Is Japan’s Nuclear Radiation Coming Your Way? Do This!

Will the radiation travel to the west coast of North America?  The experts are unsure as yet.  We need to stay vigilant and do some basic things to prepare.  Here are four things to do.  (Be sure to click on the link to the real-time,  National Radiation Map, #1 below.)

Source: Updates:

[Update:  IMPORTANT — The media is mistakenly saying that the Japanese government is giving potassium iodine to its citizens to protect against radiation poisining.  NOT TRUE.  What is being distributed and what you would need in this situation is potassium IODATE.  More below…]

WITH TODAY’s second hydrogen explosion in Japan over the last three days, I began to get concerned about radiation fallout jumping on the jet streams and cruising to the west coast of North America.

This concern was heightened a few notches just an hour ago when my mother called to say her friends in Europe are telling her that we in America are not getting the straight scoop.

What mom said was all hearsay, so I jumped on the Web to see what I could find out, perhaps just like you did to find this post.

It’s 10:30 PM in California right now, and I haven’t found anything alarming on the Net – but I don’t speak any European languages.  Nothing in English is telling me to worry, or start taking my potassium iodide pills (though I did anyway).

A Canadian news outlet is being referenced all over the Net.  The sum of what it says is that all appropriate agencies are monitoring things and there’s nothing to worry about yet.  Further, although it’s bad news for the Japanese – about 180,000 have been evacuated from the area – any radiation will be very diluted by time it reached the west coast, as it’s now seen.

That’s great news, but did I mention that I took my potassium iodide pills anyway?

[Read more about preparation.]

On his March 12th post, Dr. David Brownstein writes about why potassium iodide is helpful to prevent radiation sickness, and the Life Extension Foundation even goes into greater length (read this), and also offers it for sale, although it’s usually available in most health food stores.

Here are four things to do if you haven’t already:

  1. Monitor the situation via several news sources as well as the National Radiation Map, a real-time update of radiation levels in America.
  2. Get some potassium iodide, or perhaps?? even better Lugol’s iodine, which you may need to get at a pharmacy, or online like at Amazon.comNo, my research is indicating that Lugol is more useful for basic health benefits… stick with potassium iodide, unless you can’t get it… every source I’m contacting is sold out.  Update:  This requires a deeper look… Go read What to Do About Japan’s Nuclear Fallout.
  3. Store some non-perishable food, water and medicine.
  4. Get the word out to your friends. Not in an alarmist way, but post this or other information about preparing and protecting yourself on Facebook or via email.

A primer on Potassium Iodate

Kudos to BlindBatNews for getting it straight about potassium iodine vs potassium iodate:

“Potassium Iodide is what is used in anti-radiation pills. This is what the people, near the crippled nuclear reactors in Honshu, are being given. NOT IODINE.”

Note: The map below I had placed under this post’s title, and then discovered that it probably it may be bogus and misrepresent the situation.  See Comments section below.  The map now under the title at the top of this post simply shows wind trajectories without making radiation level assumptions.

Last Updated on April 11, 2023 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 11 comments
Anonymous Coward - March 14, 2011

Out of curiosity, do you have a citation for that fallout map? The numbers there seem kind of ludicrous, especially considering the reactors in question.

    Joseph Garma - March 14, 2011

    If you google “nuclear fallout map fukushima daiichi” you'll find many sites presenting the map, as I just did now, but none of them I just found is the source from which I copied the one here. I recall that it was a press service site from which I got it.

RedcapSlice - March 14, 2011

Do we need to worry about this? Short answer: no, you don't need to worry about it.

Long answer: The map is blatant lies. That much radiation would turn Japan into a lifeless wasteland. Even the cockroaches would be dead.

It's extremely unlikely that the reactor will melt d…own, even more unlikely that it will breach its containment after melting down, astoundingly unlikely that it will then release significant airborne contamination, and basically impossible that that contamination will make it over here in dangerous amounts.

From what I understand of the plant design, this event is likely to be no more and no less that a partial meltdown, full contained. This is what happened at 3-mile island – and remember, no one died or was seriously injured in that event…. It was a financial disaster, and the local clean-up was time consuming. This will be as well – but that is not different from the state of the rest of Northern Japan.

I do wonder how many of Japan's power plants (nuclear and other) will be inoperable after the quake, and whether this will hamper the recovery.


    Joseph Garma - March 14, 2011

    Thanks… updated the post to reflect your comments and some others out there on the Net that underscore your research.

MadMarv - March 15, 2011

Don't go running out and taking potassium iodide pills without there being a threat from radioactive iodine. These pills can damage your thyroid if taken in excess.

    Joseph Garma - March 15, 2011

    Yes, agree, and there also could be an issue for people already taking thyroid medication.

    The U.S. in not currently in harm's way, so there's time to check with medical practitioners about one's particular health situation.

Jo Sutton - March 16, 2011

Hi, I appreciate your post, however you speak of potassium iodate, then potassium iodide in the same article, going back and forth between the two… so which is it? Iodate? or Iodide? Iodate is a KIO3 blocker and Iodide is a KI blocker.. apparently, from the little reading I did, the Iodate, KIO3 is a safer blocker than Iodide KI…
how can we know? I don't know… just think we need to block the thyroid and protect it… you can also take kelp which is high in natural iodine…. thanks.. Jo-e Sutton of California

    Joseph Garma - March 16, 2011

    Appreciate your confusion, Jo, cause it is a confusing subject and that's one reason I stated that I'd be happy with either and put links to further discussions.

    In the link embedded in “It’s KIO3 that is being supplied to the Japanese people”, the article says this:

    “While potassium iodide is the most common form of the tablets that are being sold at record volumes right now, potassium iodate is another popular option. Potassium iodate includes one molecule of oxygen that not only extends the product's shelf life, but helps to eliminate the bitter taste of potassium iodide. Both types of the tablet provide the same results, however, and the kind that is used is purely a matter of personal preference or availability.”

    This statement squares with what I've been reading.

Src8784 - March 17, 2011

my question is… is this the radiation that is coming now? or it will come if the plant explodes???? I just need to know so I can get in my car with my two children under two and head east to family…

    Joe Garma - March 17, 2011

    Not coming now to the west coast and may never be a threat from this particular event.

    I stay up to date with HuffPost, Yahoo News and regular old TV. And so far there’s not a problem for North America.

    Even if the radiation was sufficiently high as to cause widespread damage to people in Japan, it would likely be so diffused by the time it crossed the Pacific to North America that it would have negligible effects.

    But all this is based on matters of degrees. Keep up with the news.

    Joseph Garma - March 17, 2011

    No, there’s insufficient radiation levels in Japan to cross the Pacific and harm those people in North America. Even if the radiation spiked considerably, it would be diffused by the time it gets to NA.

    Stay informed… nothing I’ve read suggests there should be concern about radioactivity poisoning across the Pacific; however, in North America we do have nuclear facilities, and some are right on the water and near earthquake faults. Would be a good idea to be prepared for that.


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