Radiating Nuclear Safety


By Ryan M.
With all the hype that has been surrounding Japan's nuclear power plant radiation leak questions are being asked, such as, what is radiation, what is the big deal, how could radiation potentially affect me, and what do I do if a nuclear emergency happened? We did some research for you and this is what we found.

Understanding Radiation

So how does radiation affect our bodies, what symptoms would we experience and is there any treatments? It works by making small breaks in the DNA inside cells,damaging cells enough to kill them or causing them to mutate, which eventually leads to cancer.

Symptoms

Here are some symptoms to look out for:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Spontaneous bleeding
  • Hair Loss
  • Severe fatigue
  • Mouth Ulcers
However, these symptoms all depend on how much radiation you have been exposed to. If you have been exposed to a large amount you will experience these symptoms and after a couple of days you will feel like you're getting better but in fact you are not. These symptoms will come back worse and eventually will result in death.

Treatment

Potassium Iodide is used to stop radiation from invading your thyroid gland, but is also used after initial exposure to stop further exposure and flush toxic particles out through your urine.There's a chemical called Prussian blue, an ion exchanger that binds to the radioactive particles of cesium and thallium, reducing the amount of radiation that cells may absorb according to the Mayo Clinic.

What to do in a Nuclear Emergency

Whether it’s an earthquake, a tsunami, or a nuclear bomb the possibilities will always be there for some of us to come in contact with radioactive material. If that happens these steps can help in not getting exposed.

Step 1: Get as far away as possible from the exposed sight.

If there is a radiation disaster you want to make sure you get as far away as possible from the exposed place so you don’t get contaminated with radiation. But what can you do if getting away isn’t possible?

Step 2: Shelter In Place.

If getting away isn’t possible and you need to shelter in place what measures can we take to make sure our home is safe from exposure?

  • Remove clothing, shoes, and accessories before entering your shelter area
  • Shower and wash your body with soap and water
  • Close and lock all windows and exterior doors
  • Turn off all ventilation, including furnaces, air conditioners, vents, and fans
  • Use duct tape and plastic sheeting to cover all windows, doors and vents. The thicker you can get it the better. Every couple hours you should remove it for a short period of time to help against suffocation.


Step 3: Stay informed.

It will be important to stay tuned once you get inside for updated instructions from emergency response officials. As officials learn more about the emergency, they will be communicating the latest information to the public. These are the best ways to keep in touch.

  • A battery-powered or hand crank emergency radio.
  • Try to use text messages.
  • If you have a computer,use email and social media websites.

Any disaster can be a devastating event, but if we can educate ourselves and can follow these simple steps then we can stop any horrible tragedy from happening. Feel free to comment below about any other steps you would take to keep yourself and family safe.
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