Precautions to be taken against nuclear radiation exposure.

The news about potential nuclear disaster from nuclear rod meltdown at Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan in itself is capable of producing symptoms in susceptible patients. Since radiation exposure is unpreventable ,if occurring in our locality, most people are worried about the hazards of potential nuclear radiation exposure. Taking this fear factor into account there are people who enjoys spreading around rumours and making people even more worried.

The fear of radiation exposure from the Japanese Nuclear power plant is blown out of propotion, especially since the nuclear power plant in Japan is a modern facility and capable of withstanding earthquakes and have excellent containment facilities. I need not talk about all those, as those as purely technical parts and better taken care of by experts in the field.

What are the effects of Radiation exposure on human body?

You may have seen patients on radiation therapy, their appearance tells us a story about the hazards of radiation exposure. Nausea, Vomiting, hair loss, Skin changes, dehydration are usual symptoms.

Exposure of higher doses of ionizing radiation can lead to:

  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Reduced lymphocyte count,increases susceptibility to infections
  • Destruction of bone marrow cells,leukemias
  • Direct effects on blood vessels  and heart,cause hearfailure
  • Reproductive tract will be affected leading to sterility in some cases
  • Intestinal bleeding,diarrhoea, dehydration

Read more about effects of  nuclear radiation

How can we prevent hazards of radiation exposure?

As always said, prevention is better than cure. Avoid travel to Japan as advised by US and most of the European countries.

I.Potassium Iodide tablets

Thyroid is one of the organs which is affected earliest by radiation exposure. The logic behind using Potassium Iodide tablets is that it saturates iodine stores in thyroid with natural iodine, thus preventing the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid. This is more of harm than good, because Iodine is an inhibitor of thyroid gland and decreases the formation of thyroid hormones and lead to thyroid failure. So use of  Potassium iodide indiscriminately should be avoided, only regions which are surrounding the nuclear plant and having high levels of exposure should use these tablets.

II.Avoid contact with objects exposed to radiation

Avoid contact with airplanes which have been on rescue missions, clothes worn etc.

III.Shielding

Lead shielding is ideal in preventing rays with maximum energy(gamma rays) from striking the body. This is why Xray rooms have Lead shielding. Since lead shielding is not  feasible in nuclear disasters , any shielding, let it be clothes, walls, buildings etc can help you from getting high doses of radiation. So it will be better to stay inside a building, wearing thick clothes rather than venturing out into open space with/without clothes.

Precautions against medical radiation exposure

  1. Increase the distance between you and the source of radiation.
  2. Decrease the time of exposure.
  3. Stand behind the lead shield
  4. Avoid the use of Xrays/CT scans during pregnancy unless absolutely indicated

Also read:

Potassium iodide won’t protect you from nuclear reactor radioactive isotopes

How to lessen effects of radiation exposure via wonderhowto

  1. If we ever thought that a new Hyrosima, or other similar incident might strike our humanity, well now days we can see how a great nation, is being strike by one of the worst thing that we may consider. I like to believe that this is something temporary and the fight against this will be positive at the end of this.

  2. Hi Dex

    Japan is the country which houses one of the most hard working populations in the world. They wake up early and go late to bed, their work ethics is so good that, I can say with absolute certainity that, they will rise from this doom and build up the nation again.

  3. O i’m sure they’ll biuld their nation back up….but
    you would be naive to think this Nuclear disaster won’t affect the whole world…..chernobyl was only one reactor

  4. Hi Frank

    I agree the Japanese will be affected and will be suffering from it for years to come.Usually the western media just blows every situation out of propotion.Chernobyl affected people living around the plant, not the whole world. Every natural disaster does that,but a nuclear disaster will cause problems for years. So what can we do about it? Stocking Iodine tablets will do no good. It has more of a psychological effect. If you say there is radiation, people will be afraid because it is invisible and anyone can be made to believe. I will be alert but will stay away from news reports creating mass hysteria.

  5. Hi there. My family and I will be traveling to Tokyo for 4 days only in December. To be honest all these nuclear reports are begining to frighten us a bit yet we can’t bare to cancel the trip as we have already spent a few thousand on plane tickets etc…. Could you please tell me how safe exactly we will be? And what precaustions we should do?
    Thank you

    • The situation seem to be controlled, and Tokyo is relatively safe.But yet I cannot comment on the safety of your travel as I don’t have any statistics regarding radiation hazard there.

  6. Inside the Danger Zone | NUCLEAR ARCHER - pingback on March 23, 2015 at 6:02 pm

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