It is with great sorrow and concern that I write this today. I am sure it is not new news about the disasters that have fallen upon Japan. Three monumental disasters have happened all at once. The forth largest earthquake ever recorded is bad enough. But the 10 meter high tidal wave was equally devastating. Then to have severe damage to 6 nuclear reactors as a result puts the devasation over the top. As I write this the situation around the nuclear power plants is still out of contol. All disaster response actions are without precedence to prevent a meltdown. There is no play book for the situation at hand. All emergency plans have been scrapped and now there are about 100 people doing the best they can in a very dangerous situation with very high levels of radiation. The situation is not stable by any means.
Radiation is one of man's great nemisis. You can not see it, hear it, feel it, smell it or taste it. It is silent. But it is deadly in any great quantity or accumulated exposure. I hope to clarify a few things here about radiation and how to handle a nuclear emergency.
The first thing about a nuclear emergency is time, distance and the amout of radiation released. Because we never know when a radiation event may take place it is imperitive to be prepared. I have found that most people, and I am refering to 99% of the population in America, have no preparation or knowlege about what to do in a nuclear emergency.
When the time comes that action is necessary, it may be too late if you depend on the government or local news to inform you. Because a nuclear accident is so frightening, most people that are in a close proximity to a nuclear event will panic. This is the time to keep a cool and level head because each decision is very important. Here are a couple of websites that you can get current information about radiation levels from a non-governmental source. You can not always trust your government to protect you. You must be able to take care of your self and make informed decisions for yourself and family.
The amount of radiation one is exposed to is critical. There are "allowable" levels of radiation that we are all exposed to regularly. Radiation comes from many types of radioactive substances and each has particlar qualities. Some dissapate quickly and others have a half life of 24,000 years. Knowing the materials that have been released into the environment is helpful to alleviate unwarranted concerns. But all nuclear materials are dangerous so it boils down to levels of concern.
The Fukushima power plant has many stored spent nuclear fuel rods onsite. One of the continuing main concerns is that the storage unit will not be able to contain the nuclear radiation from these spent fuel rods. There are hundreds of thousands of fuel rods in storage there. Of these, 6,000 contain MOX, a fuel made from mixed oxides from uranium and plutonium. This particular radioactive substance is less stable, melts at a lower temperature and is 2 million times more radioactive that plutonium and uranium. This is what is making the Japanese disaster so frightening.
Radiation that is released can travel by wind. In a nuclear blast from a bomb, the material can rise to 100,000 feet or more and enter the trade winds of the planet being distributed world-wide. The radiation from the Fukushima explosions have travelled all the way to the west coast of the United States in the first 7 days. But there have been no substantial elevations in radiological readings so far. Although with very sensitive equipment radiation has been detected.
If you know of a release of radiation and you could be exposed, it is really good to have a disaster plan in place and know what you are going to do. If there is time, maybe leaving the area is the best solution. If there is not enough time, then depending on how close you are to the release, you may find that it is best to stay put and protect yourself.
Radiation travels from the dust particles and penetrates almost all substances. Lead is the best protector but anything with mass that separates you from the particles is best. Having a place that is beneath ground is the very best, but if this is not possible, maybe in the basement of a larger building will provide protection. If you must go out of doors wear a dust mask to prevent inhalation of the particles into your lungs. Wearing protective clothing that can be stored away from people is recommended. If there is an exposure on the skin, showering and washing with soap and water should remove most of the radioactive particles. If it is in ones hair then the hair should be clipped off with scissors and the head washed thoroughly. Don't use a razor as this may abrade the skin and bring more contamination into the body.
If you must stay indoors then it is a very good idea to seal the home with plastic taped over all of the windows to prevent the home from drawing in particles through drafts. If the radiation dose is high, build a shelter from the doors in the house. Take them off their hinges and arrange them into temporary walls and a roof in the lowest place of the home. Then stack books and anything with mass on top and around the sides. This will add a small amount of protection. Being prepared is best.
Having a preparedness plan should put in place now, not when you need to go to the store and purchase goods that the rest of the population is wanting also. Stores will sell out within hours in an emergency. Things to have on hand are;
As you can tell preparedness is most important. But if you or others are exposed you need to know what to expect. One of the most common radioactive substances from any nuclear reaction is Radioactive Iodine. It has a half life of 8 days. This is the one substance that you can protect yourself from fairly easily. The other radioactive substances there are really no other protections other than escaping exposure. Because the thyroid pulls iodine from the body, taking Potassion Iodate or Iodide in a high dose can saturate the thyroid there by protecting it from the uptake of the radioactive form. 130 mg. is the adult dose and should be taken every 24 hours until the exposure has passed. This is very dangerous to take without the exposure so you should NOT take this unless you know that the exposure is very high. You can get more information from; http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/ucm080542.pdfhttp://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/ucm080542.pdf and
Another way to help prepare the thyroid in the event of expected exposure is to eat Iodine rich foods, sea kelp, sea weed, miso soup etc. The survivors from Nagasaki and Hiroshima that ate these foods regularly did not develop thyroid cancer. Painting your skin with Iodine solution or Betadine solution can also help the thyroid in it's uptake of iodine. This is almost as safe as eating iodine rich foods as the body can only take up so much of the iodine transdermally. Paint an area a few inches in diameter in some soft skinned area. Watch to see how quickly the iodine stain fades. This is equal to your thyroids ability to absorb the iodine. This can offer only moderate protection but can be very helpful in moderate or low exposures.
Radiation sickness can be from moderate to deadly depending on the exposure. Radiation is measured in 3 different ways and is detected in three different ranges of metering. Geiger counters can measure Alph, Beta, Gamma and X-ray radiation. Not all gieger counters are the same so it is important to know from which source the information you are receiving. Radiation is measured in units of roentgen(R), Gray(Gy) and Sieverts(Sv). Each of these has a slightly different parameter for evaluation. An absorbed dose is measured in Gray (Gy) 1 Gray = 1 joule/1 kg of tissue. Equivalent doses are 1 Sievert (Sv = 1 Gray of X-ray radiation), weighted for other types of radiation. 1 Rem =0.01 Sievert.
The total average annual radiation exposure for most people is 3.6 Millisieverts from all sources of radiation. At the Fukushima plant the workers were getting over 400MSv in a one hour period. So they could only safely be exposed in that environment for minutes without being in serious danger. But even a brief exposure is dangerous. The farther you are away from the source the more the radiation levels drop off. Unless you are exposed to a nuclear blast or a nuclear accident in very close rage, 100 Kilometers or less, then exposure is dependent on wind and contamination by dust particles. From this you can do much to protect yourself.
Radiation penetrates the body and can cause genetic damage. Reducing exposure reduces the damage. Most genetic damage can be delayed for up to ten years before cancer manifests. So limiting the time exposed is critical to limiting the damage. In acute radiation illness there are several stages. The first stage (prodromal) is followed by a latent period that can be symptom free. The higher the exposure the quicker the symptoms manifest.
Different syndromes can present themselves. The Hematopoietic syndrome affects the bone marrow, spleen, and lymph nodes, the primary sites of blood call production. Loss of appetite, lethargy, nausea and vomiting can appear within 2-12 hours after exposure to 2Gy of radiation or more. These symptoms usually resolve in 1-3 days of exposure. The person will usually be symptom free for the next week before the effects of blood cell production are noticed. Anemia, fatigue, paleness, difficulty breathing and physical exertion are all the results. After 4-5 weeks, if the person survives, blood cells will begin producing again but the person may feel fatiged and weak for months after.
The gastrointestinal syndrome is due to damage to the cells of the digestive tract. Severe nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea begin 2-4 hours after exposure to 4Gy or more. These symptoms may lead to severe dehydration and may resolve after 2 days. During the next 4-5 days the person feels well but the cells of the digestive tract are dying. Bloody diarrhea is the next phase and risk of infection becomes great. People who recieve this much radiation also experience hematopoietic syndrome as well.
The next syndrome appears if the exposure exceeds 20-30Gy. A person becomes rapidly confused with nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and shock, blood pressure falls with siezures and coma. This syndrome is always fatal. Chronic effects of radiation effects the genetic material in dividing cells. These create abnormal cell divisions and usually result in cancer.
Homeopathy can offer help in any of these stages. Taking the case and offering remedies based on the etiology (radiation exposure) and the symptoms present the best remedies can be given. Rubrics from the Complete 2009 Repertory are;
Remedies that may be helpful are;
Other remedies to study that may be helpful are Arsenicum, Kali Iodatum, Uranium Nitricum, Plutonium Nitricum, Aconite and Arnica. Remember to always take the case. Just because these remedies are useful after radiation exposure does not mean that they are the only remedies to think of. Often it is that strange, rare or peculiar symptom that will lead to the best remedy.
Remember it is best to prepare for any emergency. They happen when you least expect them. We are living in a changing world now and disasterous events are becoming more common than ever before. Get a good emergency homeopathy kit together and think about how you would respond in an emergency. You do not want to be one of the people that does not have food or water when none is available. Planning and preparing can do much to protect your self and your family from harm. Also when you are less affected you can be of much greater assistance to you neighbors and community. Get prepared NOW!
Subscribe to our email newsletter, "Homeopathy Tips." You will receive valuable Homeopathy tips delivered to your mailbox with tips on prescribing, remedies, and unique information you need to know.