Health Notes- Radiation primer for the Fukushima disaster

The horrific disaster in Japan has captivated the world, and is creating more questions as it develops.  The prevailing air currents will bring at least some of that radiation here to the West Coast, so for us the questions about radiation and its effects get pretty personal.  Many of us are exposed to radiation in ways we might not realize.  For instance, did you know a smoker who puffs a pack a day for a year is exposed to nearly twice the radiation as the average dose of a Chernobyl disaster evacuee?  For this month’s Health Notes we thought we’d give you some sources for clear information on what radiation can do to your health and what exposures we’re likely to face. 

Radiation doses and health effects

Graphs and charts of health effects of radiation on the body-

Radiation sickness primer from CNN Health-

United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission-   Includes a breakdown of radiation sources that contribute to the average annual U.S. radiation dose of 620 mrem.

Summary Of Key Health Threats From Fukushima Radioactive Substances-

Detailed radiation dose chart from background radiation through Chernobyl-

Radiation exposure in daily life-

Motion maps showing radiation plume and levels

Animated plume map –

Animated plume map-

Animated plume map –;region=NH

Participatory radiation map- 

What you can do

How to protect yourself from nuclear radiation-

California pharmacist recommendations for available supplements that can reduce radiation damage-

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