5 Common Sources of Radiation Exposure to Be Aware Of

News reports such as the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant disaster in 2011 were a real wake-up call regarding the dangers of radioactive iodine-131. While these are extreme events, many people are unaware that they’re being subjected to radiation from a variety of sources on a frequent basis. Fortunately, there is a safe and effective way to help protect yourself from radiation exposure (more on that below).
First, however, let’s take a look at how these two events continue to have a devastating health impact on citizens both near and far from the accident sites.

The Ongoing Impact of Chernobyl and Fukushima

As of 2005, the Chernobyl disaster has been the direct cause of an estimated 6,000 additional thyroid cancer deaths, and that number grows every year. In addition, about 27,000 European citizens have lost their lives from other forms of cancer because of Chernobyl, according to statistics reviewed by physicist Lisbeth Gronlund, a nuclear technology expert and co-director of the Union of Concerned Scientists [1].
Six years after disaster struck the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, this is what officials there are still dealing with, according to an in-depth New York Times report [2]:

  • 3,519 containers of radioactive sludge
  • tree logs and branches from 220 acres of deforested land
  • 200,400 cubic meters of radioactive metal and other rubble
  • 3.5 billion gallons of radioactive dirt
  • 1,573 nuclear fuel rods
  • 64,700 cubic meters of discarded protective clothing (and counting)
  • 400 tons of contaminated water per day since 2011

Of course, it is too soon after Fukushima to put Chernobyl-sized numbers on the devastation. Current thyroid cancer and thyroid disease statistics are troubling, however, especially for Japan’s youngest citizens.
A 2015 study [3] conducted by Okayama University showed a 20 to 50-fold increase in childhood thyroid cancer cases in Fukushima prefecture alone. Lead author Toshihide Tsuda told NPR reporters [4] that they found more than 150,000 children with “suspicious or malignant cases” of thyroid cancer. The numbers are based on a large health survey conducted from 2011 to 2014. Reports since then confirm that childhood thyroid cancer in Japan continues to be a major health concern.
“The large-scale ultrasound screening in Fukushima Prefecture of Japan demonstrated a high detection rate of thyroid cancer in young individuals,” say the authors of a 2018 report published in the journal Thyroid [5].
As radioactive substances continue to spill into the Pacific at a rate of about 300 tons a day, a 2013 article [6] published in the journal Open Journal of Pediatrics found that children born in the West Coast of the United States shortly after the Fukushima accident had a 28% greater chance of developing congenital hypothyroidism because of airborne radioactive iodine-131 particles making their way across the ocean.
Radioactive iodine was also found amongst California kelp beds about a month after Fukushima, at rates of about 250 times the normal level [7].
As a side note, of greater concern, now is cesium-134 and cesium-137, which have a much greater half-life than iodine-131. Questionable amounts of these radioactive substances have been found in Pacific bluefin tuna migrating from Japan to the Pacific U.S. coast, according to a 2016 report conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [8].
These are scary statistics to be sure. Obviously, the best way to protect yourself from radiation of any kind is to stay far away from it. In the modern world, however, this is almost impossible to do.

Recommended Emergency Measure: Iodine Prophylaxis

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently includes guidelines for “Iodine Prophylaxis” as part of immediate emergency steps to take after a nuclear accident. [Note: “Prophylaxis” refers to an action taken to prevent disease.]
While healthy iodine does not block radioactive iodine from the body completely, it can prevent massive uptake of iodine-131 upon exposure [9]. With cellular receptor sites in the thyroid and other iodine uptake glands filled with healthy iodine, radioactive iodine has nowhere to go but out of the body.
There is no doubt that iodine supplementation plays a role in saving lives after a major nuclear accident. This not only includes at nuclear power sites – by the way, the United States currently has 61 nuclear power plants throughout the country [10] – but also in other industries that utilize high levels of radiation.

5 Sources of Radioactive Iodine You May Be Exposed to Everyday

But don’t think that fall-out from nuclear disasters are the only sources of radiation exposure you need to be concerned with. Here are some sources of low-level radiation that may surprise you:
#1. Food. Radioactive iodine can show up in waters thousands of miles away from the source of a nuclear accident. In addition, fishing or fish farming that is done near radiation-producing enterprises can result in higher levels of radioactive iodine in seafood. Play it safe when it comes to fish as well as other potential food sources that contain radioactive iodine such as milk and imported rice. Go organic and make sure that the foods you eat have been tested for contaminants – including radioactive iodine.
#2. Work Exposure. It’s not just employees at nuclear power plants that need to be concerned about radioactive iodine exposure. If you are employed at an airport or with an airline, are in the military, work in the aeronautics or aerospace industry, are a miner, or are a medical imagining professional, you may be exposed on a regular basis to high amounts of radioactive iodine.
#3. Medical Imaging. You also expose yourself to radioactive iodine through medical imaging. A 2015 study conducted by Yale University and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences found that “exposure to any diagnostic x-rays was associated with an increased risk of well-differentiated thyroid microcarcinoma.” Of greatest concern are nuclear medicine exams such as cardiology tests and “thyroid uptake studies,” chest CT scans, head and neck CT scans, GI imaging, kidney x-rays involving dye and mammograms [11]. If you are having tests done, pay close attention to and follow the safety measures being taken to protect you from radiation.
#4. Airport X-Ray Machines. If you travel a lot, this is especially important for you. A study conducted by Tel-Aviv University and published in the journal Radiation Research found that frequent use of terahertz airport x-ray scanners (the full-body scanners used at most airports) was associated with genetic mutation [12]. Whenever you can, you might opt for a pat-down instead of going through the scanners.
#5. Tap Water. Since tap water may come from hundreds of miles away, you never know if it contains runoff from industrial sources of radioactive iodine. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [13], man-made sources of radiation are frequently monitored so that they do not go above the “safe limit.” It is best to play it safe, however, and invest in a quality filter for both your faucet and your shower head.
The simplest way you can protect yourself from the harms of radioactive iodine exposure is by making sure that you have ample stores of healthy iodine for your thyroid and all the other cells in your body. You can get this by regularly consuming iodine-rich whole foods such as seafood and seaweed from clean sources and/or supplementing with high quality, organic, nascent iodine.


Thyroid problems? Naturally boost your thyroid with Organixx Iodine

Article Summary

  • The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant disaster in 2011 were a real wake-up call regarding the dangers of radioactive iodine-131.

  • As of 2005, the Chernobyl disaster has been the direct cause of an estimated 6,000 additional thyroid cancer deaths, and that number grows every year.

  • While healthy iodine does not block radioactive iodine from the body completely, it can prevent massive uptake of iodine-131 upon exposure. With cellular receptor sites in the thyroid and other iodine uptake glands filled with healthy iodine, radioactive iodine has nowhere to go but out of the body.

  • 5 Sources of Radioactive Iodine You May Be Exposed to Everyday

    1. Food
    2. Work Exposure
    3. Medical Imaging
    4. Airport X-Ray Machines
    5. Tap Water
  • The simplest way you can protect yourself from the harms of radioactive iodine exposure is by making sure that you have ample stores of healthy iodine for your thyroid and all the other cells in your body.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. I monitor background radiation with a 0-200 mR dosimeter. nothing excessive so far.
    Total dossage for about year and a half here in Yuma is about 125 mR.

  2. Thank you for this email. I have a ready supply for a family of four of potassium iodate. I’m in Philadelphia and there are reactors in Pottstown, PA., not 35 miles from here. I also take a nascent iodine sold by my man Alex Jones. Good article. Salute to you Mr. Hunsaker and my man, Ty Bollinger.

  3. You mentioned that Chernobyl after 32 years are still affected. They will still be affected in 300 years , maybe 500 years. You mentioned that Japan does not know yet what long term effect Fukushima will have on their people. What about Canada and the USA we are getting any radiation that goes in the air and the radiation that leaks in the Pacific is affecting all marine life and marine plants which is the food for many North Americans and many islands in the Pacific. Just because our governments have been turning down the sensitivity dial on all the radiation monitors that would not quiet down, it does not make it safe for anybody. Nuclear power might be the cheapest while the plant is running but they forget about the cost of closing down that plant and maintaining it for probably 1000 years. It is the most expensive in the long run and the most dangerous for the planet earth and our health. Chernobyn again, only 32 years and they have to rebuilt the enclosure and they cannot afford it so everybody for a 1000 miles has to pay for it, nothing cheap about that. A new building every 32 years, that is 31 buildings that nobody can afford that must be built in 1000 years.

    • I campaign constantly against Nuclear. It can, in minutes, do more harm to all life and the Planet it’s self than fossil Fuels have done since their use began. This, while I readily acknowledge the great harm which these fuels have done on land and sea. Human error, natural disasters, terrorism etc. can greatly increase the already overwhelming risks. … M.

    • It apparently takes 250,000 years for nuclear waste to become inactive. Far too long for any society to know where they have put/ dumped/ buried it. Any person who isnt stupid would agree we can’t use it at all.

  4. We live in Santa Cruz, California. My husband is an avid surfer and he wants our young children to start learning. I recently heard Brian Clement, from the Hippocrates Institute, speak on how children in Seattle are experiencing radiation poisoning. My husband thinks I am overly concerned about not wanting the kids to go in the ocean. Do you have any thoughts on this? Also, we eat some fish, but have been getting Ora King salmon which is raised in pristine waters. Would love your thoughts also on eating fish?
    Also, where is the safest place to live in the US in terms of radiation? Thanks for this helpful article.

    • heidi
      it is not safe to go in the water
      it is not safe to eat seafood
      study radiation
      study chemtrails
      listen to dr helen caldicott and dr chris busby
      God bless us all

  5. it is more than a million times worse than you are saying
    https://www.veteranstoday.com/author/bobnichols/
    follow bob’s research
    and you seem to below organic food is ok
    it is grown organically which is good but it is all contaminated from the chemtrails and radiation from fukushima and all the nuclear plants in the usa and around the world
    i have researched radiation on this planet for 28 years and in depth for the last seven and a half years since fukushima
    if the food is not grown indoors in a very pure way with pure filtered water it is truly not safe to consume
    i have not consumed anything that lives in the oceans, seas, rivers or any body of water for 40 years because it is contaminated with extreme amount of toxins from many sources
    basically this planet is not a safe place to live any more
    what mankind has done to this planet and all life on it is horrific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. My daughter died of breast cancer two years ago. She had cesium in her body. She was an organic farmer and lived a very healthy life style. However, she swam from a breach house in Olympia, WA. Ships passed by from foreign countries. I think she got the radiation from Fukushima. A cyberscan showed the cesium.

  7. Great article as usual. I feel another concern is the seafood taken from the Pacific because of the the radiation spilling out of Fukushima . Everyone should always check the origin of their food sources.

  8. You have all missed the most important point. The second greatest cause of lung cancer in the world after smoking is Radon Gas which leaks from the ground into our houses.. This has to be vented away. Always ask for a Radon reading before you buy a house.

  9. I am about to get a c scan for my colon. I had a chest c scan in nov last year . They also want a c scan of my sinus next week. Is this too much?

    • Hi Linda! It’s best to discuss your concerns with your physician so he or she can help you determine the best course of action.

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