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.

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

Hormone therapy in the menopause transition did not increase stroke risk

November 24, 2017
Postmenopausal hormone therapy is not associated with increased risk of stroke, provided that it is started early, according to a report from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

When traveling on public transport, you may want to cover your ears

November 22, 2017
The noise levels commuters are exposed to while using public transport or while biking, could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study published in the open access ...

Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses

November 22, 2017
Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses, but spirits are most frequently associated with feelings of aggression, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm

November 22, 2017
Air pollution, particularly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), is associated with poorer quality sperm, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Sunrise and sunset guide daily activities of city-dwellers

November 21, 2017
Despite artificial lightning and social conventions, the dynamics of daylight still influence the daily activities of people living in modern, urban environments, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.

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.