Tag Archives: contamination

  • What Should I Do?
    Green Water Hose

    Don’t Get Hosed by Chemical Contamination

    Your garden hose can be toxic to your health
    by bgarrett

    Thursday, August 2, 2018, 4:16 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?

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  • Insider

    My Personal Preparations For Nuclear War

    Peace of mind today. Salvation tommorrow?
    by Chris Martenson

    Saturday, October 29, 2016, 1:40 AM


    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…

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  • Daily Prep
    Screen capture CFPI

    Is there arsenic in your drinking water?

    If you have a private well, get it tested!
    by Jason

    Thursday, July 3, 2014, 6:37 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. 


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  • Blog
    Yuliyan Velchev/Shutterstock

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

    It's very important
    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 2:55 PM


    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

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  • Insider

    The Contamination Threat

    What you need to know
    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 2:54 PM


    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.


    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… 

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  • Daily Digest
    Image by steve conry, Flickr Creative Commons

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

    by DailyDigest

    Saturday, May 25, 2013, 2:50 PM

    • 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

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  • Blog

    Exclusive Arnie Gundersen Interview: The Dangers of Fukushima Are Worse and Longer-lived Than We Think

    by Adam Taggart

    Friday, June 3, 2011, 7:54 PM


    “I have said it’s worse than Chernobyl and I’ll stand by that. There was an enormous amount of radiation given out in the first two to three weeks of the event. And add the wind blowing in-land. It could very well have brought the nation of Japan to its knees. I mean, there is so much contamination that luckily wound up in the Pacific Ocean as compared to across the nation of Japan – it could have cut Japan in half. But now the winds have turned, so they are heading to the south toward Tokyo and now my concern and my advice to friends that if there is a severe aftershock and the Unit 4 building collapses, leave. We are well beyond where any science has ever gone at that point and nuclear fuel lying on the ground and getting hot is not a condition that anyone has ever analyzed.”

    So cautions Arnie Gundersen, widely-regarded to be the best nuclear analyst covering Japan’s Fukushima disaster. The situation on the ground at the crippled reactors remains precarious and at a minimum it will be years before it can be hoped to be truly contained. In the near term, the reactors remain particularly vulnerable to sizable aftershocks, which still have decent probability of occuring. On top of this is a growing threat of ‘hot particle’ contamination risk to more populated areas as weather patterns shift with the typhoon season and groundwater seepage.

    In Part 1 of this interview, Chris and Arnie recap the damage wrought to Fukushima’s reactors by the tsunami, the steps TEPCO is taking to address it, and the biggest operational risks that remain at this time. In Part 2, they dive into the health risks still posed by the situation there and what individuals should do (including those on the US west coast) if it worsens.

    Click the play button below to listen to Part 1 of Chris’ interview with Arnie Gundersen (runtime 36m:31s):

    [swf file=”http://media.chrismartenson.com/audio/arnie-gundersen-2011-06-03-part1.mp3″]

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  • Blog

    EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: Latest Satellite Imagery From Fukushima Tells Sobering Tale

    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, April 1, 2011, 8:54 PM


    Noting that the press has largely turned its resources off of the Fukushima complex, and needing up-to-date information on the status of the damage control efforts there, we secured the most up-to-date satellite photo from DigitalGlobe (dated March 31st), which we analyze below. This is the first photo of the damaged reactor site at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility made available to the public in over a week. That means you, our readers, are the first public eyes anywhere to see this photo.

    Drawing upon the expertise of our resident nuclear engineer and Ann Stringer, imaging expert, we conclude that the situation at Fukushima is not stabilized: Things are not yet at a place of steady progress in the containment and clean-up efforts. It’s still a dance, forwards and backwards, with the workers making gains here and there but the situation forcing them to react defensively all too often.

    In this report, we will tell you what we know for sure, what we are nearly certain of, and what we remain forced to speculate about.

    Here is a portion of a much larger image (covering 25 square kilometers in total) showing the reactor complex as of March 31, at roughly mid-day:

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  • Blog

    Nuclear Expert’s Step-By-Step Assessment of the Fukushima Disaster & What You Need to Know

    by Adam Taggart

    Sunday, March 20, 2011, 3:34 PM


    In this detailed interview, Chris talks with longtime ChrisMartenson.com member Dogs_In_A_Pile, an expert on nuclear energy who has been posting frequent updates to this site covering the developments at the Fukushima reactor in Japan as they have unfolded.

    Based on his decades of experience, Dogs provides a detailed overview of how nuclear reactors work and then speculates as best he can (as the world is still dealing with imperfect information on the situation) how the technical situation at Fukushima likely degraded since the 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit on March 11.

    This is an excellent discussion that addresses in depth many of the questions asked on this site over the past week: How does nuclear energy work? What caused the explosion of several of Fukushima’s reactors? What is ‘decay heat’ and why is it so important here? What’s the likelihood the situation will be brought under control soon? What dangers should – and shouldn’t – we worry about?

    Many thanks to Dogs for bringing a knowledgable and rational voice that helps demystify the haze of incomplete (and often erroneous) information that has been circulating in the media around this tragedy.

    Click the play button below to listen to Chris’ interview with Dogs_In_A_Pile (runtime 1h:14m:56s):

    [swf file=”http://media.chrismartenson.com/audio/dogs-in-a-pile-2011-03-20-final.mp3″]

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    In this podcast, Dogs addresses: 

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  • Blog

    Quick Primer on Contamination Control Measures

    by Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Thursday, March 17, 2011, 10:02 PM


    This short primer was provided by ChrisMartenson.com member Dogs_In_A_Pile in the comments to our ongoing post covering the developments in Japan. We are featuring it here given the many questions readers are asking on this topic and the importance at this time of clearly understanding risks we do (and don’t) face. It is based on his expertise developed during his military service on nuclear-powered submarines. 

    Radiation and contamination are used interchangeably and they are not the same thing, nor are treatment methods.  You can receive radiation exposure and not need any contamination control, and you can become contaminated and not need treatment for exposure to radiation.  NOTE – I am not saying that if you get contaminated you won’t receive any radiation exposure, because you will.  What I am saying is that you may be contaminated with such a low level of contaminated particles that there will be no need for radiation exposure treatments.  The difference is both subtle and vast. 

    Here is a quick primer on contamination control measures.

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