Families Worried About Japan’s Nuclear Fallout

Japan is frantically trying to avoid additional meltdowns at their Fukushima nuclear complex. The first reactor meltdown occurred Saturday, March 12 in Unit 1 after the 8.9 earthquake. A second explosion occurred at the number 2 reactor, March 14. A third today, March 15. Will there be a chain reaction with the rest of their reactors?

The Japanese authorities have classified the event at Fukushima as a level 4 “accident with local consequences” on the international Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). The scale runs from 0 to 7—a major accident.

So, what exactly was that plume of smoke over the reactor that exploded? How can radiation be contained locally, once it has escaped into the air?

The official report from the Japanese is only a small amount of radiation released. That still remains to be verified.

Mae is like most American’s worried about fallout from Japan’s nuclear meltdown.

It appears that many Americans aren’t believing the news reports, as Potassium Iodide is nearly impossible to obtain. Potassium Iodide is an over-the-counter supplement that is considered an anti-radiation pill. A quick check in three stores in my area proved that it flew off the shelf in a short time. In fact, ordering over the internet is impossible as well.

Joseph Cirincoe, an expert on nuclear materials and president of the U.S.-based Ploughshares Fund said, “If this accident stops right now it will already be one of the three worst accidents we have ever had at a nuclear power plant in the history of nuclear power.”

While we are waiting to see what happens with the reactors in Fukushima, why aren’t we being warned about the potential radiation exposure? Once radiation has been released into the atmosphere, it travels the earth from west to east.

Every American should have Potassium Iodide tablets as a part of an emergency plan. Potassium iodide (also called KI) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine. Stable iodine is an important chemical needed by the body to make thyroid hormones. Most of the stable iodine in our bodies comes from the food we eat.

Potassium iodide is a salt that stops the body from taking in radioactive iodine that can be emitted during a nuclear emergency. It fills up the thyroid gland, preventing it from collecting the radioactive material and reducing the risk of cancer, among other things.

Potassium iodide should be taken ONLY if there is a nuclear emergency.
For people with thyroid problems or allergies to iodine and shellfish, taking potassium iodide can be harmful, said California Department of Public Health spokesman Ken August.

The thyroid glands of a fetus and of an infant are most at risk of injury from radioactive iodine. Young children and people with low stores of iodine in their thyroid are also at risk of thyroid injury. Highest priority for KI use and all other emergency measures should be given to babies, children up to 18 years of age, and pregnant women.

This is from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a government site: “Following a radiological or nuclear event, radioactive iodine may be released into the air and then be breathed into the lungs. Radioactive iodine may also contaminate the local food supply and get into the body through food or through drink. When radioactive materials get into the body through breathing, eating, or drinking, we say that “internal contamination” has occurred. In the case of internal contamination with radioactive iodine, the thyroid gland quickly absorbs this chemical. Radioactive iodine absorbed by the thyroid can then injure the gland. Because non-radioactive KI acts to block radioactive iodine from being taken into the thyroid gland, it can help protect this gland from injury.”

For Potassium Iodide to work effectively, it must be given before or soon after exposure to radioactive iodine. This means that you should have it available BEFORE a radioactive emergency. The efficacy (effectiveness of the drug to prevent thyroid cancer) goes down the longer time goes by.

For example:
·  After 2 hours – 80 percent thyroid protection
· At 8 hours – 40 percent thyroid protection
·  After 24 hours – there is only 7 percent protection.

Radiation Remedy: Food
I found some interesting remedies for avoiding radiation poisoning.  I have no idea how effective these may be. Getting Potassium Iodide is next to impossible at this point. (I suggest ordering Potassium Iodide, even if you don’t need it for the Japanese meltdown, it’s good to have in your emergency supplies.) Here are some suggestions to help combat the potential toxic exposure we might be experiencing:

1) Eat Brown Rice: Whole grains, especially brown rice, are high in fiber and phosphorous, which help remove harmful toxins from the body.

2) Eat Seaweed, Kelp, And Other Sea Vegetables: Canadian researchers have reported that sea vegetables contain a polysaccharide that selectively binds radioactive strontium to help eliminate it from the body. According to one online account about Dr. Akuziki, the Director of the Department of Internal Medicine at St. Francis’s Hospital in Nagasaki at the time of the atomic bombing of Japan, there are foods which minimized the effects of radiation.

In addition, “In laboratory experiments, sodium alginate prepared from kelp, kombu, and other brown seaweeds off the Atlantic and pacific coasts was introduced along with strontium and calcium into rats. The reduction of radioactive particles in bone uptake, measured in the femur, reached as high as 80 percent, with little interference with calcium absorption.”

There are thousands of different types of seaweeds but some of the most popular seaweeds are arame, wakame, kombu, hijiki, bladderwrack, rockweed, sea lettuce, and dulse. You can find them in your local health food store and various oriental grocery stores in their natural form, or in flakes, flat sheets and powders. They can be mixed in soups and salads or eaten by themselves. If you don’t like the taste of seaweeds, or you want something more convenient you can find various seaweed supplements in capsules or tablets.

3) Stop Eating ALL Sugar: You’ve known forever that sugar, especially refined sugar and corn syrup, are harmful for you and your children. With this crisis in Japan it is a good time to go cold turkey and stop the sweets, which is another of Akizuki’s recommendations.

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