[ RadSafe ] Fukushima beta radiation burns

Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Fri Mar 25 12:27:50 CDT 2011

Doesn't it take a while for even erythema to appear?
I know that Boric Acid isn't exactly the nastiest chemical out there, but could it have caused skin irritation if it was in the water?
Or perhaps, the media is wrong?  I know, impossible!

Cary Renquist
cary.renquist at ezag.com

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Strickert, Rick
Sent: Thursday, 24 March 2011 13:51
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Fukushima beta radiation burns

Below are a couple of links on reports that three workers at the Fukushima No. 3 reactor got beta-radiation burns on their feet when they were laying electrical cables while standing in radioactively-contaminated water.  One report stated: "TEPCO said radioactive water may have seeped through the workers' radiation protective gear, causing radioactive materials in the water to stick to their skin."  

The workers also received radiation doses of 17 to 18 rem while working from 10 AM to 12:10 PM (suggesting a 1.2 - 1.3 rem/h average dose rate).  It's not clear whether the workers were standing in water the entire 14 hours.

Can one estimate (or WAG) the solution concentrations of beta-emitters (Ci/L) that would have to be in the water for the workers to get radiation burns from the water that seeped through the workers' radiation protective gear (e.g. Tyvex booties over work shoes?)?  


Rick Strickert
Austin, TX
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