Thursday, March 17, 2011

Japan's Radiation Plume: Soak It Up, It's Good For You!

In an hysterical media environment, where networks plot to achieve the top ratings by unnecessarily scaring the shit out of the few viewers who actually have faith in them, it takes Ann freakin' Coulter to point out what everyone else is afraid to tell you: That a little bit of radiation is good for the body and soul:

With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer.

This only seems counterintuitive because of media hysteria for the past 20 years trying to convince Americans that radiation at any dose is bad. There is, however, burgeoning evidence that excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine.

As The New York Times science section reported in 2001, an increasing number of scientists believe that at some level -- much higher than the minimums set by the U.S. government -- radiation is good for you. "They theorize," the Times said, that "these doses protect against cancer by activating cells' natural defense mechanisms."

It makes sense. A small dose of radiation - which is all anyone not standing in front of melting fuel rods would likely receive - would likely work in a similar fashion to the common flu shot: Activating the cells to fight back against a potential winter flu by giving them a small dose of the very same virus. Ann gives some examples:

A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships' nuclear reactors. The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers.

In 1983, a series of apartment buildings in Taiwan were accidentally constructed with massive amounts of cobalt 60, a radioactive substance. After 16 years, the buildings' 10,000 occupants developed only five cases of cancer. The cancer rate for the same age group in the general Taiwanese population over that time period predicted 170 cancers.

Read it all, Ann has more....and in doing a little research myself, I discovered that a lot of the fault for the current "radiation hysteria" can be laid at the feet of... the US Government, of course. From a
FOX News article in 2005:

A federal research panel last week concluded that there is no safe exposure to radiation. It’s a conclusion based on assumptions about cancer that may be all wrong — and in very costly ways.

Other than the atomic bomb survivor data, in fact, no data support the idea that typical exposures to radiation are dangerous. So how did the NAS panel reach the conclusion that any exposure to radiation is risky?

For the sake of being able to somehow characterize low-level radiation exposures as a risk, the panel simply assumed that because high-level exposures to radiation increase risk of health effects — like the slightly elevated cancer risk observed in the atomic bomb survivors — then any level of radiation exposure is a cancer risk.

The panel employs this assumption even if the radiation is naturally occurring — that is from the ground or universe. This assumption is called the “no-threshold” model of cancer development, meaning the only radiation exposure with zero risk is absolutely no exposure — a state that is obviously impossible to achieve.

Such assumptions often result in stringent regulation that is very costly, but that may not provide any, much less commensurate, health benefits. The regulations limiting human exposure to low-level radiation are not known to have prevented a single health effect in anyone despite decades of use. But they have cost more than $1 trillion in the U.S. alone...

...and have likely killed more people than they have saved.

So when you here the warnings that the radiation plume is heading to your town, give a big middle-finger to the government and mainstream media and put on your shades, go outside, and bask in it.

More likely than not, you'll live long enough to dance on their graves....

UPDATE 3-18:
11 years of nuclear testing in Nevada (1951-1962), gave us the following dispersal spread (click to enlarge):

Via Charlie Martin at the PJ Tatler, who adds "It just struck me that I was born and grew up during this time, in one of the pinkest of the pink areas. That area also has a notoriously low cancer rate."

As I was saying...

UPDATE II: More info in the comments, and a great radiation chart here, giving you some reference points, the next time some loser TV anchor wails about receiving a dose of radiation equal to that of a chest X-ray...


Conservative Libertine said...

This is all very true, accept when it comes to children.

Radiation is an effective treatment against cancer because it kills the quickly growing cells. Unfortunately, radiation seems to treat the cells of growing children the same way and can have very harmful effects.

But you are correct, mature humans can take significant doses of radiation before things get bad.

80-120 rads – You have a 10% chance of vomiting and experiencing nausea for a few days
130 -170 rads – You have a 25% chance of vomiting and contracting other symptoms
180-220 rads – You have a 50% chance of vomiting and having other severe physical effects
270 More..-330 rads – 20% chance of death in 6 weeks, or you will recover in a few months.
400-500 rads – 50% chance of death
550-750 rads – Nausea within a few hours ; no survivors
1000 rads – immediate incapacitation and death within a week or less.

The JerseyNut said...

That is great information, thank you! In re-looking my piece, I see that most studies were done on adults (although I would assume the apartment building in Taiwan did have children residing there). So the affects of radiation on children is still an open book, and as you state, possibly quite harmful. Point taken.

Interesting too that most of the radiation exposure figures I have seen discussed on TV involve "millirads", obviously a much smaller division of the figures you have contributed. It lends creedence to the belief that unless you are really within close proximity to the enfangered Japanese reactor, there is very little actual danger to human life.

Thanks again for the valuable contribution!