nded up depositing or flowing into the oceans and ended up in sediments,
> tc.
> Of note 98 Bq/m^2 of Pu-239 equals  109,000,000,000,000  [ 1.1 E+14 ]
> toms per square meter.  With proper sampling and ultra low-level counting
> e can presently quantify trivial quantities of Pu-239 [and other
> adionuclides] in soil and sediment  -levels that result in minute doses
> resenting essentially zero theoretical health effects.
> The common nonsensical,and totally false statement about Pu in the
> nvironment by the media and anti-nuke activists for the last 40 years is
> omething like: "Pu is so toxic it will present a serious health risk for
> 50,000 years".  [i.e.: 10 half lives].
> In assessing the risk of radioactivity in the environment, it is not the
> ere presence of measurable radioactivity in the environment, or a fixed
> umber of half-lives of decay, but can the radioactivity in question
> esult in enough radiation exposure to be a significant risk factor to a
> eal individual or group of people.
> [*1] Source: EPA 520/1-76-010 [May 1976]-"Radiological Quality of the
> nvironment" --Reported deposition of Pu-239 based primarily on extensive
> easurements made by the Health and Safety Lab [HASL] of AEC, and then
> nvironmental Measurements Lab [EML] of the US DOE and other domestic and
> nternational labs.
> tewart Farber, MS Public Health
> arber Medical Solutions, LLC
> ridgeport, CT 06604
> 203-441-8433
> =======================
> n Wed, 08 Jun 2011 17:08:37 -0400, Edmond Baratta
> edmond0033 at comcast.net> wrote:
>> Since when is Plutonium not toxic.  You are correct it is the
>  environment from the nuclear weapons test.  Years back the Health and
>  Safety Laboratory (DOE, NY City) did a study of it in the environment
>  and found it almost everywhere.
>  Ed Baratta
>  edmond0033 at comcast.net
>  -----Original Message----- From: Jerry Cohen
>  Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 8:33 PM
>  To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
>  Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] "Highly toxic" Pu found near Fukushima
>  As a consequence of atmospheric nuclear explosives testing, I believe
>  that if
>  you try hard enough,
>  Pu can be detected just about anywhere. The problem with anything
>  radioactive,
>  is that it can be detected even in miniscule quantities.
>  ________________________________
>  From: Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com>
>  To: radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu
>  Sent: Mon, June 6, 2011 5:53:32 PM
>  Subject: [ RadSafe ] "Highly toxic" Pu found near Fukushima
>  June 6
>      Dumb and dumber.  It never ends, does it?
>  http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theenvoy/20110606/ts_yblog_theenvoy/plutonium-found-near-fukushima-shows-nuclear-crisis-is-far-from-over
>  Steven Dapra

Stewart Farber, MS Public Health
Farber Medical Solutions, LLC
Bridgeport, CT 06604


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