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Monday, March 21, 2011

Is There A Risk Of Radiation Poisoning In The USA?

This story is hilarious. People in the USA are panicking, that there will be risk of radiation exposure, due to the nuclear accident in Japan.

The President gave a speech, reassuring people there's nothing to worry about.

"Whether it's the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska or U.S. territories in the Pacific, we do not expect harmful levels of radiation," Obama said. "That's the judgment of our Nuclear Regulatory Commission and many other experts."
The outcome was pretty funny. People in the USA are extremely distrustful, of the President and mainstream media. If the President says "Don't worry about X!", half the people will immediately get concerned about X.

The attempt to prevent a panic led to greater panic! The mainstream media has that little credibility! The more they reassure people that everything's OK, the more people will panic! By default, people assume the mainstream media is lying.

I doubt that the President and mainstream media intentionally caused a panic. They're out of touch. They don't realize how little credibility they have.

In a real sense, the mainstream media has negative credibility! The attempts to stop panic led to greater panic!

The President says "The economy is getting better! There's nothing to worry about!". People react "Who does he think he's fooling?" The President says "There's no risk of radiation exposure! There's nothing to worry about!" People think "OMFG! There's a risk of radiation exposure! It must be true! If it was obviously false, the President wouldn't be officially denouncing it!"

If you take iodine pills without radiation exposure, that might have negative side effects.

I know enough science to understand that there isn't much risk. The reasons to not panic are:
  1. It was a relatively small radioactive leak.
  2. The really nasty stuff has a short half-life. For example, iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days.
  3. Any radioactivity gets diluted as it spreads and travels.
  4. There's a certain amount of background radiation all the time. It's negligible compared to that.
The TSA pornoscanners are a much greater radiation risk, than the nuclear accident in Japan.

Only the people living near the reactor are at risk. The nuclear cleanup workers are at risk. There's no risk for people living in the USA.

This incident is funny. It shows how little credibility the President and mainstream media have. The more they say "There's nothing to worry about!", the more people automatically assume they're lying. People have become automatically cynical, about anything the mainstream media says.

The mainstream media didn't intentionally cause a panic. They're out of touch with how little credibility they have. This story is amusing and reassuring. It's good that people mistrust the media that much.


dionysusal said...

It’s been determined that small doses of radiation received over a long period of time is much worse than a high dose received all at once. If you’re on the US west coast, you’ll be receiving slightly elevated radiation for the foreseeable future thanks to Japan and will be suffering deleterious health effects. No amount of radiation is good for you, what Skeletor’s bride Ann Coulter says notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Our "natural background radiation level" is already super elevated, due to various activity and leaks that add and add to it. To say that it's ok, is like saying that a natural background level of prison guards is ok (it is to a jail bird).

Also, a very good point on president's lack of credibility.

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