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It is well-known that potassium iodide works to protect against damage from radioactive iodine by saturating our body (the thyroid gland, specifically) with harmless iodine, so that our bodies are unable to absorb radioactive iodine from nuclear accidents.
For example, the World Health Organization notes:
The thyroid gland is at particular risk from irradiation from radioactive iodine because the thyroid uses iodine to produce hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. The thyroid gland does not differentiate between non-radioactive and radioactive iodine.
When taken at the appropriate dosage and within the correct time interval around exposure to radioactive iodine, KI [i.e. potassium iodide] saturates the thyroid gland with stable (non-radioactive) iodine. As a result, radioactive iodine will not be taken up and stored by the thyroid gland.
However, KI only protects against one particular radioactive element, radioactive iodine, which has a half life of only 8.02 days.* That means that the iodine loses half of its radioactivity within 8 days. For example, after the initial Fukushima melt-down, radioactive iodine was found in California kelp.
But the longer-term threat lies elsewhere. As the New York Times noted – in addition to iodine-131 – the big danger is cesium:
Over the long term, the big threat to human health is cesium-137, which has a half-life of 30 years.
At that rate of disintegration, John Emsley wrote in “Nature’s Building Blocks” (Oxford, 2001), “it takes over 200 years to reduce it to 1 percent of its former level.”
It is cesium-137 that still contaminates much of the land in Ukraine around the Chernobyl reactor.
Cesium-137 mixes easily with water and is chemically similar to potassium. It thus mimics how potassium gets metabolized in the body and can enter through many foods, including milk.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that … once dispersed in the environment … cesium-137 “is impossible to avoid.”
Fortunately – while little-known in the medical community – other harmless minerals can help “saturate” our bodies so as to minimize the uptake of other harmful types of radiation.
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Army Medical Department Center and School explained in its book Medical Consequences of Radiological and Nuclear Weapons (Chapter 4):
One of the keys to a successful treatment outcome is to reduce or eliminate the uptake of internalized radionuclides before they can reach the critical organ.
The terms “blocking” or “diluting” agent can, in most cases, be used interchangeably. These compounds reduce the uptake of a radionuclide by saturating binding sites with a stable, nonradioactive element, thereby diluting the deleterious effect of the radioisotope. For example, potassium iodide is the FDA-recommended treatment to prevent radioactive iodine from being sequestered in the thyroid…. Nonradioactive strontium compounds may also be used to block the uptake of radioactive strontium. In addition, elements with chemical properties similar to the internalized radio-nuclide are often used as blocking agents. For example, calcium, and to a lesser extent phosphorus, can be used to block uptake of radioactive strontium.
After the U.S. military conducted above-ground nuclear tests on Bikini Island, scientists found that adding potassium to the soil reduced the uptake of radioactive cesium by the plants:
The first of a series of long-term field experiments was established on Bikini Island during the late 1980s to evaluate potential remediation techniques to reduce the uptake of cesium-137 into plants (Robison and Stone, 1998). Based on these experiments, the most effective and practical method for reducing the uptake of cesium-137 into food crop products was to treat agricultural areas with potassium fertilizer (KCl).
John Harte – Professor at the University of California at Berkeley in Energy and Resources and Ecosystem Sciences, a PhD physicist who previously taught physics at Yale, a recipient of the Pew Scholars Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, the Leo Szilard prize from the American Physical Society, and who has served on six National Academy of Sciences Committees and has authored over 170 scientific publications, including six books – notes:
Marine fish are usually about 100 times lower in cesium-137 than are freshwater fish because potassium, which is more abundant in seawater, blocks uptake of cesium by marine organisms.
The same is true in mammals. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry notes:
Cesium is a close chemical analogue of potassium. Cesium has been shown to compete with potassium for transport through potassium channels and can also substitute for potassium in activation of the sodium pump and subsequent transport into the cell.
Elimination rates of cesium may be altered by potassium intake. Following the intraperitoneal injection of 137 Cs in rats, a basal diet supplemented with 8–11% potassium resulted in cesium clearance of 60 days compared to about 120 days for rats receiving the unsupplemented basal diet that contained 1% potassium
(Richmond and Furchner 1961). After 20 days on the diets, rats receiving supplemental potassium had body burdens of 137 Cs that were one-half those of the rats not receiving supplemental potassium. This finding shows that supplemental potassium reduces the uptake and increases the elimination of ingested 137 Cs.
Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt – a medical doctor with a master’s of public health, on the Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, editor of the best-seller Food and Nutrients in Disease Management – says that the same is true for humans:
Plutonium is treated like iron by our bodies. So getting enough iron will help reduce absorption of plutonium. And see this. (Plutonium is a very heavy element, and so normally cannot travel too far. Therefore, adequate iron intake is primarily important for those living in Japan.)
Here are the recommended daily allowances (RDA) for various minerals (data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture):
In addition to these minerals, getting enough of certain vitamins is helpful.
Numerous studies show that Vitamin C helps to protect the body against radiation.
Radiological health expert Daniel Hayes, Ph.D., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests that a form of vitamin D could be one of our body’s main protections against damage from low levels of radiation. Writing in the International Journal of Low Radiation, Hayes explains that calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, may protect us from background radiation and could be used as a safe protective agent before or after a low-level nuclear incident.
“Vitamin D by its preventive/ameliorating actions should be given serious consideration as a protective agent against sublethal radiation injury, and in particular that induced by low-level radiation,” concludes Hayes.
It takes a couple of weeks or months to build up our body’s levels of Vitamin D. You cannot just pop a bunch of pills and raise your Vitamin D level. You should never take more than the recommended dose, and – even if you did – it wouldn’t raise your vitamin D level all at once. As such, we should start now …
Here are the RDAs for vitamins (data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture):
Antioxidant-rich foods also help protect you against low-level radiation. See this for the science behind antioxidant protection from radiation, tips on inexpensive, anti-oxidant rich foods … and other valuable tips on how to protect yourself from radiation.
The bottom line: starting to saturate your body now with the right types of healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help protect you against radiation if it hits in the future.
Postscript: We only advocate taking the RDA for various nutrients, which is healthy for you anyway. We are not talking about mega-doses.
We have spent hours looking through medical journal articles for other foods which help protect against radiation. Here are the results.
For a more complete discussion of commonly-accepted scientific consensus on different prevention and treatment options, please review the Army’s Medical Consequences of Radiological and Nuclear Weapons and the The American Association of Physicists In Medicine’s Medical Management of Radionuclide Internal Contamination.
* You should not take potassium iodide supplements unless you are exposed to high doses of radioactive iodine, because it can damage some people’s health. These supplements are only for short-term, high-dose ratiation protection, not for years-long low-dose exposure. For long-term exposures, a daily, baseline level of iodine is healthier.
Potassium iodide is found in most common table salt. However, if exposed to air, the iodine content can largely evaporate within a month or so. So store your salt in as air-tight a condition as possible. Also, it is important not to ingest too much potassium iodide, and most of us already get a lot of salt in our diets from processed foods. (The RDA for “sodium” – i.e. salt – is listed in the table above on the RDAs for various minerals)
Here is RDA for iodine:
And here are some iodine-rich foods.
Click here for a discussion by two medical doctors about preventative iodine doses.
Disclaimer: We are not doctors or health professionals, and this should not be taken as medical advice. Nothing contained herein is intended to diagnose or treat any condition.
- National › Fukushima plant prepares for dangerous fuel rod removal (japantoday.com)
- Fukushima’s fuel rod removal plan (bbc.co.uk)
David Suzuki has issued a scary warning about Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, saying that if it falls in a future earthquake, it’s “bye bye Japan” and the entire west coast of North America should be evacuated.
The “Nature of Things” host made the comments in a talk posted to YouTube after he joined Dr. David Schindler for “Letting in the Light,” a symposium on water ecology held at the University of Alberta on Oct. 30 and 31.
An excerpt of the talk shows Suzuki outlining a frightening scenario that would result from the destruction of the nuclear plant.
“Fukushima is the most terrifying situation I can imagine,” he said.
“Three out of the four plants were destroyed in the earthquake and in the tsunami. The fourth one has been so badly damaged that the fear is, if there’s another earthquake of a seven or above that, that building will go and then all hell breaks loose.
“And the probability of a seven or above earthquake in the next three years is over 95 per cent.”
Suzuki said that an international team of experts needs to go into the Fukushima plant and help fix the problem, but said the Japanese government has “too much pride to admit that.”
An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck early Saturday morning off Japan’s east coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Japan’s emergency agencies declared a tsunami warning for the region that includes the crippled Fukushima nuclear site.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency issued a 1-meter (3-foot) tsunami warning for a long stretch of Japan’s northeastern coast. It put the magnitude of the quake at 7.1. The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not post warnings for the rest of the Pacific.
There were no immediate reports of damage on land. Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters.
The quake hit at 2:10 a.m. Saturday Tokyo time (1710 GMT) about 290 kilometers (170 miles) off Fukushima. Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima plant, ordered workers near the coast to move to higher ground. Japanese news service Kyodo said there were no signs of trouble at the plant.
The tremor was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles (480 kilometers) away.
All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors have been offline since the March 2011 magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami triggered multiple meltdowns and massive radiation leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, about 250 kilometers (160 miles) northeast of Tokyo. About 19,000 people were killed.
- 7.3 Quake Strikes Off Japan; Tsunami Advisory Issued (ktla.com)
- Magnitude 7.3 Quake Strikes off Japanese Coast (fox40.com)
- 7.3 Earthquake Hits Near Fukushima Off Honshu Coast, Tsunami Advisory Issued (republicbroadcasting.org)
It is only fitting that on the day the Stalingrad & Poorski 500 rises to a new record high, that that other centrally-planned catastrophe, the exploded Fukushima nuclear power plant, in the aftermath of Japan’s Radioactivetyphoonado reports a completely different record: namely the level of beta radiation levels at Fukushima. Bloomberg notes that the nationalized utility Tepco, which has taken denial to a different superstring dimension altogether, has detected beta radiation levels of 400,000 becquerels per liter in a water sample taken yesterday from a monitoring well near storage tank area H4 at Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. This was the highest reading on record. This number compares to Beta radiation levels of 61 Bq/L in the sample taken Oct. 16 and 90 Bq/L in the Oct. 15 sample.
The highest level yet of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, including strontium, has been detected at one point in a drainage ditch at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant where measurements are regularly taken, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday.
According to Tepco, a water sample taken Wednesday at a point in the ditch some 300 meters from the ocean was found to contain 1,400 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, the highest level ever detected at that location.
Tepco said water that passed through the ditch may have entered the sea.
A water sample taken Tuesday at the same point contained 19 becquerels of such radioactive substances.
The radiation level surged after heavy rain caused by Typhoon Wipha, which hit the Tohoku region, including Fukushima Prefecture, on Wednesday, Tepco said. It is thought the rain washed out radioactive substances that had been absorbed by the ground.
Radiation levels also hit record highs in water samples collected Wednesday at three upstream points in the drainage ditch, which passes close to the storage tank from which highly radioactive water spilled in August, with the amount of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances ranging from 2,000 to 2,300 becquerels per liter.
And while 400,000 may sound like a lot, keep in mind it is substantially less than the P/E Ratio that Mr. Yellen has in store for the S&P before this whole manipulated farce ends up in a just as radioactive pile of dust.
- Toxic flush: Typhoon causes radioactive leaks at Fukushima (rt.com)
- Japan: Radiation level in Fukushima No. 1 ditch hits record high (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- Deadly Japan Typhoon Affects Fukushima Nuclear Plant (novinite.com)
- Typhoon Wipha wreaks deadly destruction on Japan (theguardian.com)
A citizens’ group in Tokyo has found elevated levels of radioactivity at sporting facilities that will be used in the 2020 Olympic Games and is warning that competitors and the hundreds of thousands of people expected to flock to the city for the event will be putting themselves in danger.
The Citizens’ Group for Measuring Radioactive Environment at Facilities for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics claims wind-borne radiation from the four crippled reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant has contaminated a number of future venues….
- Elevated radiation claimed at Tokyo 2020 Olympic venues (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Citizens group reports high radiation levels at possible venues for 2020 Tokyo Olympics (japandailypress.com)
- Asahi: High radiation levels found at possible Olympic sites – Japan Professor: Radioactive materials have spread throughout greater Tokyo; Region remains in “emergency situation”? (enenews.com)
Arnie Gundersen has over 40-years of nuclear power engineering experience. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) where he earned his Bachelor Degree cum laude while also becoming the recipient of a prestigious Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship for his Master Degree in nuclear engineering. Arnie holds a nuclear safety patent, was a licensed reactor operator, and is a former nuclear industry senior vice president. During his nuclear power industry career, Arnie also managed and coordinated projects at 70-nuclear power plants in the US.
JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.
On the heels of Tokyo winning the bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, Japan’s prime minister visited the Fukushima site for the first time since the nuclear disaster in March 2011.
SHINZŌ ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): I have visited Fukushima because I also told the world earlier in Buenos Aires that there will be no health concerns and that there is nothing to worry about.
DESVARIEUX: Now joining us to discuss the unfolding of the events at Fukushima is Arnie Gunderson. He has over 40 years of nuclear power engineering experience. And Arnie holds a nuclear safety patent. He was a licensed reactor operator and is a former nuclear industry senior vice president…..
- FOCUS | Fukushima Autumn (readersupportednews.org)
- (01 October 2013) Fukushima Nuclear Regulators Fail, Radioactive Tuna Study, Decontaminaton Study (disclose.tv)
- Unbelievable Consequences if Risky Fukushima Cleanup Goes Bad (darkgovernment.com)
- Former US nuclear safety chief says Japan acted too slowly on Fukushima water leaks (japandailypress.com)
A Drunken Psychopath At the Wheel: Fukushima Revisited | DailyCensored.com – Breaking Censored News, World, Independent, Liberal News
Like a psychopathic drunk driver careening down a busy street, capitalism on its last legs is creating untold disaster in its wake. One of the most serious is the ongoing example of Fukushima.
The 2011 earthquake in Japan and the resultant tsunami are events largely forgotten or otherwise ignored by the corporate media. Likewise for the disaster of the nuclear plant at Fukushima. Recent events, however, are forcing the corporate media to start to pay attention once again. As they say, the prospect of hanging forces the mind to concentrate wonderfully.
400 metric tons daily of water
The plant’s owner, Tepco, is using some 400 metric tons per day of water to cool the damaged fuel rods in plant number four. However, a greater problem is that an equal amount is flowing from surrounding mountains underground under the plant and into the ocean.1 Some of this runoff is entering the basement of the stricken plant and becoming contaminated. It, along with the used cooling water, is being stored in giant tanks that are on the grounds of the plant. It was discovered that one of these tanks is leaking — at least weeks after the start of the leak.
- Hundreds Of Whales Radiated To Death Near Fukushima, Story Being Censored by Japan (conservativeread.com)
- FUKUSHIMA: A Nuclear Catastrophe of Epic Proportions (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- The Fukushima Generation: New Data on Birth Defects in Post-Meltdown Japan (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Fukushima is an “unprecedented crisis” and it is “getting worse”, says Japan Atomic Energy Commission (sott.net)
- Documentary film about Fukushima’s children (nuclear-news.net)
- Japan Promises ‘Prompt’ Measures Amid Reports Of Deadly Radiation Levels at Fukushima (eurasiareview.com)
- Return to the radiation zone: Fukushima clean-up operation mired in fear and misinformation (independent.co.uk)
- Typhoon Man-yi complicates Fukushima nuclear cleanup (+video) – Christian Science Monitor (csmonitor.com)
- Stirring Immediate Fears, Earthquake Strikes Fukushima (commondreams.org)
- Fukushima: From Bad to Worse (fukushimaupdate.com)
- 5.3-magnitude earthquake rocks Japan’s Fukushima prefecture (channelnewsasia.com)
- Magnitude 5.8 earthquake hits Fukushima (forexlive.com)
- Kyodo Says Earthquake Hits Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture (voanews.com)
- BREAKING: 5.8 Magnitude Earth Quake hits Fukushima, Japan’s Crippled Nuclear Power Plant (offgridsurvival.com)
- Fukushima rocked by earthquake (nuclear-news.net)
- 5.3 magnitude earthquake near Fukushima nuclear plant (patriotnetdaily.com)