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Archive for March 17th, 2011

It looks like the “radioactive plume” released by the nuclear disaster following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan will be reaching US shores tomorrow, March 18. It is predicted to reach Southern California tomorrow, in minute detectable levels. I found this information in today’s NY Times Science section:

Interactive Radioactive Plume map

Interactive NY Times Radioactive Plume map

You can see that the dosage of radiation dissipates as it travels the distance from Japan to the US. While this prediction does not give specific units of radiation, here is a chart from the CDC website to help with some perspective:

  • Exposure to cosmic rays during a roundtrip airplane flight from New York to Los Angeles 3 mrem 0.03 mSv
  • One dental x-ray 4?15 mrem 0.04?0.15 mSv
  • One chest x-ray 10 mrem 0.1 mSv
  • One mammogram 70 mrem 0.7 mSv
  • One year of exposure to natural radiation (from soil, cosmic rays, etc.) 300 mrem 3 mSv

Here is a Washington Dept of Health report on current risk of radiation exposure. They seem to be updating this link daily, so check back every day if you are feeling concern.

I am keeping tabs on this issue because I am saddened by the devastation in Japan and feel that in the US, while of course we want to protect ourselves and our families, we are so scared that we are not able to properly care for the our emotions and the emotions of our loved ones. I am also disgusted that companies that sell Potassium Iodide are increasing their prices for this product to play on the general public fear of radiation expose.

As it is now, there does not seem to be a risk to Washingtonians. If more nuclear reactors heat and possibly melt down, we all may need to reevaluate and begin taking precautions. In the meantime and if there is any exposure to deal with, I would recommend the following diet, based on the historical data that Dr. Akizuki fed his staff and patients a strict diet of brown rice, miso and tamari soy soup, wakame, kombu and other seaweed, Hokkaido pumpkin, and sea salt and prohibited the consumption of sugar and sweets. As a result, he saved everyone in his hospital, while many other survivors perished from radiation sickness. More from that article:

WHOLE GRAINS PROTECT IN FIVE WAYS

Whole grains help to protect us from the deleterious health effects of radiation exposure in five ways:

  1. Grains are low on the food chain. Although they may have been exposed to pollution and radiation, they do not have the concentration of contaminants that is found in meat and large fish, which are at the top of the food chain.
  2. Important with respect to radiation protection is the high fiber and phosphorous contents in grains. The binding ability of these substances helps the body to remove poisons.
  3. The bulking factor of grains lessens the intestinal transit time and so hasten the elimination of all toxins.
  4. Being neither very acid nor very alkaline, grains help us to maintain the middle-range pH that has been found to increase our resistance to radiation.
  5. Whole grains provide vitamin B6, which is indispensable for the thymus. In addition, their calcium content guards against uptake of radioactive strontium, and their vitamin E and selenium prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals.

THE FOODS BETTER TO AVOID

  1. Refined, genetic modified and processed foods
  2. Fatty foods (meat, dairy products)
  3. Simple sugars (white sugar), soft drinks
  4. Dairy, produce, sea vegetables coming from an area exposed to radiation

Along with eating healthily, we can care for the emotions of our families, friends, and communities. Fear breeds ill-health and disease. Along with reassurances that we really don’t know how this will turn out, but that we will be ok, there are many flower essences, herbal teas, and botanical formulas that can help calm the nerves. Visit your naturopathic physician, herbalist, or local herb shop for ways to help support your community.

Finally, the amount of iodide in Potassium iodide (SSKI) tablets can make a healthy person sick if there is no actual radiation exposure (and even with radiation exposure, but the risk is worth it!). It is my professional medical opinion to NOT take these tablets unless or until there is an actual threat. Instead, focus on the iodine found naturally in sea vegetables like kelp, nori, and many others that are commercially available if you would like to make sure your innate iodine stores are sufficient.

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