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Background Radiation Vs Fallout
Nearly the entire problem coming from radiation is due to manmade sources, even though it may be at or below background levels.   Rigorous studies after Chernobyl show that man made nuclear radiation is roughly 300 to 1000 times more radio-toxic per dose.  This means that background radiation cannot be compared to fallout when estimating or conveying radiation risk!   The risk is not in the dose, its in the radiotoxicity

There is an ongoing thread exploring this important issue 
Horse's take: http://caferadlab.com/thread-3074-post-6...ml#pid6962
Yes, its a question of toxicity, not quantity.  Mans addition of radiation has caused exclusion zones and  cancer epidemics but did not increase the average level of radiation on earth very much.  Life on earth is almost at the lowest radiation level ever.  

Natural background radiation has been decreasing since the dawn of life on earth.  The dose from primordial 40K has diminished to almost 1/8 (0.127). The beta and gamma dose experienced by aquatic organisms has dropped from about 7.0 on the early Earth to about 1.4 mGy/year today.  Weapons fallout is less than one percent of natural background

"you are talking about dose like it means something"
Danger does not equal radioactivity.  Please see that the dose response is not linear and that there is a safest dose of radioactivity which is the normal level.   This graph is a good representation of where the radioactive danger is coming from.   As soon as nuclear fallout is added, health rapidly declines.   On the other hand, studies of reduced natural background radioactivity show reductions in health markers.   Note  the healthiest level of radioactivity is not zero. 

This is the crux of the whole nuclear debate

In  glaciers around the world,there are elevated levels of fallout radionuclides — radioactive atoms that result from nuclear accidents and weapons tests — in every single glacier studied.

"These are some of the highest levels you see outside of nuclear explosion zones,"

Nuclear fallout creates 'hot spots'  in many different ways and on many different scales!.

cryoconite holes

links provided by Jebus with more discussion

[Image: 0*lGzcBh_ZWXo8HVku]
Snowfall in glaciers would be expected to have increased fallout from artificial sources. There is no control or reference point when we all get an amount of radiation from natural sources and random contamination from added artificial sources. Measurements don't always distinguish a difference in the source, just the amount at a measurement point.
"The map is not the territory that it is a map of ... the word is not the thing being referred to."
Autoradiographs are photos exposed only by the existing radioactive materials on or in the object.   This bird looks similar to the glacier deposits of high radioactivity.  Many different processes could create hot spots like this.  The highly radioactive man made radiation tends to create intense local spots of radiation which  disrupts biological function.

[Image: 11.jpg?w=637&h=517]

Below are four types of soils from Japan.  The creation of hot spots is from a totally different physical process than the pits in the glaciers and the spots on the bird.  Here, extreme heat in the nuclear meltdowns vaporized concrete, and fission products along with melted nuclear fuel condensed into cell sized nano particles.  Almost 80% of the fallout is in this form.  It is now estimated that more major nuclear accidents will occur every few decades, laying waste to large areas of inhabited land.

[Image: Radioactivity-image-of-the-contaminated-...h_Q320.jpg]
The Calamity of radiation is that mankind has introduced extremely toxic forms of radiation which he then compares to background radiation doses, giving the impression there is no danger.  Scientists constantly make this comparison.  The scientists that do either ignore or are not aware of the scientific research!   This is a failure of contemporary science!

Anti nuclearists are similarly confused about background vs nuclear fallout. They often believe there must be undisclosed quantities or that background radiation has been significantly increased. They attempt to hinge the argument on a 'no safe dose of radiation' meme.  They thus commit the same error as the scientists and industry spokesmen.  That error is the assumption that all ionizing radiation has about the same biological effect.

We live in a sea of radiation.  
The danger is not in the dose, the danger is in the radiotoxicity

Few people emphasize this most crucial point; radioactive toxicity varies by an enormous amount.  Thus radiation dose is NOT the basis of the debate on the danger of the nuclear industries.  

Much of background radiation is safe, even beneficial to the Living World.  On the other hand, artificial radionuclides are extraordinarily detrimental to life, even at doses equal to or less than background radiation.  This is the crucial point to understanding and winning the nuclear debate. 

So the question arises; just how much more toxic are the synthetic, artificial radionuclides?  It depends on what radiation source we are comparing...so great are the differences.  First off, it is acknowledged there is a twenty fold difference in toxicity depending on radiation type.  This is straight away a huge difference in toxicity.  Then looking at the internalized particulate forms common in nuclear fallout, there is a 300 to 1000 fold increase.  Then again, if we compare fallout to potassium radiation, the ratio of toxicity per dose is effectively infinite.  It should be understood these are radiation doses normal to background, and common to fallout exposure, not acute radiation scenarios. 

The issue at hand...the frame of the debate is radiotoxicity, not radiation dose.  Please make a note of it!
The 'no safe dose' theme is actually counterproductive. It fails to differentiate background and synthetic radioactive sources.


A handful of studies with enriched and depleted k-40 fraction demonstrate no radiation effect from K40. This is very important, because it invalidates comparison of nuke fallout to background radiation and forces nuclear industry radiotoxicity to stand on its own. The importance of this cant be overstated!

"Vinogradov has investigated the reactions of the heart muscles in the frog2 and the growth processes of Aspergillus niger 3,4 to potash salts enriched with potassium-40 without being able to demonstrate a radiation effect specific to potassium-40. In the experiments with Aspergillus niger salts with high (1.34 per cent), and low (0.002 per cent) potassium-40 content, in addition to normal potash salt (potassium-40 content = 0.0119 per cent) were used."


"Studies over a period of more than two decades,
together with analysis of the literature, led us to
several conclusions that interpret in a new light the
significance of natural atomic radiation for the phenomenon of life on the Earth. A brief review of these
conclusions is presented below.
The entire biosphere of the Earth is filled with
high-energy quanta of atomic radiation that are continuously generated by radionuclides constantly formed
due to cosmic radiation fluxes and dispersed in small
amounts in rocks, water, and atmosphere [3,5].
There is no living organism that is not constantly
exposed to a low-level atomic radiation which constitutes natural background radiation (NBR) of the
It has been demonstrated that the major vital
processes, such as cell division and growth and development of the body, are significantly, though
slightly, inhibited in protozoans [25,26], higher plants
[8], and animals [11,12] screened from the external
NBR. Experiments with protozoans , higher plants
, and animals [9] showed that these [vital biological] processes
become strongly inhibited when such screening is
combined with a reduction in the internal body radiation due to removal of k-40 from dietary potassium.
From these findings it can be concluded that
natural background radiation (NBR) is an invariable and essential component of
life. In other words, there can be no life without
exposure to atomic radiation at naturally occurring
levels. "
"As shown previously [10,16,19], stimulation by
low-dose atomic radiation is always accompanied by
activation of membrane receptors. Therefore, it was
suggested that receptor molecules are directly activated by radiation. However, the discovery of secondary biogenic radiation makes it reasonable to
suggest that this radiation carries the information that
is received by membrane receptors and is necessary for
functioning and development of a living organism.
On the basis of the reviewed data the following
concept of the role of natural atomic radiation in the
phenomenon of life can be formulated.
Atomic radiation permeates the entire biosphere.
All Iiving organisms are continuously exposed to
NBR. The intensity of this radiation is so low that
molecular ionization does not impair normal development of a living organisms due to operation of the
mechanisms responsible for restoration and regeneration of tissues and elimination of ionized molecules.
The bulk of ceils remain in the native state. The
concurrent excitation of condensed biomacromolecules
generates a secondary biogenic coherent radiation.
Secondary biogenic radiation permeates all cells
and tissues and after being emitted acts on nearby
living organisms. This radiation, which pervades all
biota, carries to membrane receptors the bioinformation essential for the existence of an organism as a
single whole. It probably constitutes the physical basis
of the biofield present in living organisms [2].
Thus, based on the above-mentioned findings,
the data of molecular biology, and the role that
information plays in a living organism [27], the phenomenon of life can be defined as a process mediated by a hierarchy of open systems composed of
carbon-based macropolymers residing in an aqueous
medium in a condensed, structurized, stable, and
nonequilibrium state excited due to continuous exposure to NBR. This is a process that occurs under the
influence of biofield formed by secondary biogenic
radiation and ensures the existence, self-reproduction, and development of these systems, utilizing
material resources and energy of the environment and
various information flows, including the information
contained in the secondary biogenic radiation. "
Nuclear fallout is not background radiation.  Different sources of radiation cant be compared by the quantity of radiation. 

The Fukushima disaster released a large amount of radiation in the form of microscopic glass particles,  roughly the size of red blood cells. They are difficult to measure, requiring novel methods.  The small size allows them to be breathed deep into the lungs.  A study has indicated they will slowly dissolve in biological fluids over about 35 years, constantly releasing radiation.  Fukushima and other prefectures have hundreds of these particles in every gram of earth. 

radioactive glassy microparticles absorbed into cow digestive tracts causing ulcers
Focal ulcerative lesions of the mucous membrane can be formed by « hot » radioactive particles.
Environmental behaviour of radioactive particles: Transfer to animals

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