Radiation safety: What you should know
April 4th, 2011
12:15 PM ET

Radiation safety: What you should know

You might be a little freaked out about 11,500 tons of radioactive water being dumped into the Pacific Ocean in Japan, where workers are still scrambling to stabilize an earthquake-crippled nuclear power plant called Fukushima Daiichi. In fact, the words "radiation" and "nuclear" give many people the creeps.

And that's partly because these are concepts that you aren't too familiar with; take a minute to learn the basics here. When you get down to the actual risks involved in the Japan nuclear disaster, things aren't so bad for the general public.

It's true that radioactive particles from a nuclear disaster like this do get into the food supply, but so far there's no indication that there's cause for alarm. The particles emitted from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant bind to dust, which is how they travel through the air and eventually fall on the ground, according to CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

When cows eat contaminated grass, those particles can get into milk. Large surfaces of leafy veggies are at risk because they present a greater surface area for the particles to fall on; that's why several green vegetables can no longer be exported from certain areas near the nuclear power plant. Still, levels detected so far pose little risk, Gupta said. And so far there is no contamination of beef in Japan, the government said Friday.

Radioactive particles disperse the farther they travel, so by the time they get to the United States from Japan they are not concentrated enough to pose any health risk. The state of Washington and California have both reported low levels of radioactivity in milk; however, this milk is safe to consume, experts say.

And how about what that water might do to fish? If you're still craving sushi, it seems that, unlike after the Gulf oil disaster, there isn't as much concern about the safety of fish from Japan, Eatocracy reports. Fishing in the prefectures near to the nuclear plant - Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate - has been suspended since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which makes it less likely that tainted fish will reach the market.

But there is justified concern for the health of the Japanese workers who are struggling to control Fukushima Daiichi, and getting exposure to doses of radiation far higher than the general public. While they are probably not experiencing any health effects right now, their long-term health should be monitored, experts say.

soundoff (515 Responses)
  1. whatajoke

    this country is so divided its bound to fail, retards get informed instead of being sheep

    April 4, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris D

      The sad thing is, people will ignore what you said because they feel your insulting them. In reality your right. The media and politics are ruining this country. All they do is divide people and make them argue. They should be focused on the major points of what needs to get done instead their arguing.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • geruda

      This article is so much crap. For one thing all they discuss is iodine-131 which is probably the least harmful owing to its short half-life. There are many extremely dangerous and toxic radio-neucleotides not discussed, or even acknowledged that would be giving us plenty to fear. The American sheeple are being systematically lulled into thinking there is nothing to worry about. The fact is, might as well not worry. Not a thing you can do about it anyway. As big a waste of time as worrying that you are going to die someday. Oh, there is one thing, you could be raising hell about the fact we have 104 nuclear time bombs in this country. And to go along with those, about 150,000 tons of spent radiaoactive fuel we still haven't found a home for.

      If the Romans had built nuclear power plants we would still be struggling with how to handle the waste they produced. Nice job for you kids to worry about.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • Kell


      I would be more worried about the hundreds of aging nuclear weapons in the country (and other countries) than about the nuclear power plants. Those weapons were originally designed with a 10-20 year lifespan, and many of them have been sitting around for 60+ years. At least the power plants were designed to last 40 years from the beginning...

      April 4, 2011 at 16:32 | Report abuse |
    • Kell

      Also, if the Romans had built nuclear power plants, we would all probably still be using them, just like we still use a good number of the roads, bridges, aqueducts, fountains, and bath houses they built.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
    • Raymond Rohm

      (@thepersonwhowrotethis) Who the hell are you?? Have you dumped tons of radiation into an ocean before?! NO! How can you tell the world public that this will have no affect on marine life or food supply??!??!!??!!?!?!? This is a ridiculous article and your logic sucks! DON'T LISTEN TO THIS NONSENSE EVERYONE OUT THERE, THERE IS NO TELLING WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR ANY OF US!!

      April 4, 2011 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • Stoopid iz az Stoopid Duz

      Well said. We're no better off than a lot of these countries on the brink of civil war. We just aren't fighting our fight with guns, we're fighting ours with simple-minded rhetoric. When you actually talk to a lot of these people, they have no clue what any of it means.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
  2. Satago110

    I'm no scientist, but I'm pretty sure that the only REGULAR seawater should be in the ocean. And fish. And maybe whatever's left of Ralph Nader.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hearfear

      They threw him in the piranha tank in the 90's

      April 4, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • Shinea

      TONS of radioactive elements are leached into the ocean all the time. This is hardly a blip on the monitor.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:28 | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Really, Satago? So, we should ban ships, submarines and swimming? While we're at it, we have to ban volcanoes, as THEY spew millions of tons of radioactive magma into the deep oceans!
      Right now, they have a choice, let the plant completely melt down and the spent fuel catch on fire and possibly melt OR dump the slightly radioactive water into the ocean so that they can pump other water into those tanks. It's THAT simple of a choice, no choice.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
    • Physicist

      Yes, you aren't a scientist and should not be making statements when you know nothing about radiation and where it comes from and how much is too much. If you have nothing intelligent to say don't say it.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
  3. cindy

    one last thing –
    if you work for cnn, you are part of the problem. if you work for fox, cbs, nbc, nyt, nypost, wa times, wa post – you are part of the problem. if you have any bit of your soul left, give up the cushy job and make a living doing honest work that doesn't hurt anyone. if you think you're serving a noble profession – you are lying to yourself in addition to the rest of us.
    the nihilsm and fatalism in this country is getting similar to what the old ussr must have been like. corporate interests are just the most recent version of absolute power. FIGHT BACK.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      The press is one thing that makes this country great. Without it, we become Iran.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • regertz

      Nonsense. Journalism is a noble profession and brave men and women risk their lives in it. Is there silliness and ambition just like in any paper shuffling career? Sure, they're only human, but most try to do a good and objective job. (Except of course in Murdoch land). It's up to you to get diverse sources if you don't like CNN or FOX. Try Democracy Now or the BBC. I'm not sure what you mean...Would you have only government spokespeople giving "Happy talk" or "real news" from nutty Lou Dobbs and similiar paranoid freaks?

      April 4, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
    • jbohdrider

      Greg-I wish that was the case, but the mainstream news media has sold out to big business and are nothing more than advertising venues that support the companies that own them and push the idea that we need to consume, consume, consume. Time-Warner is a great example. How can Time provide unbiased reporting when they are actually beholding to a huge enterntainment company. Many of the "reporters" have given up their right to free press simply because they have sold out to the highest bidder.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • ThoughtProcess

      Press responds to hits. If stories get web views, there will be more hype and subsequent stories on that subject. CNN and all those news networks are putting out stories of fear (as the news always does) because people click on that. The masses seek out reasons to be afraid. We seek out tragedy and horrible things, especially if they could in any possible way tie back to us. This isn't someone's "fault", it's human nature and includes the audience as well as the press. You DID just click on this story, read at least some of it and take the time to reply, didn't you?

      April 4, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Cushy Job? really. Apparently you haven't worked journalism. Long hours, strict deadlines, constantly on-call, and very little pay. Working news is tough.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • jbohdrider

      Apparently you don't watch the news. The stupid A$$ royal wedding and Charlie Sheen get the billing. Look at the land page for CNN, they are telling you it's the perfect time to buy an "inexpensive" luxury car. He11 Stephanopolous gave up a decent job on SUnday morning to hawk Chirs Rock's play and Jesse Ventura's new book. Are there honorable reporters out there, sure, as far as main stream news, there is no such thing. They have sold news out to the highest bidder

      April 4, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      greg and regertz: see jbohdrider

      ThoughtProcess: you made my point for me: it's not journalism if it's entertainment.

      Andrew: it's probably true that the vast majority of journi-malists are not paid well. but whether it's hand jobs or escort service, it is what it is...

      jbohdrider: RIGHT ON!!! 🙂

      April 4, 2011 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
  4. Mark

    Those that think this is no bid deal, should pull their heads out of the sand and take a good look around at the polluted world we live in. Areas of the ocean the size of Rhode Island filled with garbage, 3 Mile Island, Chernobyl, all adding a little bit to the already polluted earth. Just keep going they way we are, its OK, I know it is because big business tells me so.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neeneko

      You do realize that 'nature' puts more radioactive material into the air then all the nuclear disasters and bombs put together? I agree we have a problem with pollution, but radioactive pollution is pretty close the bottom of the pile when it comes to being an actual problem or even getting above background levels.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • ELL

      Make that twice the size of Texas for that floating island of pollution in the Pacific.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
    • joe08

      Then what? were will get our electricity? Where will we get heat? If we burn wood it will just distroy the woods and create soot. Even solar and wind have negative effects on the enviroment and are currently not effecent enough to replace what we have. Maybe I am a corporate shill, but I have a warm house and electricity.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
    • jenisualla

      so theres a trace amount in our water...a trace amount in our milk......a trace in the air.... a trace in the food. so if I also took a ride in a plane. had a doctors appointment, which they gave me three x-rays., i am still not contaminated enough to harm.? or what about the people that already have cancer, is it harming them more? more importantly, there is someone on earth that really does know, right? they wouldn't make such things without knowing the harm it could do to the people they are trying to benefit from it, right? its gotta be okay. right????????????

      April 4, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    I think, given the established harm Nuclear radiation can cause to a human body, the only logical recourse left for us as a species is to put out the Sun, in self-defense.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mary

      Total different type of radiation that is now spewing out of this power plant..
      Even at that, the sun is known to cause skin to burn and blister and damage to cells.. Later cancers develop.
      So your thought process sucks dude.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • enuph

      There are many different kinds of radiation, Dan, just as there are many different kinds of apples. Just because Gala's are bad in a pie does not mean they are not good to eat.

      Hear, Learn, Speak. That is the order of things in the real world.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse |
    • Chris D

      Technically Incorrect Mary.
      There are 3 types of radiation being given off at the plant.
      Alpha, Beta and Gamma. Gamma is dangerous and the other two are there but aren't as harmful. The sun would be very dangerous if our atmosphere didn't help protect us. Plus...people get skin cancer all the time, it is radiation and isnt good for us....BUT we cant live a bubble can we.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • knucklecheese

      Well Dan, It seems no one around these parts has much of a sense of humor. If it makes you feel any better, I thought your joke was funny.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:23 | Report abuse |
    • LilyHaze

      Agreed. Too long has the oppressive sun held dominion over us. Has everyone just magically forgotten the hundreds of years it took to dethrone the sun as a god? And even then we had to agree to make it the center of the solar system. That, and it continued to claim cancer victims in tribute to itself, in direct violation of countless international laws! This has gone on too long. It's time to finish the sun once and for all.

      April 4, 2011 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
  6. enuph

    What part of food chain is unclear? Pretty sure it works the same way today as it did in early March.

    The little organisms et the minerals and microscopic animals in the shallow water, then fish eat the little organisms and small animals, then bigger fish eat the little fish, then we eat the big fish.

    Last time I checked, sea life did not obey no swimming, fishing, or drinking signs posted within a mile of the shoreline. I am also pretty sure that they do not know the difference from Iodine's 8-day half-life and Cesium's 30 year half-life.

    Sanjay, I like your shows and reports, but c'mon.... don't play the part of the patsy; you are better than that.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neeneko

      You inject small amounts Cesium 30 every single day already. As long as it does not go above a certain amount your body (which evolved in an environment where this is an issue, i.e. the earth) is more then capable of dealing with it.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • enuph

      Neeneko.... Yeah, we INGEST cesium every day, true. This is normally done in a salt form as natural cesium is similar to potassium and very stable. Cesium is atomic number 55, not 30; of course we are not talking about this element, rather we are talking about the man-made Cs-137, a highly radioactive and toxic isotope that takes 30 years to even become relatively safe. The levels of Cs-137 in the spill water coming out of those reactors (which by the way is about the only place you can get this isotope) is the problem. As a salt, it is taken-up as easily as potassium chloride or sodium chloride in tissue.... that is where my previous opinion comes into play. We are talking about two very different Cesiums here and the latter, 137, is the problem.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
  7. Mike50

    Yes my children, everything is just fine. Go forth as usual. Live your life. And above all, spend your money.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Lookatfacts

    There is over 693 Trillion tons of water in all oceans. This 11,500 tons is only 0.000002% once is gets diluted. I bet we have a lot of other places to worry about where radiation is coming from.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Neeneko

      Like other humans... sleeping next to another human is .05 uSv... which is probably more then the does of this dumping spread out over the entire ocean.....

      April 4, 2011 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      It's stupid to compare the amount of radioactive sea water with the amount of current sea water, because it does not actually show how much radiation is being dumped. If the density of the radiation in the 11,500 tons of radioactive sea water is low then it will have much less of an impact. However if it is high then those same 11,500 tons stands to be a much greater threat to the surrounding environment.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
    • SDN

      @Ryan: I'm afraid the dilution example you're citing isn't stupid – it's arithmetic. No matter what the concentration of the solution that has leaked into the Pacific Ocean, that concentration will be diluted by that factor indicated (assuming the math is correct).

      April 4, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    Two famous sentences you never want to hear from government agencies, everything is under control and don't panic. When you hear those two things the complete opposite should be your immediate reaction.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shinea

      Panic and do WHAT, exactly? Light some torches and burn down the nuke plants?

      April 4, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
    • Stoopid iz az Stoopid Duz

      @Shinea – LOL, exactly. A bunch of whack-jobs living in constant fear.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
    • Coach

      Gotta love the ignorant and uneducated...
      If it isn't "common sense" to the average person, it can't be true! those government scientists and their advanced scientific degrees are just a bunch of liberal elitist education hogwash according to people like Joe

      April 4, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse |
  10. db

    All this talk of the "short" half-life of Iodine-131 and very little talk of the 30 year half-life of Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 and absolutely no talk of the 24,200 year half-life of Plutonium-239. Natural selection will be forced to take its course and will probably evolve humans to look like lizards with thick skin to handle the high background radiation. We probably won't have to worry about over-population of the planet when the human species becomes sterile in a few generations.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • enuph

      Your on point, db. Good show. I don't think it will be a globally catastrophic issue, but it is a problem and one that reasonable, rational people should become informed about rather than just guessing or taking media and/or Government word for it.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
    • An actual nuclear expert

      The reason the media talks about the shorted lived I-131 so much isn't because of a giant conspiracy to avoid other nuclides, as many imply. The shorter the half-life, the more radioactive a material is. Thats how radioactive decay works.
      Furthermore, I-131 is stored in the thyroid. Pu-239 is not, since our bodies don't "know" what it is.
      Also, Pu-239 is not very dangerous. It primarily emits alpha particles, which travel only a centimeter in air, and can't penetrate the skin. Since Pu-239 is very dense, very little of it's radiation even escapes the material.

      Even after this "catastrophe", nuclear power is FACTUALLY safer than almost everything. Low levels of radiation (below 1000 millirem) are NOT scientifically proven to be harmful. This is a fact. The "nuclear industry" didn't secretly make this up. They chose the legal limits on completely arbitrary grounds just to have a limit that seems reasonable.

      I find it interesting that people are so worried about the radiation, and not the actual earthquake + tsunami that has killed thousands.
      If I was living next to a nuclear plant and a giant earthquake happened (9.0 magnitude is HUGE), should I be worried about the low levels of radiation, not scientifically proven to be harmful, which occur, or should I be worried about my house falling on top of me?

      April 4, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse |
    • Stoopid iz az Stoopid Duz

      Interesting. Just like everything else, people are clouded by fear of buzz words they think they understand.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:54 | Report abuse |
  11. Human

    This article is just opinions and speculation being presented as facts. Though I don't so much blames the author as it seems that speculation is all anybody can do at this point, seeing that the experts don't even know for certain what the long-term effects will be. It's obvious that the nuclear industry has not invested enough time and money into safety and contingency planning. Shameful.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Lola

    What an insult this is to readers! The teaser headline "Don't Freak Out" implies that we are all panicking if we care at all, and the statement that radiation is something " you" aren't too familiar with is... Beyond offensive. And wrong, at least in my case. In fact, the reason I do worry is that I do understand it. The fact that this ridiculous piece appears on CNN.com (aka The Fear Monger's Workshop) should be funny. It's not.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      BP says oil is good for the ocean and now TEPCO says radiation ain't no big deal. Wow, I feel so much better. Sanjay Gloopta is a dolt.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
    • jbohdrider

      The funniest part to me is that they are spouting the same party line for everything. Oh don't worry that radiation in the milk in Spokane isn't a big deal...Oh don't worry that radiation that is on those plants is so minscule that you don't need to worry about it...Oh the radiation in the sea water is such a small amount, it won't hurt anything. All those exrays you are forced to take when you fly, no big deal. All I know is that it is really about exposure adding up so when you start adding up the exposures, it can't be good or even ok...It's bad no matter how you slice it.

      April 4, 2011 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      well you and many others may be well informed in nuclear physics, but an even larger population is not. Since you fall in the minority, this article does not connect with you. Stop getting offended over it, that's just plain stupid. I consider myself well informed in nuclear physics, but I'm not going to get upset over an article that is addressing those that are not. Not everyone in the world is going to direct their comments specifically to you. You just aren't that special.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
    • Chai

      Steve, this article was not written by Dr. Gupta. Look below the articles here to see who wrote them.

      April 4, 2011 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
  13. Dave

    Im so glad that radiation is no longer bad for us! What a relief.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. sue

    "Move along. THere is nothing to see here"

    April 4, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. abqtim

    Are you kidding me?!!! Nothing to worry about??!!! Before this disaster weren't we worried about polution and we're adding readiocative polution to the mix...excuse me, but doesn't adding more to a problem make the problem bigger, and If a problem is bigger it should be worried about more??!!!!???! Besides, when do we worry; when someone give birth to a glowing green baby?!!?

    April 4, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stoopid iz az Stoopid Duz

      Yes because that is exactly what radiation causes. Glowing green children. Nice.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
  16. tony

    Wow!!! This report is sooooo much more straightforward and credible than the industry supporting piece on the BBC website, by the Oxford Prof. of Physics.

    April 4, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Bryan S

    Nothing to worry about, thank goodness! The writer probably based that on all of the other times 11,500 gallons was poured into the ocean. Before this article, I thought that would be a dangerous thing.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • enuph

      11500 tons of contamination, not gallons. Gallonage would be roughly 198490 gallons with the variable being the amount of non-water material in solution.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • enuph

      2,602,549 gallons. sorry.

      April 4, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
  18. Skeptical

    "Fishing in the prefectures near to the nuclear plant – Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate – has been suspended since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which makes it less likely that tainted fish will reach the market."

    They must mean shellfish. Most fish I know have fins and can swim long distances so that's a load of junk.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chai

      Don't you love how they say it is "unlikely." What does "unlikely" even mean?

      April 4, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse |
  19. andrew

    ok is it thousands or millions? Sometimes I think these reporters will tell us anything ►.◄

    April 4, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. XmasLloyd

    Ahhh...whenever they say "don't freak out" I feel so warm and fuzzy inside!

    April 4, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Pat

    I agree, there's no problem with radioactive water/fish that might kill you in 30 years.
    Everyone will be gone in 10 years because of the zombie apocalypse, it is really quite childish and delusional to be worried about 30-year radiation hazards.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Omari

    I am so tired of these people who are so brainwashed into believing that everything is ok. This pollution "isn't that bad". Give me a kit-kat. The oil leak in the gulf wasn't bad and then millions of birds and fish started dying out of nowhere. Dolphins started washing up on shore. Is fire the answer? I'm sure it has its downsides, but instead of pushing capitalism, technology and war down our throats, our collective governments should be responsible. However, we know they will not. Man cannot govern Man and we will be blessed when The Light returns to govern the world. Repent.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stoopid iz az Stoopid Duz

      Why say things like "give me a kit-kat"? You instantly lose all credibility in a real discussion.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:57 | Report abuse |
    • enuph

      keep 'em coming, stoopid.... idiot.

      April 4, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse |
  23. Jim

    Don't believe media articles telling you that there is nothing to be concerned about all this radiation spilling into the ocean, when has this ever occured in human history. And do we really know the likely outcomes, I don't think soo!.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Michelle

    This reporter is just awful to pretend all is well – she probably is on the Board of Directors for General Electric – obviously in their pocket – please everyone in the US stand up to our government and DEMAND NO MORE NUCLEAR – it is bad for the world and humanity – I am saddened to read this article and know she is so ignorant about the facts and harmful nature of the radiation. She should be ashamed of herself – I wish she would go and work for a schucky magazine where lies are fine and fun to read – but to hold herself as a journalist is really wrong.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sildenafil

      No more nuclear! No more oil! No more coal! No more pesticides! No more inhumane cattle/pig/chicken farms! No more electricity! No more .... Yeah. Renewables are not ready to take over the power needs of this country, let alone the world. If you want to reduce dependency on these "evils", get rid of your computers, your TV's, your gas guzzling SUV and all of the little modern things that have blessed our lives over the last 100+ years. Aren't ready to do that? Didn't think so.

      April 4, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
  25. Cynthia

    Don't fish swim around?

    April 4, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Hi there.

    Don't get too upset with the fear mongers. They can't help themselves. Ignorance + a natural disposition towards expecting the worst of everything can manifest some pretty bizarre responses.

    Please educate yourselves.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Brock

    somehow, this is hard to believe. I think the government is lying to the public again. These are toxic chemical, although it is true that a small amount of it is not harmful but they add up faster than you'll recognize. I guess we don't have to wait until Dec 31 2012 to see dooms day because it's already here.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. John

    The whiners need to be quiet. People like me are making a lot of money thru nuclear power investments. You people's bodies can handle a lot more radiation than these nuclear accidents are adding to your bodies. Quit whining because some of us are making good money. Your bodies can stand a lot more radiation than their getting now because some of us need the money. So quit whining about a little extra radiation getting into your body. Just shod op!!!

    April 4, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Lucas

    Just remember that radiation that leaks out now will be with us for 500,000 years and it adds up in your body. It's a fact that every human body on the planet has a little bit of the radiation from Chernobyl in it.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Eric

    This article is SUCH a farce!! This falls under, "don't panic, please." We will make things up and make you feel better that the ocean is being poisoned. We deserved whatever we get for letting this happen.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. dave in allen

    Where do these guys come from ?
    It seems like they all just copy/paste the same information that radiation isnt really anything to worry about...
    they forgot to mention.. that some of the plant workers are starting to die....

    things are jacked. man.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Torgen

    Sanjay, I've personally experienced Sahara Desert dust storms depositing a thick layer of sand on the island where I lived in the Caribbean thousands of miles from North Africa. Dust + radioactive particles can travel across oceans in dense formation. Secondly, radioactive particles are not healthy to ingest in any concentration. Any detectable radiation is too much. These sources challenge the myth of "safe levels" of radiation particles in our food and milk.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RaKa

    radiation is completely safe!

    April 4, 2011 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. JT

    People hyping this do everyone a disfavor – while this is not ideal there are instances of much worse contamination being released into the ocean or worse into populated areas. Fear is not science or caution. Its international and always leads to problems.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RaKa

      Radiation apparently doesn't hurt the ocean, so we shouldn't have an issue dumping other far less dangerous chemicals into the ocean. Quit hyping that pollution is bad when obviously it isn't. Didn't you read the article? It all gets diluted.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
  35. RaKa

    CNN Said so!

    April 4, 2011 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. SidAirfoil

    A quick note about the half-life of Cs-137...

    The radiological half-life is 30 years. The biologic half-life is about four months (110 days). That means that if you ingest some Cs-137, half of it will have left your body by natural processes in 110 days. After one year (3.3 biologic half-lives) the Cs-137 in you body will be reduce by about 90%. And during that one year in your body only a tiny fraction of Cs-137 will have decayed and caused your body damage. Remember, it takes 30 years for half of it to decay, so in one year very little decays. And it only causes damage when it decays.

    So stop panicking and read up on little science.


    April 4, 2011 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RaKa

      Radiation is good for you, it kills cancer..duh.

      April 4, 2011 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
  37. steve

    Dear editor, if it's safe to consume, will you allow your kids to have it? Didn't think so.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RaKa

    Radiation has never harmed anyone.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Victor

    Hello, Judgment Day is May 21, 2011. http://www.ebiblefellowship.co... http://www.familyradio.com The Bible guarantees it!

    April 4, 2011 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      The bible is a work of fiction everyone knows that the world ends Dec 21 2012 c'mon!

      April 4, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
    • david

      im not religious but hopefully everybody reads the following... fema and department of homeland security are going to conduct nle 2011 which is an exercise that "simulates" an 8+ magnitude earthquake on the new madrid fault and it is scheduled for may 16 – 21 2011. victor may be right. i also need everybody to think about if you put a one million watt powered subwoofer on a fault line, what do you think might happen? its 2011 people. the u.s. government can cause earthquakes. again think powerful subwoofers.

      April 4, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      @ david: If I understand your concern correctly, you are misunderstanding what a FEMA NLE is. "Simulating" an earthquake does not mean that the government is going to cause an earthquake.. think of it as basically a large scale (and fairly expensive and very complicated) fire drill. They don't create an earthquake for the test any more than they actually set fire to all the schools/businesses/ect. in which fire drills are conducted.

      April 4, 2011 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
  40. John

    This article fails to mention how radiation becomes concentrated in food by the time people get around to eating.
    You aren't just eating one exposed fish you are eating all the contaminated fish it eat and all the contaminated fish those fish ate and so on and on so that by the time it reaches your dinner table you can be exposed to many times the amount of contaminates that are measured in the water.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RaKa

    We should store all of our radioactive waste in the ocean.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Nick

    I like how CNN puts up 100 articles a day about radiation, then posts an article on how it's really nothing to be worried about. So basically admitting you're wasting everyone's time with your pointless articles.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Jason

    I don't understand how they can be so sure that there is no danger caused by dumping radioactive materials into the ocean. Who cares that fishing in the neighborhood of the reactor has been suspended? Don't fish swim from one place to another? So they swim from the reactor to a northern city where they are caught, packaged, and shipped to the USA for us to eat. When it feels like you are being lied to, you probably are.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Lanfear

    "Fishing in the prefectures near to the nuclear plant – Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate – has been suspended since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which makes it less likely that tainted fish will reach the market."

    Don't worry guys, it's OK, the fishing has been suspended so there's no reason to panic! How can anyone buy this garbage. I am panicking already for the wildlife that has had to suffer through this. But don't worry, we just won't fish there and everything will be hunky dory?

    STFU and don't tell ME not to worry! How dare you destroy the planet and then look the other way.

    April 4, 2011 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Louis

    No Nukes !!! Learn some facts at Fairewinds.com

    April 4, 2011 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Cosmo

    Wow, another great article virtually devoid of any information that would allow people to make there own decisions. Basically the author said, trust me and Dr. Gupta everything is fine, instead of providing any information that could enlighten the reader. As an example, she could have mentioned what US organization (the USDA, FDA, etc), sets limits for radiation in food, what they deem to be safe, what the UNITS of measurement actually mean, what the level of radiation is, the species of radiation, and the half life of said species. Instead, Ms. Landau seems to assume we are stupid and can't process real information and make up our own minds when presented data. It's indicative of most reporting I've seen on this incident, and indicative of how poor a job the US media does at actually informing the populace. Ms. Landau, take your lumps and write a better article next time – trust us, we'll appreciate more information,

    April 4, 2011 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sildenafil

      Google. It's as easy as that. If they reported all of the things you asked for, you'd question something else, or people would read even less (tl;dr) and still spout off like they are nuclear engineers. Face it, you don't want to believe anything.

      April 4, 2011 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
  47. Steve

    This disaster has been an eye opener for many. Those who favor nuclear power tend to fall into two distinct groups, those who will profit from it and those who do not understand it.

    April 4, 2011 at 17:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Richard F. Kessler

    If one gets old enough, one has seen it all before. This article reminds me of the "radiation is our friend" propaganda puit out by the media and U.S. Government dring the 1950's when the Cold War began. School choldren were told that they could shelter freom a nuclear attack by hiding under their desks. Such under-the-desk, take shelter drills were regularly practiced.
    An article in the New York Times two days ago really let the cat out of the bag. It said that since Three Mile Island, countries with civilian nuclear reactors had developed "codes" which could use measurements after a nuclear incident to ascertain the type of damage and the magnitude and effect of the release of different isotopes of radioactive material. So far all this data and information has been carefully witheld from the public.

    April 4, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. TCVAN

    What total BS. This water should have been stored like spent fuel rods. And radiation varies based on the type. If any of this is from plutonium, it will do much more damage as that radiation sticks around....passed right up the food chain. Do you dump your used motor oil in the ocean, NO. So you sure a hell should't drop this in the water either. First they work hard to find where the leak is because they don't want any more going into the ocean. Then when they have a bunch more, they do it on purpose. WHAT IDIOTS!!!

    April 4, 2011 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Benny Harrah

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain ...

    April 4, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • oneSTARman

      so very TRUE Guys like this TV Dr who know about as much about Nuclear Reactors as my CAT are being PAID to mollify you poor SAPS so you don't demand your Government stop promoting this MADNESS.

      April 4, 2011 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      Oy, more conspiracy theories. It must be bad, that's why these guys are paid to lie to us and tell us it's OK. And they must be paid, or why would they be lying?

      April 4, 2011 at 19:17 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

April 2011
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