American Public Health Association Scientist Confirms Hot Particles in U.S.

Special to HNN Provided Courtesy Fairewinds Associates

A scientist delivered a report before the American Public Health Association confirming that hot Fukushima radioactive particles are a public health issue in the United States. Marco Kaltofen of Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) presented his analysis of radioactive isotopic releases from the Fukushima accidents at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Mr. Kaltofen’s analysis confirms the detection of hot particles in the US and the extensive airborne and ground contamination in northern Japan due to the four nuclear power plant accidents at TEPCO’s Fukushima reactors. Fairewinds believes that this is a personal health issue in Japan and a public health issue in the United States and Canada.

RADIATION EXPOSURE TO JAPAN STATEMENT:

Monday, October 31, 2011: 8:30 AM

 

Marco Kaltofen, PE , Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA     The Fukushima nuclear accident dispersed airborne dusts that are contaminated with radioactive particles. When inhaled or ingested, these particles can have negative effects on human health that are different from those caused by exposure to external or uniform radiation fields. A field sampling effort was undertaken to characterize the form and concentration of radionuclides in the air and in environmental media which can accumulate fallout. Samples included settled dusts, surface wipes, used filter masks, used air filters, dusty footwear, and surface soils. Particles were collected from used motor vehicle air filters and standard 0.45 micron membrane air filters. Soils and settled dusts were collected from outdoor surfaces, interior surfaces, and from used children's shoes. The Japanese filters contained cesium 134 and 137, as well as cobalt 60 at levels as high as 3 nCi total activity per sample. Materials collected during April 2011 from Japan also contained Iodine 131. This short-lived nuclide was not observed in later samples. US air filter and dusts samples did not contain hot particles, except for air samples collected from Seattle, WA during the month of April 2011. The samples of Japanese children's shoes were found to have relatively high radiocesium contamination levels. Isolated US soil samples contained up to 8 nanoCuries per Kg of radiocesium, while control samples showed no detectable radiocesium. Dusts containing radioactive cesium were found at levels orders of magnitude above background more than 100 miles from the accident site, and were detectable on the US west coast. Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Describe current issues concerning radiation exposure in Japan. Describe what public health workers can do to address these issues.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a Massachusetts Registered Professional Engineer engaged in the investigation of nuclear material release. I also investigate the transport of radioactive particles in my dissertation research at WPI.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

http://apha.confex.com/apha/139am/webprogram/Paper254015.html

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