Contamination

What Should I Do?

Green Water Hose

Don’t Get Hosed by Chemical Contamination

Your garden hose can be toxic to your health
Thursday, August 2, 2018, 12:16 PM

When buying water storage equipment and containers, our customers are always concerned about the quality of the container and what is best for storing water for long periods of time.  Some typical questions we get are: Will the container leach chemicals into the water? Are these containers BPA free? » Read more

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My Personal Preparations For Nuclear War

Peace of mind today. Salvation tommorrow?
Friday, October 28, 2016, 9:40 PM

Executive Summary

  • The Importance Of Avoiding Contamination
  • The Steps I Took This Week
  • Resources For Estimating The Threat Level For Where You Live
  • Advice For City-Dwellers

If you have not yet read Part 1: We Risk Being Collateral Damage In The Neocon Lust For War available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

First up, I promised you that if I ever took any actions I’d let you know about them.  I toyed with breaking that pledge (net very seriously) because I really don’t want to needlessly scare anybody.

I don’t like focusing on the negative, but I did catch myself thinking and slightly worrying about the tensions with Russia and realized that I did not have a few basic preparations.   So what do we do at Peak Prosperity when we have a gap between what we know and our actions?  We close up that gap with action.

I’ve written extensively about the possibility of war with Russia, and the possible things to protect against range from minor annoyances and shortages to a grid down event (via EMP or hacking) to a nuclear war.

Of them all, I suppose the grid down event scares me the most if it involved any protracted outage of more than a month.  Things fall apart never to be properly rebuilt if that happens. 

But a limited nuclear war, or even a more broad-based one if things really get out of hand, also worry me a lot.

And I am not the sort to sit around and worry.  I hate sitting around and worrying so last week I did what few things I could to assure that I can make the best of it if a nuclear exchange happens. 

Look, even if there’s only a 1% chance of a nuclear exchange over the next five years, I personally consider that that to be an excessive risk (given the catastrophic outcomes involved).  Given how I am built, I need to prepare as best I can so that I can relieve my anxiety and get back to living life fully.

As background, you should definitely re-read our excellent previously-issed reports on radiation and the difference between that and radioactive contamination because those are the building blocks for knowing how to survive. 

In fact, you should print them out and have them tucked into your preparations area. 

Having a grounded understanding of what radioactive isotopes are and what they do to a living system is critical knowledge to have.  But maybe you don’t need it yet.  So read the articles of background and put the whole subject away, hopefully forever, never to be revisited.

I’ll be honest; I am not all that scared by radioactivity.  My view is we evolved with background radiation and life has been dealing with it for a very long time.  Now contamination, on the other hand, which is the ingestion of a hot particle of some sort, now that scares me a lot. And it should scare you too. So much of my preparations are centered around... » Read more

Daily Prep

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Is there arsenic in your drinking water?

If you have a private well, get it tested!
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 2:37 PM

A good reminder that we need to be vigilant about the quality of our drinking water and have periodic checks of private water sources to ensure one's health and well being.

The article includes a nice interactive mapping feature to search for your location and get a baseline view of the issue. 

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/there-arsenic-your-drinking-water-if-you-have-private-well-get-it-tested.html

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Fukushima's Legacy: Understanding the Difference Between Nuclear Radiation & Contamination

It's very important
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 10:55 AM

Are fish from the Pacific safe to eat?  What about the elevated background radiation readings detected in Japan, and recently, in California? Are these harmful levels?

Should we be worried? And if so, what should be done about these potential health threats? What steps should we take to protect ourselves?

As many of you know, I'm a scientist by training. In this report, I'll lay out the facts and data that explain the actual risks. I'll start by pointing out that Fukushima-related fears have been overblown as well as heavily downplayed by parties on each side of the discussion » Read more

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The Contamination Threat

What you need to know
Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 10:54 AM

Executive Summary

  • The "usual suspects" of dangerous radioactive contamination
  • Recently reported incidents of contamination
  • How bioaccumulation and biomagnification exacerbate the impact of contamination
  • Prudent advice post-Fukushima

If you have not yet read Part I: Fukushima's Legacy: Understanding the Difference Between Radiation & Contamination, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Sources of Radioactive Contamination

As mentioned in Part I, polonium provides an excellent and dramatic example of something that is perfectly safe on the outside of the body and perfectly deadly on the inside. That's the difference between radiation and contamination.

"Radiation, just like with any toxic chemical, is related to dose," said Cham Dallas, a professor and toxicologist at the University of Georgia's Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense. "If you get a big dose, then you'll die sooner."

And with polonium-210, a dangerous dose can be a matter of micrograms: smaller than a single speck of pepper, he said.

If you ingest polonium-210, about 50% to 90% of the substance will exit the body through feces, according to a fact sheet from Argonne National Laboratory. What is left will enter the bloodstream. About 45% of polonium ingested gets into the spleen, kidneys and liver, and 10% is deposited in the bone marrow.

Radiation poisoning from polonium-210 looks like the end stage of cancer, Dallas said.

Liver and kidney damage ensue, along with extreme nausea and severe headaches. Victims often experience vomiting, diarrhea and hair loss. The alpha particles emitted from the decaying substance get absorbed in the body, which is what causes harm. Death may come in a matter of days, sometimes weeks.

(Source)

Yes, polonium-210 is highly radioactive a half gram of it in a vial will heat itself up to 500 degrees Celsius all on its own just because of radioactive decay but it is not at all lethal until and unless it is ingested.  Once it gets inside, then a fleck the size of a grain of pepper is lethal.

The much-feared plutonium-238 is also an alpha emitter.  On the outside of your body it is not much of a problem.  Inside it is extraordinarily harmful.

Iodine-131 (I-131) is another "fairly harmless on the outside, but deadly on the inside" sort of substance.  Even a vastly sub-lethal dose of I-131 in terms of your whole body load will be damaging if not deadly, because iodine is viewed by your body as a delicious and rare treat, with your thyroid gobbling it up, radioactive or not, and storing it for future use.

As the thyroid does this, the I-131 gets concentrated into a very small body mass where the radioactive load experienced by the thyroid is far higher than any surrounding tissues.  At a high enough dose, the thyroid will be destroyed which is a survivable experience, as anybody who's had their thyroid removed can attest.

The real difficulty actually comes with...  » Read more

Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 5/25 - Wealth On A Plane, On The Front Lines Of Food Safety

Saturday, May 25, 2013, 10:50 AM
  • Wealth On A Plane
  • Doomsday investors betting on market crash
  • Gold & Silver – Markets Provide Us The Best Information
  • Dispute Over Budget Deepens a Rift Within the G.O.P.
  • States’ Policies on Health Care Exclude Some of the Poorest
  • Bison-Loving Billionaires Rile Ranchers With Land Grab in American West
  • On The Front Lines Of Food Safety