March 17, 2011 |
With reports that a radiation plume from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could reach Southern California as soon as Friday, worried citizens have been hoarding potassium iodide pills, wondering if it's OK to go outside and otherwise fretting over an invisible, and somewhat unpredictable, threat. But all that worrying might cause more harm than the radiation itself, experts say. Here are some answers to common concerns. How much radiation do scientists think will arrive here?
February 17, 2011 |
Radiation from the largest solar flare in four years is expected to reach the Earth Thursday and Friday, potentially interfering with communication and navigation satellites and disrupting ground-based communication networks and power grids. The rain of charged particles from the so-called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, should also enhance the northern lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, making them both more prominent and visible farther south, perhaps even into the northern tier of the United States, experts said.
March 18, 2011 |
A minuscule amount of radiation from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan was detected in Sacramento but at such a low level that it posed no threat to human health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday afternoon. One station in Sacramento detected "minuscule quantities" of a radioactive isotope, xenon-133, that scientists said they believed came from the reactors at the stricken Fukushima plant. Photos: In Japan, life amid crisis But the level detected would result in a "dose rate approximately one-millionth of the dose rate that a person normally receives from rocks, bricks, the sun and other natural sources," according to an EPA statement.
August 4, 2010
If people weren't afraid of CT scans before now, it might just be a matter of time until they are. Or perhaps until lawmakers take matters into their own hands. L.A. Times staff writer Alan Zarembo wrote Tuesday of local hospitals that said they were simply following the manufacturer's recommendations: " Two More Hospitals Report CT Scan Radiation Overdoses ." Judith Graham wrote recently in the Chicago Tribune about attempts to protect children from excess radiation: " Clamping Down on CT Scans for Kids ."
March 15, 2011
Everyone is exposed to some radiation. It's the level of exposure that determines whether there's any harmful effect. But how much radiation is a lot? Here are a few numbers for comparison. (A microsievert is a unit that measures the biological effects of radiation.) Limit on whole-body exposure for a radiation worker for one year: 50,000 microsieverts One year's worth of exposure to natural radiation from soil, cosmic rays and other sources: 3,000 microsieverts One chest X-ray: 100 microsieverts One dental X-ray: 40-150 microsieverts One mammogram: 700 microsieverts CT scan (abdomen)
April 2, 2005 |
Treating prostate cancer with radiation significantly increases the risk of developing colon cancer, researchers from the University of Minnesota reported this week in the journal Gastroenterology. Using federal data from 1973 to 1994, the researchers identified 30,552 men who received radiation treatment; 1,437 developed colorectal cancer, about 70% more than expected. The team noted that radiation treatment is highly effective for prostate cancer and should not be abandoned.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2004 |
The Port of San Francisco has become the first West Coast seaport to install monitors that screen imported cargo for radiation emanating from nuclear devices, such as dirty bombs. Officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said they plan to install the radiation portal monitors at all seaports, land border ports and airports across the country. The two monitors, operated by customs officers, screen trucks as they exit the pier and turn red if they detect radiation.
March 15, 2003 |
NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has confirmed that the radiation on Mars is so intense that it could endanger astronauts sent to explore the Red Planet, scientists said. Mars is bombarded by radiation from the galaxy at large, as well as by periodic bursts from the sun. The radiation would expose astronauts in orbit to an effective dose 2.5 times greater than that received in low Earth orbit. A three-year mission would expose astronauts to the career-long safety limit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 2010 |
Two California hospitals where patients were exposed to excessive levels of radiation during CT scans had programmed their scanners according to the manufacturer's specifications, officials at both hospitals said. Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and Bakersfield Memorial Hospital are the latest additions to a list of California hospitals where overdoses occurred during CT brain perfusion scans. In both cases, the scanner in question was made by Toshiba. "We called Toshiba to give us the protocol," said Dr. Stephanie Hall, the chief medical officer at County-USC, where two patients received overdoses shortly after the hospital began doing the scans last fall.
December 28, 2005 |
The New York City health department plans to spend about $1.4 million equipping hospitals with radiation detection devices in case terrorists detonate a radioactive bomb. The equipment, largely paid for with federal grants, could help medical centers diagnose the thousands of people who would flood hospitals after such an attack, the department said. The devices would go to public and private hospitals, officials said.