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Old 02-03-2014, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
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[quote=Jesse44;33293823]Also, different isotopes have different half lives (caesium - 30yrs) and affects the body differently. [quote]

Incorrect. All ionizing radiation affects the body the same way; it modifies the chemical structure of DNA chains by random nuclear-scale collisions. The modified DNA either:
1. Remains viable with no negative effects (~89% of the time)
2. Is no longer viable and when that cell divides, it's progeny die out. (~10%) of the time.
3. Is viable, but is modified in such a way that the cellular division is no longer regulated and results in a cancerous next generation. (~1%) of the time.

Of these, only #3 is problematic. Of these cancerous cells, ~99% are eradicated by your body's immune system. ~1% can survive your natural defenses, and can result in a premature death from the macroscopic condition we call "cancer".

Quote:
It's not so black and white of an issue. If you consume small amounts they remain in your body irradiating whatever organ constantly.
Correct, however there is no evidence that low or moderate levels of radiation exposure lead to higher cancer rates. This is mainly because we don't have populations to study who were exposed to low levels of radiation. We have soldiers, victims of nuclear accidents (workers in weapons factories, labs, and power plants during industrial accidents), and Japanese survivors who were exposed to huge doses of radiation. So we draw a straight line between the elevated cancer rates from high doses of radiation and the rate from normal background radiation and say that anything above background is bad. This is just guesswork, however.

Quote:
Solar rays and the líke just pass through you, for comparison.
Of the sun's emissions:

Rays:
Everything through ultraviolet is blocked by your skin.
X-rays through gamma rays are ionizing. Luckily, we're 1 AU from the source, and electromagnetic radiation is not highly ionizing.
Gamma and above generally have a low (but not zero) rate of ionization. Again, luckily the radiation flux decreases exponentially with distance. And the sun is really really really far away.

Particles:
Alpha and Beta a blocked by the radiation belts/atmosphere/your skin.
Neutrons are blocked by the atmosphere. Also, see the distance comment. The flux is low.

And yes, you need a tinfoil hat to be in any danger from radiation from the damaged power plant unless you engage in very foolish and illegal behaviors.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:00 AM
 
208 posts, read 223,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post
I'm aware of most, if not all, everyday sources of radiation. This doesn't stop the situation in Japan from being pretty serious for the future of a lot of Japan. Contaminants move around the food chain, and differ from x-rays and cosmic rays. They stick around for generations. Not an easy fix for a smallish island country.
You don't live in Japan, so there is no way you know the real situation in Japan.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,463,504 times
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[quote=sponger42;33302843][quote=Jesse44;33293823]Also, different isotopes have different half lives (caesium - 30yrs) and affects the body differently.
Quote:

Incorrect. All ionizing radiation affects the body the same way; it modifies the chemical structure of DNA chains by random nuclear-scale collisions. The modified DNA either:
1. Remains viable with no negative effects (~89% of the time)
2. Is no longer viable and when that cell divides, it's progeny die out. (~10%) of the time.
3. Is viable, but is modified in such a way that the cellular division is no longer regulated and results in a cancerous next generation. (~1%) of the time.

Of these, only #3 is problematic. Of these cancerous cells, ~99% are eradicated by your body's immune system. ~1% can survive your natural defenses, and can result in a premature death from the macroscopic condition we call "cancer".



Correct, however there is no evidence that low or moderate levels of radiation exposure lead to higher cancer rates. This is mainly because we don't have populations to study who were exposed to low levels of radiation. We have soldiers, victims of nuclear accidents (workers in weapons factories, labs, and power plants during industrial accidents), and Japanese survivors who were exposed to huge doses of radiation. So we draw a straight line between the elevated cancer rates from high doses of radiation and the rate from normal background radiation and say that anything above background is bad. This is just guesswork, however.



Of the sun's emissions:

Rays:
Everything through ultraviolet is blocked by your skin.
X-rays through gamma rays are ionizing. Luckily, we're 1 AU from the source, and electromagnetic radiation is not highly ionizing.
Gamma and above generally have a low (but not zero) rate of ionization. Again, luckily the radiation flux decreases exponentially with distance. And the sun is really really really far away.

Particles:
Alpha and Beta a blocked by the radiation belts/atmosphere/your skin.
Neutrons are blocked by the atmosphere. Also, see the distance comment. The flux is low.

And yes, you need a tinfoil hat to be in any danger from radiation from the damaged power plant unless you engage in very foolish and illegal behaviors.
Sorry but no. For example iodine 131, which is a common isotope produced in nuclear fission, is known for accumulating in the thyroid and is by a landslide associated with specifically thyroid cancer. Different isotopes do different things to the human body, it's not a debate. The only common factor is that they decay in to ionizing radiation, which has the potential to mutate.

Also, it is no longer a debate that there are 'safe radiation levels'. There are levels that are so so low that they are unlikely to harm you, as in the case with a trip to Japan, x-ray procedures, etc. but there is no guranteed safe threshold. The risk just goes up in a linear pattern as the absorbed dose increases.

I'm not saying the whole country is in insane danger, but you can't just ignore that this is a huge issue. It is going to cause extra cancers whether you ignore that fact or not. Your individual risk is low, but over a population of millions that low probability will translate in to a demographic. The reactors have been compromised for over a couple of years now.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,463,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capsuleneo View Post
You don't live in Japan, so there is no way you know the real situation in Japan.
Well of course not, but I still understand how radiation works much more than the average person. What's the point of not trying to learn about something just because I wasn't at the location it happened?
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:40 AM
 
208 posts, read 223,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post
Well of course not, but I still understand how radiation works much more than the average person. What's the point of not trying to learn about something just because I wasn't at the location it happened?
What's the point of arguing about it. You've already made up your mind.
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:56 AM
 
12,887 posts, read 15,491,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capsuleneo View Post
Please use common sense. If Japan really was unsafe, people would have been evacuated to other countries and every government in the world would be advising to avoid travel. Residents in the last two years have not had an increase of illness.
There's a huge spike in thyroid cancers in children in Japan...doesn't that count?
Thyroid Cancer Rates On The Rise In Japanese Children, Experts Warn Residents To Evacuate

http://agreenroad.blogspot.ca/2012/0...e-thyroid.html
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:37 PM
JL
 
7,355 posts, read 11,919,255 times
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time to change your vacation plans to Taiwan,Korea, Vietnam, or Malaysia....
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,316,419 times
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I plan to go to Japan in the next year, I mean if there's radiation now then it'll probably stick around for longer than I'll be alive in this body, so might as well go now anyway lol.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,960,611 times
Reputation: 2983
[quote=Jesse44;33304916][quote=sponger42;33302843]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse44 View Post
Also, different isotopes have different half lives (caesium - 30yrs) and affects the body differently.

Sorry but no. For example iodine 131, which is a common isotope produced in nuclear fission, is known for accumulating in the thyroid and is by a landslide associated with specifically thyroid cancer. Different isotopes do different things to the human body, it's not a debate. The only common factor is that they decay in to ionizing radiation, which has the potential to mutate.
Ok, agree.

Different radioactive elements do affect the body in different ways. They all do so through the basic mechanism I described.

I was confused by the incorrect statement that different types of radiation affect the body differently. Also by your comment on isotopes. Different isotopes implies different isotopes of the same element, which would affect the body in different ways only inasmuch as some isotopes would be stable and emit no radiation, and others would emit different types of radiation, which--if ionizing--would all have the same basic effect described earlier.

Quote:
Also, it is no longer a debate that there are 'safe radiation levels'. There are levels that are so so low that they are unlikely to harm you, as in the case with a trip to Japan, x-ray procedures, etc. but there is no guranteed safe threshold. The risk just goes up in a linear pattern as the absorbed dose increases.
There's no proof of this. There is not enough evidence, because there are not enough people chronically exposed to lower and middle levels of radiation to populate the chart. The risk goes up in a linear fashion because that's the easiest way to connect two population clusters, not because of any physical reality.

Anyway... semantics. Go to Japan and eat sushi.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:19 AM
 
4,668 posts, read 6,134,788 times
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The cost of airfare and hotels scares me more than the radiation.
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