by Marco Torres
March 15, 2011
is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate
for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public
Health and Environmental Science and is a professional
speaker on topics such as disease prevention,
environmental toxins and health policy.
There is a very distinct difference
between radiation and radioactivity, yet many media sources
reporting on Japan's nuclear disaster are using the terms
A better understanding of the terminology also
allows us explore when and how to maximize protection through
Radiation is a process in which energy particles or waves travel
through a medium, space or object. It does not deposit itself in
plants or the organs or tissues of animals or humans. It is
typically measured in
mrems, rads and sieverts.
Radioactivity is the release of energy by emitting ionizing
radiation). The emission is spontaneous, and it is
released into the environment, biosphere, plants, animals and human
There are more than 400 radioactive isotopes that are released in a
nuclear accident such as those
now admitted in Japan. Out of those
isotopes, there are many that are too short lived to be dangerous to
However, approximately 50 of these
isotopes are indeed very dangerous to humans including,
...since they can be absorbed by the
Of the radioactive elements released in a nuclear plant leak,
radioactive iodine has a relatively short "half-life" of eight days,
which means that it essentially disappears within about 80 days.
In comparison, cesium-137, has a half-life of about 30 years,
meaning it poses a much greater risk because it gets into the food
Excess cases of leukemia begin to show up within two years of
exposure and peak within five to 10 years; other cancers do not
start to appear in excess for at least a decade, and their risk can
remain elevated for decades.
Studies have also found adverse psychological effects from nuclear
accidents, such as the Chernobyl fire and the 1979 Three Mile Island
meltdown in Pennsylvania. For example, there was an increase in
suicides in Estonia and among cleanup workers after Chernobyl.
Radiation from nuclear power plants
poses a host of health risks,
ranging from severe toxic effects in workers exposed to high doses
to long-term increased rates of many cancers.
Acute radiation syndrome is a serious illness that occurs when the
entire body (or most of it) receives a high dose of radiation,
usually over a short period of time and when the personís entire
body, or most of it, received the dose.
Chronic effects are caused by the radioactive isotopes which are far
more debilitating to long-term health, including somatic and genetic
effects which can permanently affect chromosomes and offspring.
What many people do not realize is that any release of radioactive
isotopes could affect the entire planet's water supply which will
inevitably affect all plants and subsequently animals and humans.
There has been some irresponsible treatment protocols in the
alternative media promoting iodine as the all-cure element to combat
According to Naturopathic Doctor,
Eldon Dahl, encouraging iodine supplementation for radiation
poisoning can lead to devastating consequences.
"When I seen them handing out iodine
for radiation poisoning it is like putting a Band-Aid onto a
ruptured carotid artery... it is short term thinking with
Many factors come into play regarding
treatment, the level of exposure and the accumulated levels from
exposure over a long period of time... this nuclear meltdown
will have disastrous results globally," stated Dr. Dahl.
Based on Dr. Dahl's own experience and
life-choice.net, he recommends,
He encourages individuals to seek
professional guidance before commiting to any supplement at a health
There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet regarding
the application of iodine. An
overdose of iodine can cause the
thyroid to shut down completely. However, a small amount of iodine
does help conditions such as
Problems occur in those who take
potassium iodide supplements, and those who take internal iodine
drops. However, there is little evidence of this in no evidence in
those who apply iodine transdermally. Remember that the
application allows the body to regulate the absorption at its own
Following a radiological or nuclear event, radioactive iodine may be
released into the air and then be breathed into the lungs.
"The average citizen can not order
gas masks that filter out chemical warfare, or radiation,"
stated Dr. Dahl. "I would recommend that people stock up on bulk
charcoal and keep enough that you could make your own masks
using a cotton cloth filled with charcoal."
No amount of supplementation or therapy
will protect any population from high levels of radioactive
Depending on the nuclear meltdown status
of each reactor, levels of radiation being released could fall in
the range between 100,000mrem and 1,000,000mrem which would be
disastrous to the long-term health of the planet.
To try to assess the extent of the exposures, workers at evacuation
centers - wearing white masks and protective clothing - used
handheld scanners to check everyone for radiation exposure as an
estimated 170,000 people fled a evacuation zone that had been
doubled to a 12-mile radius around the plant.
The number of people possibly exposed to
radiation could reach 160, the Japanese nuclear safety agency said.
"Anything having to do with health
effects has to do with the amount of exposure the population
receives, and that's just an unknown," said John Boice Jr.,
scientific director of the International Epidemiology Institute
"That's determined by many factors, including
which way the wind is blowing."