More Fukushima Exaggeration from the Unqualified

“Panic and alarmism both obfuscate the issue and make rational discussion much more difficult.” – Larry Benjamin

“There is defintely enough to be very alarmed about in reality. Unfortunately what often happens is one group of people downplays the real issues and another plays up fake issues and the general public says ‘WTF? I give up…I don’t care anymore.'” – Abel Ashes

Fukushima radiation hits San Francisco By DNA | December 26, 2013

…but upon closer examination:

Jeff Schmidt wrote: This “research” leaves a LOT of unanswered questions:

A) What was the natural background radiation reading at that beach (or at least, at california beaches, average) *before* Fukushima? What has it been in the intervening time since Fukushima?

Is ocean water naturally more radioactive than sandy soil, and would that account for his observations? (I believe it is, because ocean water has a lot of naturally occuring radioactive isotopes dissolved in it? See:

Get some water and sand samples, and send them to a lab for analysis. Tell us what is causing the radioactivity – is it man-made isotopes which mainly would have been created in a nuclear reactor (e.g. Cesium-137), or is it from naturally occuring radioactive isotopes like Potassium, Radon, Uranium and Thorium?

C) Are the levels actually high enough to present a health hazard to anyone or any creatures? From what I understand, there are places with pretty high background radiation (like Colorado, as one example), and no statistical studies have ever shown an increased rate of cancers in places with higher background radiation (until you reach some point, presumably, where it’s high enough to actually make a difference – but is this measurement at this beach showing a level that is outside of the normal range of background, or is it just higher than this particular beach’s previous background, but still within the ‘safe’ range?)

In summary, can we leave analysis of whether Fukushima radiation is washing up, and if the levels are dangerous, to people who have studies all the subtleties and complexities of this issue and have Ph.D. or M.D. behind their names? I’m not impressed by some random guy walking around reading a geiger counter. It tells me nothing useful. It’s data without explanation, facts without context.

I find it telling that none of these alarming reports about Fukushima are actually authored by professionals.

Natural Radioactivity

Chairmann Meow · Follow · Top Commenter · Works at National ROFL Association wrote:
“I’m sick of these Fukushima alarmist websites. Notice how none of them are ever written by actual radiological scientists or published by reputable non-governmental organizations, and none of them even bother to add any meaningful scientific context to their “findings”. Let’s take this guy’s measurements, which he says average 150CPM and which peaks out at 156CPM at one point in the video. If you take the highest measurement of 156CPM and divided it by the specified 3500CPM/mR/h sensitivity level of his model Geiger meter, you get a measurement of 0.04458 mR/h (milliroentgens per hour). Multiply this value by 8766 hours per year to get 391 mR per year, then multiply that by 0.96 to convert to the roentgen equivalent in man (rem) value of 375 mrem–this is the level of radiation deposited in soft biological tissue. According to MIT, the average natural background radiation at sea level is 300 mrem. This increases at higher elevation where Denver has an average 400 mrem. Federal safety standards for fetuses and minors in workplace environment label 500 mrem, or 5000 mrem for adults, as the upper limit of safe. To give further context, acute radiation poisoning is defined as over 1 sievert or 100 rem (100,000 mrem) in a short time period, which at the rate of peak measurement level would take over 25 years to accumulate. Another way to look at that is, at 0.0428 rem/h or 0.0007 rem/m, that is over 142,857 times the peak measurement registered on Pacifica State Beach.”

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