The likes of Matt Drudge and Alex Jones have been banging the drum to create fear among U.S. citizens that radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster will reach North America. Now Neil Katz poses the same question for a mainstream outlet, CBS News. The conclusion he posts is:
“As for America, experts say for now we are in the clear. ‘It is true that radiation emanating from Japan is moving across the Pacific and it’s feasible that one could detect those radiation levels in California,’ says [Dr. Cham] Dallas. ‘But it’s certain that it wouldn’t be dangerous.’”
Do any disinformation readers have expertise in radiation safety issues? Can we be so certain that there is no danger as Dr. Dallas suggests? Please post your thoughts in the comments.
Here’s some more of Katz’s story:
As conditions worsen at four nuclear reactors in Japan, many here and abroad are worried about the health risks of radiation.
What are they?
There are two main fears: first the release of radioactive iodine which can cause thyroid cancer. Some has already been released into the atmosphere, but Japanese health officials hope to stay ahead of it.
The government plans to distribute potassium iodide pills that can keep radioactive iodine from being taken up by the thyroid gland and causing cancer.
“Those are all preventable cancers” if the protective pills are taken right after exposure, said University of New Mexico radiologist Dr. Fred Mettler.
The government has also asked about 180,000 people to leave a 19-mile area around the leaking plants at Fukushima on Japan’s east coast. Those who remain have been asked to wear face masks and stay indoors.
But wind and rain could complicate matters.
Officials in Ibaraki, a neighboring prefecture just south of the Fukushima plant which was severely damaged during the 9.0 earthquake which rocked Japan on March 11, said up to 100 times the normal levels of radiation were detected Tuesday. While those figures are worrying if there is prolonged exposure, they are far from fatal.
Tokyo reported slightly elevated radiation levels, but officials said the increase was too small to threaten the 39 million people in and around the capital, about 170 miles away.
So far, the broad radiation danger has been very small, according to Dr. Cham Dallas, University of Georgia professor of public health who studied the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine…