Radiation Today: Health Effects of Fukushima
“This is the greatest public health hazard the world has ever witnessed apart from the threat of nuclear war”
- Dr. Helen Caldicott MD
It has been over a year since the catastrophe at Fukushima, and while we once were busy gulping down Iodine tablets, we now can barely remember the tragic events that occurred, possibly leaving us vulnerable to some serious health risks.
On March 11, 2011 the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant had a meltdown, exposing not only the surrounding area but the world to deadly radioactive isotopes. The primary releases of radioactive nuclides have been iodine and caesium; strontium-90 and plutonium, which have been released into the air, groundwater and ocean.
At this point, radiation exposure can be found in the water, air, soil, and now the food chain (cattle, fish, agriculture, tea, plankton, breast milk) – not only in Japan but in locations worldwide. The fact remains that these radioactive nuclides just do not disappear. They are persistent environmental toxins which some have the half life of 30 years. Iodine-131 has a half-life of only eight days, but concentrates in the thyroid gland thereby causing life-long damage. Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years and can be taken up by food grown in contaminated soil. So why are we still not concerned about the health effects of these very toxic materials?
The Worst Radioactive Offenders
Radioactive Iodine 129 – 1/2 life of 17 million years – causes thyroid cancer.
Strontium 90- lasts for 600 years and goes to the bone where it can cause bone cancer or leukemia.
Cesium – lasts 600 years, which is all over Europe, 40% is still radioactive.
Plutonium – 1 millionth of a gram inhaled will give you cancer. 1 pound evenly disrupted could give everyone on earth cancer.
Health Effects of Radioactive Particles
- Thyroid Cancer and Dysfunction
- Birth Defects, especially targeting the central nervous system
- “Increasing Evidence” of increased incidence of Cataracts
- Birth Complications: Spontaneous Abortion, Premature Birth, Low Birth Weight, Stillbirth, SIDS
- Increased risk of Cardiovascular Disease
- All radiation is DAMAGING – it has an accumulating effect and contributes to all cancers.
- Genetic Disease
What is the REAL risk?
How are we Exposed?
- Airplane Flights
- Full-Body Scanners at the Airport
- CT Scans
- Cell Phones
- Pacific Bluefin Tuna
- Japanese Seaweed
- Top Soil (used for agriculture)
So Where Does this Leave Us?
At this point it has been made clear that we must take our health into our own hands. While the government agencies seems to put out a few reports here and there about there not being a concern, they seemed to play the exact same tune when our radiation levels were 10x higher. Furthermore, in my opinion, the solution of raising the tolerable radiation levels in order to quell fear is not a solution that bears any true protection or safety. Therefore, we must be conscious and aware of what is happening around us. While we cannot see, taste, smell or hear radiation levels, it does not mean that they are not there affecting our health.
Steps to Protect Ourselves
#1. Modifying Food Consumption
Unfortunately I have not come to a conclusive answer about the consumption of food due to the radiation risk, although I will say that I will not be eating any products that come from Japan, especially seaweed. The largest amount of seaweed that is harvested for consumption internationally is located at the epicenter of the meltdown in Japan. I have even found out that many Japanese companies are now even importing seaweed from Korea out of fear of radiation toxicity in their own seaweed (whether this seaweed is also exported to the U.S. is unknown). As for fish, I have long come to the conclusion that our oceans are too toxic to be able to feel safe about its consumption and therefore I choose to stay away from fish.
Seaweed contains natural iodine which is the antidote to radiation poisoning, especially at the thyroid. Therefore loosing our seaweed source is quite devastating. Therefore, I have contacted a few of the main manufacturers of seaweed sold here in the U.S to find out more…
I have learned that almost all the main brands of seaweed available here in the U.S are sourced from Japan. These include Emerald Cove, Eden Organics and Mitoku. The only seaweed that does not from from Japan is Eden Organic and Emerald Cove’s Dulse which comes from New Brunswick, off the coast of Maine and my favorite of all favorites… SeaSnax. SeaSnax imports from Korea, not Japan and after speaking with the owner and creator of SeaSnax, he informed me of the following:
Air current and sea currents direct the radiation up north from Japan and into the Northern Pacific to Alaska and then down the Western U.S. coast. Although Korea is close to Japan, Korea is on the backside of the current and was not affected. They test 3-4 times a year for Iodine 131 and the 2 Cesiums and so far there has been no radioactivity registered. They are a small family business and are dedicated to continuous research and testing as their own children eat it daily. Therefore, I am going to continue to feel good about eating these forms.
I cannot say the same for the companies that import from Japan. I called Eden Organic to ask them about their testing methods and the risk of radiation exposure, but the woman was quite short and simply said they do test for radiation with a Geiger counter, about 3-5 tests, all which revealed no radiation. I may be skeptical, but in my opinion there is no way that seaweed from Japan can not have been contaminated. Therefore I am sticking with my gut and steering clear of any Japanese seaweed.
#2. Using Nutrition for Protection
There are four substances that have been found to be protective against radiation and I find implementing a few of them daily is the best tactic.
a. LIVE-SOURCE Iodine
Iodine is going to target the thyroid specifically so this will be ideal to take as not only a preventative measure but a therapeutic one as well. It blocks the uptake of the radiation at the thyroid. Make sure the iodine is LIVE-SOURCE, meaning it comes from whole foods, not from a laboratory, because iodine can be a pro-oxidant and can actually cause damage to the body. Like we mentioned before, we have to make sure the source is clean because many live-source iodines come from seaweeds.
My chosen source: XenoStat, Premier Research Labs
b. Live-Source Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most powerful antioxidants that has been shown to protect the body against radioactivity. They say that during WWII, the only people in Japan not to be harmed by the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were those who drank numerous cups of green tea daily. * This is especially important to use when you travel on airplanes. I take 1 tsp every time I fly on planes.
My chosen source: Green Tea ND (caffeine, fluoride-free) – 1 tsp contains the same amount of antioxidants as 22 cups of green tea!
Zeolite are natural minerals from volcanic ash that have the ability the rid the body of heavy metals and radiation. While extremely effective, I shy away from Zeolite as it is one of the most potent cleansing agents you can use. Therefore, I have seen many people get very ill from using it as it will push more toxins out of the body than it can typically be handled. I would only recommend using this product under the care of a practitioner.
d. Internal Bentonite (smectite-form) Clay
Smectite clay is one of the most powerful internal cleansing agents for the gut. It has the capability to cleanse metals, pathogens and radiation from the intestinal lining, without leaching any minerals, including calcium. Therefore, I typically take 1-2 capsules with my meals for prevention, and for its amazing cleansing abilities.
My chosen source: Medi-Clay FX, Premier Research Labs
#3. Reduce Dust in the Home
Radiation has also been shown to travel in the form of dust, so make sure to always take your shoes off when entering the home, always wash your hands and try to dust frequently. You may also want to buy a air purifier as well to keep the air clean. These practices may seem trivial, but they are in fact effective.
#4. Use a Geiger Counter
If you grow your own food or are particulary concerned about your produce, then consider purchasing a Geiger Counter. You can find portable counters that you can easily detect any radioactive material on your food, in your soil or environment. They are not cheap, but they are effective.
#5. Drink PURIFIED Water
By utilizing these simple tools and being conscious about our ever present risk, I believe we can put ourselves in a position of empowerment rather than fear. It is a fact that we live in a toxic world, and therefore have to protect ourselves. I do not believe in being fearful of these things but rather being pro-active. If you remain educated and follow through with the steps above, there should be no need to be worrisome. I like to live my life fully and completely, so for me taking a few supplements daily in order to feel protected is a step I am willing to take. Besides…if an amazing sushi restaurant comes up I do not want to feel as though I am going to die if I enjoy myself Knowledge is Power!
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