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Author Topic: Japan radioactivity found in UK  (Read 3548 times)

The long Build

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Japan radioactivity found in UK
« on: March 29, 2011, 01:40:37 pm »

Oh Great Stuff..  Because No-one has Died they surmise that the radiation is low.. <*<


"We know what the maximum levels of radiation at "F-ukushima" (Had to separate it as the Checker thought it was a naughtyword.!) are because no-one as yet has died there from radiation sickness. So the levels which could have been detected in Glasgow will be extremely low. The risk to human health at the levels that they are talking about, I think, are basically zero


http://latestnews.virginmedia.com/news/uk/2011/03/29/japan_radioactivity_found_in_uk
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dreadnought72

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 02:07:41 pm »

It needs putting into context, though...

Radiation is easily measured - so there might well be no appreciable, statistical, risk.

The Bhopal disaster (a chemical plant accident) killed 3800 to, perhaps, 11000. Deaths from the Chernobyl disaster (a worse nuclear accident than this Japanese one) are currently 64 (UNSCEAR report, 2011).

Andy, "not having nightmares"
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Enjoying every minute sailing W9465 Mertensia

dodgy geezer

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 02:52:18 pm »

Oh Great Stuff..  Because No-one has Died they surmise that the radiation is low.. <*<


"We know what the maximum levels of radiation at "F-ukushima" (Had to separate it as the Checker thought it was a naughtyword.!) are because no-one as yet has died there from radiation sickness. So the levels which could have been detected in Glasgow will be extremely low. The risk to human health at the levels that they are talking about, I think, are basically zero


http://latestnews.virginmedia.com/news/uk/2011/03/29/japan_radioactivity_found_in_uk


Um... where do they say that they 'know what the maximum levels of radiation are because no one has died..'?  I would be surprised at such a comment - we know what the various levels of radiation are at F U K U S H I M A and other places because we have measured it.

The xkcd chart http://xkcd.com/radiation/ is quite fun - I never appreciated before that eating a banana is about twice as dangerous as sleeping next to someone... but I am pretty sure that the levels detected pose considerably less threat than these two examples of living life on the edge and cheating the Grim Reaper....
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Arrow5

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2011, 04:55:20 pm »

You dont know my wife !   I believe they are still monitoring the sheep in high places in UK, Lake District, Scottish border hills and Perthshire from the Chernobyl disaster. Some may not enter the food chain I`ve heard.  Next time I have an intruder I`m going blast him with a mutton chop or a banana 8) !!!
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..well can you land on this?

dodgy geezer

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 05:26:47 pm »

... Next time I have an intruder I`m going blast him with a mutton chop or a banana 8) !!!

The food-based WMD of choice would probably be the Brazil nut. Bananas will put out about 180 Bq/Kg, but Brazil nuts have been measured in excess of 444 Bq/Kg. None of these are as bad as the biggies, like granite, which is usually considered as not suitable for home use when higher than about 3000Bq/Kg.

So the best course of action seems to be hitting him with a granite club, then feeding him Brazil nuts.... <*< %%
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sunworksco

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 06:07:52 pm »

We have had granite kitchen counter-tops removed from new home because they were way over the limit for radiation.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/garden/24granite.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hligNicCGRc
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Bryan Young

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011, 06:25:36 pm »

I could well be wrong again, but I was under the impression that the detected radiation (Glasgow and Oxford) was Iodine based.
This stuff has such a short half-life that the levels detected are so small and short lived that I'd be more worried if I'd spent all my life in Aberdeen. BY.
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pugwash

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2011, 06:34:40 pm »

Well I'm just going to have to live with my granite worktops in the kitchen - only fitted two years ago and I'm not taking them out.
Compared with background radiation it is minimal and this is one of life's little scares that crops up every few years

Geoff
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regiment

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2011, 07:23:17 pm »

an old cornish person told me today that the cornish have been living with radiation for years  he is nearly 90 and still going strong so i will not panic
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Nordsee

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2011, 08:07:37 pm »

I did hear that in some places on Darmoor the Radiation level ( Naturally occuring) is 3 times the permitted level. Doesn't seem to have affected generations of ponies at all....
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john s 2

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 08:44:36 pm »

To my mind it is very difficult to say how many people will die because of increased radiation. If in say ten
years time a get cancer caused by taking in a particle years earlyer.Will my death be linked to Japan? I think
not. So many people can be killed and the death rate from radioactivity will continue to be claimed to be low
John.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2011, 10:25:08 pm »

To my mind it is very difficult to say how many people will die because of increased radiation. If in say ten
years time a get cancer caused by taking in a particle years earlyer.Will my death be linked to Japan? I think
not. So many people can be killed and the death rate from radioactivity will continue to be claimed to be low
John.

This sort of linkage is achieved by using whole-life statistical studies. At various times people have been exposed to known increased quantities of ionising radiation - perhaps by accident or through living in high-radiation areas. These people are monitored, their illnesses and deaths recorded, and they are statistically compared with similar control groups who have not been exposed to increased levels.

What you find is that there is a 'standard' level of deaths from cancer, and that people who are exposed to increased doses of less than about 100msv do not show ANY increase in this standard rate. Even above this level the increased risk is very small.

Normal background radiation varies considerably, but is often around 3.5msv per year. The Environmental Protection Agency have given nuclear power stations a target safe release level of 1/100th of this figure, and will accept occasional releases up to 1/10th of this figure. The few particles which find their way from Japan to here will not register anything like this. So statistically, you are have no increased risk whatsoever, and would have probably have to increase your dose from Japan by many million times to even get to the stage where we could measure a slight increased risk. If that were to happen, and if an increased number of people were killed, the link would certainly be made through the statistical analyses, no matter how many years later!

As it is, a lot of activists frequently use statistics to claim that many people 'might' die - invariably these estimates are shown to be hopelessly wrong. But only after the event, when everyone has forgotten about it....
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john s 2

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 10:55:03 pm »

Thank you for your reply. I have one more question say again that in later life i contract cancer. How is it
possible to say for definate that it was not triggered by a inhaled particle? Is a postmoretum if carried out
able to be sure what started my cancer?. Also if im being treated and die in hospital then no further action
would follow. Course of death being entered on death certificate. again i feel statistics would not be accurate.
please can i have your advice. Thanks John.
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pugwash

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 11:41:49 pm »

I beleive there are only a few cancers that can be directly atributed to certain sources - one that springs to mind is mesothelioma
caused by particles of asbestos in the lungs - and maybe contact with certain chemicals - some are hereditary - statistics cannot
be that accurate that they can positively I.D. what may have caused cancer.  Unless you have been in contact with  known radio active source
like the men working at the power station or that girl this was given 20 times the correct dose of radio-therapy.
I can assure you that having attended about 200  post Mortems - they can I.D. cancer as a cause of death but not its cause.
That is for a coroner to follow up in cases of industrial  contamination with certain substances  i.e. astbestosis
Geoff
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BarryM

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 09:06:48 am »

Walking down Union Street in Aberdeen - the 'Granite City' - reportedly exposes pedestrians to measurable radiation which does not have any remarkable effects. Mind you, come to think of it, they are a funny lot up there......

Barry M
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pugwash

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 09:22:31 am »

I believe they do suffer from the short arm syndrome (and long pockets) - could be the granite

Geoff
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 10:27:58 am »

Thank you for your reply. I have one more question say again that in later life i contract cancer. How is it
possible to say for definate that it was not triggered by a inhaled particle? Is a postmoretum if carried out
able to be sure what started my cancer?. Also if im being treated and die in hospital then no further action
would follow. Course of death being entered on death certificate. again i feel statistics would not be accurate.
please can i have your advice. Thanks John.

I agree with Pugwash's statement. At the moment nobody knows ALL the details of how ANY cancer develops, and there are only a few cases where we are pretty sure that an external cause is involved. Even then, by no means does everybody exposed to this cause get cancer, so there are obviously other things happening which we are unaware of. It's not at all like taking a lethal dose of cyanide, where we can precisely explain the mechanisms by which you die. Even if a worker from a badly-run uranium mine dies of lung cancer several years later, we can only say that it is likely that he died of an occupational disease - we can't say for sure that the radiation caused it.

Even if we could trace a cause to an individual particle, we will not be able to say for sure where that particle came from. There is a lot of radiation existing in nature, in considerably greater quantities than you may be exposed to from a nuclear accident. F U K U S H I M A seems to be broadly comparable with Three Mile Island at the moment, and there people living within 10 miles got a total dose of 1/50th of their normal background radiation levels. So even if one of them got cancer and it could be traced to a single particle hitting them in that year, there would be a 1 in 50 chance of it coming from TMI, and a 49 in 50 chance of it coming from somewhere else.

You should also be aware that there it is not completely clear that all levels of radiation are dangerous. This is the safety principle we are following at the moment, even though we cannot detect any danger from low levels of radiation - we are just assuming that the danger is too small for us to identify. But the body can certainly repair low levels of radiation damage quite easily, and there is a theory that these low radiation levels are actually beneficial. Google 'radiation hormesis' for more info.

As an aside, cancers seem to be a malfunction of the cells aging process. Google 'telomeres' or 'Hayflick limit'. Once we understand this process and can influence it we will not only be able to cure cancers, we will be able to make our bodies immortal...

So, to answer your questions:

1 - we cannot currently define the precise cause of any cancer. We can only say what is statistically likely. Radiation from F U K U S H I M A is very unlikely to cause ANY cancers in the UK.

2 - statistics is a branch of maths which deals in levels of uncertainty. It cannot provide accurate data on any one individual - it identifies trends to varying levels of certainty - 95% or 1 in 20 is the normal level of 'accuracy' which is worked to. This is a level of accuracy most engineers would reject, but within its limits statistics provides a valuable function. Mortality rates are some of the most studied data of all, and if a change were to occur as a result of F U K I S H I M A then I am sure it could be detected. But given that stats are also frequently misused for political ends, I would like to examine the maths and the protocols of such a study very closely. For instance,  google 'Regression Fallacy' ...
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wullie/mk2

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 10:41:41 am »

Well I'm just going to have to live with my granite worktops in the kitchen - only fitted two years ago and I'm not taking them out.
Compared with background radiation it is minimal and this is one of life's little scares that crops up every few years

Geoff
Geoff, like me,I,m sure our ciggies will get us before the rads,from your granite worktops will, {-)
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wullie/mk2

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 10:47:16 am »

I believe they do suffer from the short arm syndrome (and long pockets) - could be the granite

Geoff
Tight fisted Aberdonians are a myth,having worked with them in the oil industry,you,d be amazed how free spending they are....after they,ve had a few beers too many, {-)
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Admhawk

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2011, 03:04:11 pm »

The thing with Radiation is that measuring instruments are so sensitive, that they can detect the smallest traces now. The scale is so large, that it's like comparing a molecule of water to a swimming pool. You can drown in a swimming pool and even a bucket, but you breath in molecules and drops without any chance of drowning. And yes, I realize this is an extremely simplistic analogy, but I'm just trying to put things in perspective. I've worked at a Nuclear Station for over 20 years and have had lot's of Radiation protection training, so I have a fair idea of the risks involved.

Pilots flying across the poles wear dosimeters (personal radiation detectors) due to the cosmic radiation coming through the thinner ozone layer. On a return flight across Canada, I rec'd the same amount of radiation that we are req'd post a sign for at work. In basements, we have radioactive radon gas from the ground and when it rains, it soaks into our clothes and sets off the detectors we pass through at work.

There is radiation everywhere and we are exposed to it all the time. Cells die from it all the time, but actually very few cells turn into cancer causing agents due to it, they normally die and get reabsorbed into the body. So one or two particles of low level iodine in you, has an extremely low statistical probability of causing a deadly cancer. That doesn't mean it can't happen, but it is so unlikely, you're chances of dying from a car accident or heart attack or even the flu are thousands of times greater.

Remember, for those of us who believe in evolution, without radiation, that process wouldn't go very far.

Another thing that is talked about is dilution, normal water has something less than 1 part per million(ppm) of naturally occurring tritium (radioactive hydrogen used for glowing watch lights and nuke bombs). After a few thousand liters of tritiated water were spilled into Lake Ontario, the large mass of water diluted it so much that levels of Tritium never changed. But if you were to drink a glass of the spilled water, you'd get a significant dose. And I'm not saying spills are okay, I'm just explaining how some of these things work. So when iodine from Japan reaches the UK or the West coast of North America (where my parents live), I'm not to concerned about them getting cancer or dying just yet.

The Caribou in Northern Canada still show radioactivity from Chernobyl and hunters who eat the meat (it's safe to eat) set off the monitors into our nuke station about the same as one would after a medical procedure that used Barium.

All that being said, the Japan disaster is horrible and the amounts of radiation being leaked is horrifying. That area will be devastated for many years.

I hope that some of what I've said will help those who are worried understand things a bit better. I don't think the UK is currently at risk at the moment.

Regards,
Darren
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Bryan Young

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2011, 04:15:09 pm »

The lighter side of radiation. In a previous incarnation I was the NBCDO on many RFA ships. Along with all the other gubbins there was always a small lead cylinder (about 12"x6") containing a "source" pellet Gamma, I think. All of my compatriots admitted to opening the thing to have a quick peep!
    Then we had the Tritium scare. All the sound powered telephones contained Tritium and had done since Nelson was a lad. Took a long time for the MoD to wake up to that one.
    Then we had the then new indusrial size micro-wave ovens to check out. I got a "team" dessed in full NBCD kit to take the wand into the galley.....Mayhem? You don't know the meaning of the word!
I had a lot of explaining to do after that one. Cheers. BY.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2011, 11:44:12 pm »

Geoff, like me,I,m sure our ciggies will get us before the rads,from your granite worktops will, {-)

Cigarettes are certainly associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, though nobody has yet shown an unambiguous mechanism for the actual cause.

However, I have also seen data indicating that, if you do not get lung cancer, or if you do and are treated and cured, cigarettes are then associated with an INCREASED life span. The mechanism in this case seems to be that deaths at a greater age are frequently heart-related, and stress is a contributory factor to this. Cigarettes have a calming influence, and it has been suggested that this can ward off heart attacks. But it is not suggested very strongly, because it is politically incorrect... 
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ZZ56

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2011, 06:09:46 pm »

Cigarettes are certainly associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, though nobody has yet shown an unambiguous mechanism for the actual cause.


Cancer is caused by damage to the DNA of cells, causing them to 'malfunction' and reproduce out of control.  The chemicals in cigarettes and the particulate matter they release can cause this damage. 
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2011, 08:45:49 pm »

Cancer is caused by damage to the DNA of cells, causing them to 'malfunction' and reproduce out of control.  The chemicals in cigarettes and the particulate matter they release can cause this damage. 

As far as I know, the only known mechanisms for causing a cancer are viruses, which can directly alter the genome. Birds suffer a lot this way...

Cigarettes, and most other chemicals can be tested on animals, and statistical techniques can be applied to people with known occupations or diets to see if there is a statistical connection between that 'cause' and a tumour developing. If there appears to be a connection that chemical or activity is labeled 'carcinogenic'. But no mechanism is invoked to explain how the cancer is caused, the connection is purely statistical and the whole business of how cancers start and develop is still a matter of research. All you have said above is that cigarettes are associated with various chemicals and those chemicals are associated with cancers - which is true, but does not explain any mechanism. There are now huge lists of statistically-derived carcinogens - it seems that practically everything will render you more liable to a cancer if you take enough of it...

Some time ago there was a theory that the tars in cigarette smoke could act as a glue and help particles to stick to the lung surface. If these particles happened to be radioactive then there would be a spot on the lung epithelium which was continually radiated, and hence liable to mutation. Seemed like a good idea, but unfortunately it has recently been disproven.....
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ZZ56

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Re: Japan radioactivity found in UK
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2011, 11:01:10 pm »

Um, mutagenic agents and ionizing radiation have been observed to cause damage to cellular DNA in the same manner as viruses. 

If you mean that the exact mutation induced by benzene on differing cells or differing DNA isn't know then yes, but it sounds like you're saying that, for example, exposure to benzene and increased occurrence of myeloid leukemia among people with different ethnicities and hereditary risks is purely coincidental. 
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