Effects Of Cesium-137
Below is a video of Steven Starr’s talk on effects of Cesium-137 , “The Implications of The Massive Contamination of Japan With Radioactive Cesium” presented at Helen Caldicott’s Fukushima Symposium in March of 2013.
A transcript with original charts (in English) is provided here:
We provide a brief summary of the key points below:
- Cesium-137 is the most abundant of the long-lived radionuclides released by the rupture of nuclear fuel rods
- It has a 30 year half-life, meaning it persists in ecosystems 180-300 years
- It is a water-soluble macro-nutrient and mimics Potassium
- Quickly spreads throughout contaminated ecosystems
Radioactivity is a measure of how many atoms are disintegrating over time.
- 1 Becquerel (Bq) = 1 atomic disintegration per second
- 1 Curie (Ci) = 37 Billon atomic disintegrations per second
When people dismiss the effects of Cesium-137 by comparing it to the radioactive Potassium-40 in a banana, they fail to account for the strength of the radioactivity. It is like saying a single stick of dynamite and the bomb dropped at Hiroshima amount to the same thing.
- Potassium-40 = 71 ten millionths Curies per gram
- Cesium-137 = 88 Curies per gram
- Strontium-90 = 140 Curies per gram
So the effects of Cesium-137 are about 10 million times more radioactive than Potassium-40.
104 Curies per square mile of Cesium-137 contamination makes the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone uninhabitable. 15-40 Curies per square mile is still considered a strict dosage control zone. In simple terms less than a dime’s weight of this toxic substance is sufficient to render New York’s Central Park uninhabitable.
Many nuclear power plants have more than 100 million Curies of Cesium-137 in storage.
Analysis by the US National Nuclear Security Administration’s NA-42 Aerial Measuring System and the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center of the Lawrence Livermore Lab show significant contamination of the Japanese mainland during the week that followed the initial disaster. The Japanese government did not release this information publicly at the time. Eight months later they issued a map which did not reveal the extent to which Tokyo had been subjected to the effects of Cesium-137 and other radiobuclides. A 300 square mile exclusion zone was declared. Readings in excess of the 1 millisievert per year limit were also discovered over a 4,500 square mile area but instead of evacuation, officials raised the limit to 20 millisieverts.
Since radiation impacts different age groups differently, the impact of raising the acceptable levels was to increase cancer rates in baby girls by 1% and in baby boys by 0.5%. These figures are questionable because of the difference between internal an external exposure.
One of the problematical effects of Cesium-137 is bio-accumulation. Toxins concentrate faster than they can be excreted. Its biological half-life is 110 days, meaning that if consumption stops, it will take around three years to fall to 1/1000th of the starting level. Concentrations magnify as one goes up the food chain just like mercury in fish. High concentrations can be found in meat, dairy, mushrooms and berries.
This means that with daily ingestion of 1 Becquerel of Cesium-137 tends to pass out of the body as fast as it accumulates, flatlining at 200 Becquerels. However with 10 Becquerels daily, levels will tend to rise, flatlining at 1400 Becquerels. This can be confirmed by having patients sit in the chair of a Whole-Body Counter to determine the number of Becquerels per Kilogram of body weight. The ICRP classifies these as safe levels even up to a daily consumption of 100 Becquerels daily.
Effects Of Cesium-137 On Human Health
However: “Research done by Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky, and his colleagues and students, in Belarus during the period 1991 through 1999, correlated whole body radiation levels of 10 to 30 Becquerels per kilogram of whole body weight with abnormal heart rhythms and levels of 50 Becquerels per kilogram of body weight with irreversible damage to the tissues of the heart and other vital organs.
One of the key discoveries made by Bandazhevsky was that Cesium-137 bioconcentrates in the endocrine and heart tissues, as well as the pancreas, kidneys and intestines. This goes completely against one of the primary assumptions used by the ICRP to calculate “effective dose” as measured by milliseiverts: that Cesium-137 is uniformly distributed in human tissues.
Let me restate that. The current ICRP methodology is to assume that the absorbed dose is uniformly distributed in human tissues. This is, in fact, not the case…It was never previously translated in large part because shortly after Dr. Bandazhevsky presented it to the Parliament and the President of Belarus, he was summarily arrested and imprisoned.”
Mitigating The Effects Of Cesium-137
In order to mitigate the effects of Cesium-137 from internal exposure, one needs to accomplish 3 things:
- Accelerate the rate at which the radionuclides pass out of the body. In other words, chelate. Apple pectin and seaweed do this. Even better for mitigating effects of Cesium-137 is NCD Zeolite suspension
- Repair any damage done by free radicals by:
- Alkalizing – Alkalizing may be done through diet, but many people find it more convenient to drink alkaline water, such as is produced by Kangen and Athena machines. Alkalizing creates an environment where free radicals are neutralized thus mitigating effects of Cesium-137.
- Mineralizing – High quality mineral supplements in available form are best (liquid).
- Eating nutrient-dense foods such as fresh green juices, Chlorella and Spirulina helps cells repair damage, thus further mitigating the effects of Cesium-137.
More on the effects of Cesium-137 later.