Experts explain radiation risks - real and relative (w/ video)

August 15, 2011 By Jeffrey Norris

What ills do we risk from radiation to which we are exposed naturally, by choice, or by accident? The question looms large in the aftermath of the meltdown of fuel rods from nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan.

Months later, hot spots continue to release radiation as workers at the plant struggle to quench the fuel. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated and many who remain or who dream of returning worry about their fates.

The video will load shortly

Radiation released during the Fukushima accident and during the disaster 25 years earlier was detected worldwide. But a detectable amount of radiation does not necessarily pose a risk above background levels. Radiation risks vary with the type, the amount, and the route of exposure.

In this video UCSF physician-scientists and other UC researchers discuss sources of in everyday life, the risks posed by the Fukushima accident and lessons from Chernobyl, and even significant risks from radiation exposure that can arise from some medical imaging exams — CT scanning protocols often used to detect cancer and other serious illnesses.

Explore further: Record high radiation at crippled Japan nuke plant

Related Stories

Record high radiation at crippled Japan nuke plant

August 1, 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said Monday it had monitored record high radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant crippled by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

Recommended for you

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.