[ RadSafe ] Radiation testing in California. You need specialized training and more sensitive instruments

parthasarathy k s ksparth at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Sep 28 13:49:51 CDT 2013

Dear Dr Max,

I appreciate your interest in making low level activity measurements.It seems that you have no idea about the type of instruments to be used etc.I get the impression that whatever increase in background etc is unlikely to be because of radiation. Before you enter into this field you need some training in a number of subjects. You may visit the radiological lab of some university to get an idea. Measurement of radioactivity at low levels is a special subject. The type of Geiger counter you used is not sensitive to measure low activity in various matrices

Beat wishes

 From: Max Levin <drmaxlevin at me.com>
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu 
Sent: Friday, 20 September 2013, 4:36
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Radiation testing in California.

   My name is Max. I am a Holistic Chiropractor in L.A. and have a long background in health-science.
I am looking for a little perspective and was hoping that you may have some useful information and experience to share.

As you might expect , I have been following the events beginning with and following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in MArch 2011.   There was very little public information the first 2 years, and anyone who might know a thing or two  was not concerned a bit,  but it left a bad taste in my mouth.   Being a level 7 on the INES  was nothing to ignore.   So,  I began to spend more time looking for information.
the past several months there has been a flood of stories and blogs and eventually the mainstream media began doing some pretty crappy reporting.   It has been an education with a steep learning curve and after sorting the data from the hype , i feel i have good grasp on  what I know and what i still need to learn.  
with few exceptions ( Berk. Dept of Nuclear Engineering) there has been little testing of local soil, dairy, meats, air, water and marine life from the our Pacific west coast.    And what has been done seemed to have ceased over a year ago. 

I decided to do what I could to evaluate the contamination level of my environment.  
I few weeks ago I  purchased  a Mazur PRM-9000. Im sure you are familiar with it (  it is a radiation monitor with a pancake style geiger -mueller tube with a mica window.)   I understand its limitations , but it is a start.  

After learning the parameters of the  of the device and establishing controlled testing protocol, i have tested a couple dozen samples ranging for pacific northwest seafood to local grown  vegetables and even a couple items from across the states.   results varied, but in several test samples  I found reading from 25-50% over background radiation.   and reproduced those results.   So here is my question.

HAs it always been common to find readings like this in foods such as tomatoes, kale and seafood?
What change has there been in the past 2 years in foods, if any?    And  what is common to detect with a geiger counter of this sensitivity?

I am looking for data about radiation contamination in similar foods pre-fukushima and  across the country , but it seems that there is no published data.       To my surprise,  I found contamination in Catfish farmed from North Carolina  and and Tomatoes from fresno and local oxnard Kale, alaskan Cod, washington snapper and hawaiian ahi, but very little  in japanese farmed yellowtail and  brocolli from arizona.   ( all of my samples have been dehydrated for testing and over timed scans against a backround control scan) 

Have these foods always had some level of contamination, or is this a result of recent events?

Having no idea what things have been like in past years and in other regions and not being able to identify any specific radioisotope, nor evaluate the Bq/Kg value has made is challenging to interpret my results.   I am , however a bit concerned with the fact that I am getting any above background readings at all.  

If anyone can offer and help or even direct me to someone who can, i would be greatly appreciated.   Besides citizens in Japan, there doesnt seem to be anyone doing this type of testing locally.

Thank you for your time.

Dr. Max

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