Posted by: Christopher Maloney, Naturopathic Doctor | April 7, 2011

Radiation in Drinking Water: Richmond and Boise.

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Image by Timm Suess via Flickr

I’ve been virtuously trying to get a consistent expert opinion on radiation exposures from the damaged Japanese reactors.

We’ve got plume graphics that show there definitely is radiation coming toward the U.S., and we have experts ignoring it.  One memorable quote: 

“You get a lot less radiation from the Fukushima fallout than you get from say, eating a banana,” said Mike Miller, an assistant research professor at the University of Washington.  (http://www.kirotv.com/news/27443571/detail.html)

Yikes!  That doesn’t make me feel good about my fruit choices!

We have reports of France and other European countries detecting radiation, but we’d all like to know about the U.S.

So who has the data?  The EPA, of course.  Here’s the most recent update: 

Drinking water samples from two locations, Boise, Idaho and Richland, Washington, showed trace amounts of Iodine-131 – about 0.2 picocuries per liter in each case. An infant would have to drink almost 7,000 liters of this water to receive a radiation dose equivalent to a day’s worth of the natural background radiation exposure” 

The EPA’s air monitoring is showing trace amounts of Iodine 131 coming across, but again, these are nothing they are concerned about.  You can look at the complete air scanning here.

Since what goes up must come down,  we are getting radioactive rain in various areas.  The EPA has that data here.

And since animals eat the grass that the rain falls on, we check the milk.  The latest data on that is here

Now that we all know our exposures, let’s take a deep breath and read the effects of long term exposures at my website http://www.maloneymedical.com/id153.html.

The bottom line:  yes, we are being exposed.  The exposure is unfortunately/fortunately less than the “background radiation” we get every day.  The exposure is not likely to be a short term thing, and any alterations you make to your life should be long term ones that you can sustain.  I strongly recommend channeling your anxiety into better eating and taking better care of yourself. 

For example, if you are still smoking at all and are going to be freaking out about Japan, it’s time to take a step back and assess how many carcinogens (including trace radiation) you are inhaling voluntarily.  (And paying handsomely for the privilege).  All you second-hand smokers know what I’m talking about. 

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