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The hospitals have been sending the patients with radioactive iodine consumption home with instructions to flush twice.  Don't hug your kids or your dog.  But other than that....

The fact is that our sewers have been receiving radioactive materials for some time.  Consider that patients that can afford to stay at near by hotels while receiving treatment. Down the toilet.  Even at home it is down the toilet or perhaps you have a medical crisis, feel faint, woozy, even while in the tub or shower and let urine pass; what happens to it?  Without any strong flushing action, does the radioactivity stay in the lowest level of the p-trap?  

What if you are living in subsidized housing or a senior high rise tower.......does the radioactive material stay in the p-trap for the life of the material, thousands of years?  Even when the building is torn down decades later the radioactivity is still strong.    

Try finding a site on the net discussing these problems, there isn't one because the blind eye is turned to this problem.  

Why are not patients sent home with a badge notifying the individual of his/her radioactivity?  

One site on the net disclosed that radioactive machinery was dumped into the concrete supply making the frame of an apartment complex and decades later tracked down only to find that the residents of the apartment --current and former---all had health problems.  

We let this problem go undetected due to radiations lack of visibility.  Like radon from our basements, it can't be seen or heard.  Radon was first detected (Wiki) on a nuclear plant worker at the plant only to be tracked down to his home!  

An undiscovered part of our violent history could very well be due to this silent threat.  The human organism is not compatible with radiation exposure regardless of our so-called background radiation exposure.  

If theories of planetary core heating --mine among them---are correct in surmising the heating is due to solar cosmic ray production, it is possible that we being subjected to a bath of cosmic rays that damage our immune system among other tragedies.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow, Neuroptimalian

    I was not aware that planetary core heating was connected to solar cosmic ray production.  I thought it was due to heavy atom fission.  Would you have any links?

    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies have nothing to lose but their chains -Marx (-8.75,-8.36)

    by alain2112 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 10:19:40 AM PDT

  •  What? (9+ / 0-)
    What if you are living in subsidized housing or a senior high rise tower.......does the radioactive material stay in the p-trap for the life of the material, thousands of years?
    Half-life of radioactve Iodine: 8.02 days

    Also, primarily beta-decay, so pretty much any material will block the majority of the radiation.

    See those bananas on the counter? Psst, they're radioactive.

    •  Plus if (6+ / 0-)

      it's soluble in urine or excreted by the kidneys, it's unlikely to be in pellets that will be caught by the trap.  Into the sewer system it goes, to break down over time via beta decay, which can only penetrate about 2 mm of flesh (less of more dense substances).

      It breaks down to stable xenon-131, which is harmless.  After thirty days, a piddling seven percent of the iodine remains, in locations where it can't do much harm.

      (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

      by Lonely Liberal in PA on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 10:33:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry (3+ / 0-)

    I didn't read far enough along to see this:

    If theories of planetary core heating --mine among them---are correct in surmising the heating is due to solar cosmic ray production, it is possible that we being subjected to a bath of cosmic rays that damage our immune system among other tragedies.
    Please, carry on.
  •  I hope this is not what the diarist is alluding to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow, Neuroptimalian, JerryNA

    http://www.examiner.com/...
    It's pure tin foil haberdashery, on a level with Chemtrails.
    No where could I find anything reputable that shows the core of this planet heating up. Wherever there was a reference to core heating, it was in the context of Climate Change denial.
    As for radioactive iodine contamination,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/...
    It has a halflife of 8 days. It's fully cold in a couple months, so no panic.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 10:35:56 AM PDT

  •  Sorry but... (8+ / 0-)

    ...this article reflects a poor understanding of science, including principles of half-life, dilution, the biology of DNA repair mechanisms, and the sources of background radiation we are exposed to on a continuous basis.

    Your concern about radioactive dyes used in hospitals is just not justified.

    We knock conservatives for getting all up in arms over "facts" that have nothing to do with science. I'd encourage us liberals not to do the same thing in the realms of environmental pollution, dangers of eating GMO foods, etc. It makes you look frivolous to the regulators who are in a position to change actual policy, because they usually do know the science.

  •  No Such Place As Away (0+ / 0-)

    My worry about nuclear materials is less Fukushima's burning reactors and more medical and industrial waste (which have both claimed a number of lives) being improperly disposed of.  The average person's risk of irradiation comes from that more than from nuclear power.

    However, it is a difficult point to make pro and anti nukers understand.  They'd rather argue the BIG PICTURE than deal with housekeeping details.  But it's the details that catch you up every time.

    In fact, not only radioactive materials but also the residue from all sorts of medicines are contaminating our waste streams and waterways.

    Would be good to start thinking in terms of zero waste, zero emissions but even as a thought experiment that's too far for our public consciousness to travel.

    •  Most medical radioactive waste (5+ / 0-)

      is handled by a 'store in place' until the decay makes the material radioactively harmless.

      The most common radioisotope is Tc-99m with a 6 hour half life, so the 'store in place' takes about a month or so.

      I do agree with you that the average person's risk of irradiation comes more from medical and industrial uses than from nuclear power, but only insofar as all of those risks are miniscule.

      It's not the radiation that's the big problem with medical waste, but the potential toxicity and biohazard that doesn't have such a short half-life.

      I also agree with you that the 'house-keeping' details are of utmost importance as they are literally the best line of defense when it comes to accidental exposure.

    •  So, then... (0+ / 0-)

      With 'zero waste, zero emission' what you're basically saying is 'fuck the people who need radioisotope imaging.'  The amounts of radioisotopes being used, combined with the exceedingly short half-life of said isotopes, renders the whole thing a non-issue.  

  •  Another issue with the (0+ / 0-)

    'Just Flush' method of hazardous waste disposal are the ridiculous amounts of phamaceuticals the nation is consuming generally. Sewage treatment plants are usually not equipped to remove certain chemical compounds or radioactive isotopes, these usually end up back in the supply reservoir, or are released to rivers so that towns and cities downstream get it into the water supply.

    As for all of us suffering cumulative harm from radiation exposures - inside and out, natural or man-made - one might take the philosophical view that radioactivity (decay of unstable matter) is part of the environmental milieu that allows life to exist at all. The price is a 100% mortality rate that comes attached to life in time.

    Modern lifestyles depend upon technologies and products that create widespread health hazards to humans and other critters. All our biggest killer diseases are predominantly environmental on the causal end. Medicine, energy production and use, industrial processes, our unsustainable agricultural practices - the product, byproduct and waste streams for all of this contribute to the toxic overload.

    I've often thought that we [humans] are evolution's biggest mistake. Fortunately, it appears to be a self-correcting mistake. If we can manage to avoid destroying the planet's ability to sustain life itself in our rush to make ourselves extinct, that is.

    •  More an issue with hormone disrupters (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joieau, Praxical, Mike Kahlow

      Radioactive isotopes that are used medically in this way (outpatient) have a very short half-life.

      I am way more concerned with hormonal medications (like birth control pills or implants), and plastics and cleaning chemicals that are hormone-disrupters, all of which end up in the water/sewage loop, and which do not decay particularly well.

      I was on medication for five years to keep my body from producing estrogen (to block a hormone-receptor tumor). But at the same time, my drinking water and food likely contains estrogens and estrogen-mimickers, and there's not a darn thing I can do about it. (And my pee had the anti-estrogen chemical in it. . . .sorry, but what am I supposed to do?)

      •  Our sewage treatment technology (0+ / 0-)

        should be upgraded to reflect what we know is in the waste stream. It's kind of like scrubbers on coal stacks - the technology has existed for many decades to significantly limit CO2, SO2 and other gaseous and particulate discharges down to micron size. It's just that those industries that burn coal don't want to spend the money, so they bought some pet politicians (much cheaper than scrubbers) to 'grandfather' them in. They can always buy more pollution credits too if they need to.

        I wouldn't be too complacent about "short-lived isotopes" used in medicine either. Anything long-lived enough to go all the way through your system and show up on the waste end is long enough lived to present a clear and present danger to others. Have a friend whose cat underwent iodine 131 treatment for an endocrine disorder not long ago, she was in the early stages of pregnancy. She asked us whether it was a danger, and what she should do...

        Of COURSE it's a danger! Not only was the cat radioactive, so now would be the cat box. Iodine 131 is pretty much gone over a period of three months, but she didn't have three months to play with on what her developing fetus needed to form properly. Iodine-containing hormones are extremely important to proper brain development, especially in early pregnancy. So we strongly advised she keep the cat confined in a room she didn't go into, and let her husband do all the feeding, watering, catbox mainenance and cat-cuddling. And for him to shower thoroughly after he did so before she let him anywhere near her.

        That short half-life just means it's more highly radioactive because more atoms are self-destructing moment to moment. Harm done is harm done, even if the harm comes in a relatively short amount of time. And some of the decay products of various medical-use isotopes aren't so harmless either. As to what should be done about mixing that stream from patients with the 'regular' waste stream for humans, there are several things that could be done (activated charcoal, for instance, is very good at binding iodine 131 and other contaminates). There are ceramic filters that will remove large proteins (like steroid hormones and precursors) just as there are for removing microbial and viral pathogens. Hell, they can design resins these days to remove just about anything except tritium.

        If better technology for treating waste streams is too expensive per some pol's cost-benefit analysis, we all get to simply take our chances. In which case there's no sense in complaining about it, is there? ยง;o)

    •  Just silly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow

      "The price is a 100% mortality rate that comes attached to life in time."

      Mortality is programmed into our genome.  Remove all of the environmental bad actors, live in a shielded room all your life, and you'll still die.

  •  What's the alternative (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, Praxical

    to 'just flush'? Ask everyone taking medication or who has had a nuclear tracer to pee and poop in special receptacles that are then transported to a secure storage facility?

    Evolution doesn't make mistakes, mostly because it has no purpose to begin with.

  •  This diary is a no-science zone. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, Ozy, Neuroptimalian, erush1345, Praxical
    If theories of planetary core heating --mine among them---are correct in surmising the heating is due to solar cosmic ray production, it is possible that we being subjected to a bath of cosmic rays that damage our immune system among other tragedies.  
    Your theory? Cosmic rays (which mostly originate outside of the solar system) and core heating are pretty well explained by existing theories.
    An undiscovered part of our violent history could very well be due to this silent threat.  The human organism is not compatible with radiation exposure regardless of our so-called background radiation exposure.  
    Aggression is linked to background radiation? Perhaps undiscovered because... there is no link?
    Try finding a site on the net discussing these problems, there isn't one
    Again, perhaps there isn't one because these aren't problems.

    I'm sorry if I'm sounding like a sh*t. But I'm a scientist, and there's no science here. I've seen political diaries with more truth than this get the tip jar HR'd.

    Please delete.

  •  Not a worry at all. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Kahlow

    The amounts being released are tiny and the half-life is remarkably short -- not the 'thousands of years' that you say in your diary, but literally a week and a day.  

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