[ RadSafe ] Comments on Japan reactor accident and initial injuries

Scott Davidson bsdnuke at gmail.com
Sat Mar 26 02:03:55 CDT 2011


While we sort out the details on the cause of any of the injuries
received in the initial response to the reactor accident, I feel
obligated to remind all of us that when we look at the situation we
may not be appreciating the many irritants and toxic chemicals that
may be present from the fires and explosions that have occurred and
the chemicals that are added to reduce reactivity (boric acid, for

In hazardous waste operations response, unknown conditions are usually
responded in a level of protection that may be too burdensome
considering the radiation fields (SCBA and total encapsulation), meant
to protect skin and respiratory system exposure to irritants and toxic

I would suggest that some of the injuries are such responses.  We
should keep in mind that when emergency responders went into the ruins
at the World Trade Center, many discarded the respiratory protection
which rapidly became unusable and.  Similarly, turnout gear which
bogged them down and caused other injuries like heat stress.

I am sure similar threads are being written on message boards from the
allied disciplines that concentrate on safety, industrial hygiene,
toxicology, etc. and are looking through their experience windows and
making like assumptions about the hazardous constituents present and
speculating on the levels experienced.

We probably should ask members from those forums to put in their 2
cents and resist speculation and silly threads like banana dose
equivalents and focus on how we in the community of professionals
dedicated to worker protection can offer our collective experience to
address the current and imminent issues.


B. Scott Davidson, CHP, CSP

More information about the RadSafe mailing list