Ionizing Radiation Toxicology Report by Vince Rubino
June 13, 2011
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Here is a report by my colleague Vince Rubino who is a reseacher at the Korean Institute for Toxicology about the toxicology and radiation of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident. Here’s a quote:
The tsunami damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant has released radioactive materials into the environment including nuclear fuel cycle fission products such as cesium-137 and activation products such as cobalt-60. These radioactive material releases increase the likely-hood of exposure to low-level ionizing radiation in the general population. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has announced radioactivity exceeding legal limits has been detected in milk certain vegetables produced in the Fukushima area, and measurements made in a number of locations have shown the presence of radioactive material on the ground. Tokyo drinking water exceeded the safe level for infants. Seawater near the Fukushima plant has been found to have elevated levels of iodine-131, far beyond legal limits. Cesium-134 and 137 concentrations have also been discovered to be far beyond the legal limit near the damaged power plant. Many factors go into the determination of whether or not there is harm to people or other organisms that may be exposed to ionizing radiation. Factors include the type, intensity and duration of the radiation exposure, as well as the state of health, age, sex, diet and other variables related to the person or organism. The study of the mechanisms by which radiation exerts toxicological effects is an evolving field of toxicology. Research utilizing convergence technology can focus on identifying biomarkers and improving understanding of the specific mechanisms by which ionizing radiation generates toxicologically relevant end points. Published reviews of the biological effects of radiation and more in-depth discussion are available.
The full version of the report is in PDF format and can be downloaded here: Ionizing Radiation Toxicology by Vince Rubino.