[ RadSafe ] Fwd: [New post] Radiation emitters Mixing Apples (External) and Oranges (Internal)

Roger Helbig rwhelbig at gmail.com
Tue Aug 27 01:07:06 CDT 2013

This comes from a skilled wordsmith anti-nuclear zealot in Ukiah,
California and some of you might like to comment upon it directly to
him mulliganbooks at sonic.net - I think he is deliberately trying to
confuse people with his piece.   How much of a threat is Strontium-90
or Cesium?  I suspect that Dave has not been that candid with his
audience and has deliberately avoided anything that disagrees with his
preconceived opinions.

Roger Helbig

Radiation emitters Mixing Apples (External) and Oranges (Internal)

by Christina MacPherson

Fukushima: Think Low Level Radiation Is Harmless? Think Again… UKIAH
BLOG  In Around the web on August 25, 2013Time to combat radiation
threat From WASHINGTON’S BLOG ".....Moreover, radioactive particles
which end up inside of our lungs or gastrointestinal track, as opposed
to radiation which comes to us from outside of our skin are much more
dangerous than general exposures to radiation.

The National Research Council’s Committee to Assess the Scientific
Information for the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program

Radioactivity generates radiation by emitting particles. Radioactive
materials outside the the body are called external emitters, and
radioactive materials located within the body are called internal

Internal emitters are much more dangerous than external emitters.
Specifically, one is only exposed to radiation as long as he or she is
near the external emitter.

For example, when you get an x-ray, an external emitter is turned on
for an instant, and then switched back off.

But internal emitters steadily and continuously emit radiation for as
long as the particle remains radioactive, or until the person dies –
whichever occurs first. As such, they are much more dangerous.

As the head of a Tokyo-area medical clinic – Dr. Junro Fuse, Internist
and head of Kosugi Medical Clinic – said:

Risk from internal exposure is 200-600 times greater than risk from
external exposure.

See this, this, this and this.

By way of analogy, external emitters are like dodgeballs being thrown
at you. If you get hit, it might hurt. But it’s unlikely you’ll get
hit again in the same spot.

Internal emitters – on the other hand – are like a black belt martial
artist moving in really close and hammering you again and again and
again in the exact same spot. That can do realdamage.


There are few natural high-dose internal emitters. Bananas, brazil
nuts and some other foods contain radioactive potassium-40, but in
extremely low doses. And – as explained above – our bodies have
adapted to handle this type of radiation.

True, some parts of the country are at higher risk of exposure to
naturally-occurring radium than others.

But the cesium which was scattered all over the place by above-ground
nuclear tests and the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents has a much
longer half life, and can easily contaminate food and water supplies.
As the New York Times notes:

Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137,
which has a half-life of 30 years.

At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s
Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it
to 1 percent of its former level.”

It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine
around the Chernobyl reactor.


Cesium-137 mixes easily with water and is chemically similar to
potassium. It thus mimics how potassium gets metabolized in the body
and can enter through many foods, including milk.

As the EPA notes in a discussion entitled ” What can I do to protect
myself and my family from cesium-137?”:

Cesium-137 that is dispersed in the environment, like that from
atmospheric testing, is impossible to avoid.

Radioactive iodine can also become a potent internal emitter. As the
Times notes:

Iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days and is quite dangerous to
human health. If absorbed through contaminated food, especially milk
and milk products, it will accumulate in the thyroid and cause cancer.

(In addition to spewing massive amounts of radioactive iodine 131,
Fukushima also pumped out huge amounts of radioactive iodine 129 –
which has a half-life of 15.7 million years. Fukushima has also dumped
up to 900 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium-90 – which is a
powerful internal emitter which mimics calcium and collects in our
bones – into the ocean.).

The bottom line is that there is some naturally-occurring background
radiation, which can – at times – pose a health hazard (especially in
parts of the country with high levels of radioactive radon or radium).

But cesium-137 and radioactive iodine – the two main radioactive
substances being spewed by the leaking Japanese nuclear plants – are
not naturally-occurring substances, and can become powerful internal
emitters which can cause tremendous damage to the health of people who
are unfortunate enough to breathe in even a particle of the
substances, or ingest them in food or water.

Unlike low-levels of radioactive potassium found in bananas – which
our bodies have adapted to over many years – cesium-137 and iodine 131
are brand new, extremely dangerous substances.

And unlike naturally-occurring internal emitters like radon and radium
– whose distribution is largely concentrated in certain areas of the
country – radioactive cesium and iodine, as well as strontium and
other dangerous radionuclides, are being distributed globally through
weapons testing and nuclear accidents.


Christina MacPherson | August 27, 2013 at 5:23 am | Categories:
radiation, Reference | URL: http://wp.me/phgse-eGP

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