Officials are declining to indicate which types of Plutonium has been found which is concerning as the half life on Plutonium can range anywhere from PU-233’s 20 minute half life to PU-239’s half life of 24,000 years.
In comparison, Iodine 131 has a half life of 8 days and is expected to disappear in a few weeks. Caesium 137, which has a half-life of 30.17 years is more of a concern of mine as it poses a health threat for far longer.
Back in 1986, the Chernobyl accident report stated that highly contaminated areas were defined as those with over 1490 kilobequels (kBq) of caesium per square metre. Vegetables and fruits from soil with 550 kBq/m2 were destroyed.
In Japan, the highest contaminated level was 6400 kBq/m2, about 35 kilometres away, while caesium reached 1816 kBq/m2 in Nihonmatsu City and 1752 kBq/m2 in the town of Kawamata.
“Some of the numbers are really high,” says Gerhard Proehl, Head of Assessment & Management of Environmental Releases at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
There are many dependents to note that indicate the severity of the caesium as sandy soil releases it but clay containment binds it. Analysis has not been done on the different areas to see what type of land mass has come into contact with the caesium.
Either way, people need to be on the lookout for iodine 131 and caesium 137 contamination.
As well as the Japanese, US & Canadian government needs to be proactive in setting up testing and analysis to ensure as little contamination breach as possible. Our lives may very well depend on it.
Once it enters the body, caesium centralizes in muscle tissues.
Experiments with dogs showed that a single dose of 3800 μCi/kg (approx. 44 μg/kg of caesium-137) is lethal within three weeks.
Good news- If caseium is accidentally swallowed (in the case of drinking containment tap water/milk or vegetables/fruits) , it can be treated with the chemical called Prussian blue, which binds to it chemically and then speeds it expulsion from the body.
Copyright (c) March 29, 2011. All rights reserved.