Monday, April 4, 2011

Radioactive Fallout risk mitigation items to purchase while you still can

In response to questions about mitigating risks from prolonged radioactive fallout from Fukushima, I have put up an Amazon widget on the left side of the screen that lists items for purchase. I have listed things we have recently purchased or already own and find useful. One thing you will notice about the list of items is that they are all things that make economic sense to own even if there were absolutely no radioactive fallout. And as part of full disclosure, I will make some pittance of money if you buy the items via the links on the left side of your screen.

Probably the most important thing on the list is the Watts Premier WP4-V Reverse Osmosis System. The radioactive fallout will be happening and building up in our environment for potentially a very long time period, and it could get much worse from typhoons and the high risk of an 8.0 aftershock/tsunami. Bath's law and Japanese history indicates a risk of one 8.0 after shock within a few days to two years after the initial 9.0 quake. Ten 7.0 after shocks are also expected. The most important key features the Watts Premier WP4-V has is that it is certified by the ANSI / NSF standards 53 and 58. The combination of those two standards will do the best job of removing Radioactive Iodine and other Radioactive Materials from your drinking water. One final thing I like about this filter is that its manifold design means less tubes / hoses and that means less chance of leaks. If there is one thing of which to get ahead of the crowd and order while you still can, it is a reverse osmosis water filter that meets ANSI / NSF standards 53 and 58. Again, even if Fukushima had never happened this would be a good thing to have in your home.  Updated 4/12/11- If you buy REPLACEMENT filters for this unit, purchase them directly from the Watts Premeir; Its the only easy way to be sure you that you are getting the certified factory replacement filter kit.
Updated 4/15/11- The VOC filter on the Watts unit is NSF 53 certified to a 600 gallon capacity; replace the VOC filter (part number 101013) every year or 600 gallons, which ever comes first.

Next on the list is a sleeper, it is the Safety Siren Pro Series HS71512 3 Radon Gas Detector. I call this one a sleeper because it has an ionization chamber in it that detects radioactivity; good luck finding another Geiger counter type instrument right now without a 6 month lead time. The Safety Siren software is specifically designed with the assumption that radiation it is detecting is from household radon so its readings will reflect that. However, from a fallout perspective, its value to the owner is spotting large changes in its readings. It has an audible alarm and will alert when radiation levels breach acceptable Radon levels. Again, even if Fukushima had never happened this would be a good thing to have in your home.

UPDATE 5/29/11

Organic Valley Milk apparently has not been forth coming regarding their radiation detection process (if any). Given the apparent lack of openness on Organic Valley's part to further address the issue, the only safe assumption one can make is that Organic Valley is not capable of keeping radioactive materials out of their supply chain and milk products.

Until the situation improves I have removed Organic Valley from the Amazon widget on the POTRBLOG webpage. As an alternative, I suggest purchasing "NIDO" whole powdered milk which was manufactured before the Fukushima crisis. The only way to make sure the product was manufactured Pre-Fukushima is to check the dates for yourself at your local grocery. As of 5/29/11 Pre-Fukushima "NIDO" is still available in the Hispanic grocery aisle of several Saint Louis area Walmarts.

The standard NIDO whole milk powder has an expiration date set 2 years after the date of manufacture; hence if the date is past Feb 2013 the contamination risk increases. The exact date of manufacture may be found below the best by date. That date will be a string of numbers that starts with the 1 digit year + 3 digit day of manufacture, followed by more numbers. For example 1069xxxxxx, would indicate the product was made in 2011 on the 69th day; that equates to March 10, 2011.

Last on the current list is dried milk. I listed Organic Valley Organic Nonfat Dry Milk Powder because I purchased some from Amazon at the end of March, the packages I received indicated they were made in December of 2010 and expired in November of 2011. I believe if you get ahead of the crowd and order now it is still possible to buy pre-Fukushima dried milk. The other aspect to consider is that the risk of milk contamination only gets worse over the next coming months as the fallout continues to rain down. Fortunately Organic Valley has stated that they have put in radiological detectors to detect the presence of radiation in their milk production.

Here is Organic Valley's statement

....In recent weeks, we've added yet another component to our extensive program: the ability to detect the presence of radiation in milk. We are analyzing Organic Valley milk packaged prior to the March 11, 2011 events in Japan to establish normal radiological baselines, and we are comparing milk produced today against those baselines....

No matter what dried milk you buy, make absolutely sure that it does not come from China; on March 18th the FDA released an import alert about melamine contaminated dried Chinese milk powder.


  1. Hi!

    Do you think that more recents models of that cie (Watts Premier) could present both certifications?

    Here in Canada, impossible to order localy the WP4V and it's hard to know more about the spec of offered models.

    Watts canada seems to offer a model exactly the same (to eyes) but they tells that the model is NON-NFS ... it is so similar!

    If i compare with the picture on Amazone....

    Drives me crazy!!!

  2. It does not appear to be certified. I would NOT buy that one. The site does show that two models where the RO filter meets standard 58, but the carbon filters do NOT meet standard 53.

    I would either look for a different manufacture that could meet both standards. Or I would get one where the RO filter meets standard 58, and I would then pour that water into a Berky filter which can meet standard 53.

    If you do decide to use a Berky combined with an RO filter to meet both standards, you might consider a portable RO filter like this one to use upstream of the Berkey. (by doing so your filtering efforts would be totally portable)

    This link to NSF might help your search too.

  3. I would prefer having both certifications into a sole model. (xcuse my english if mistakes i'm french speaking).

    I'm not use to ordering on the internet, so why I try to find a filter near my location. I think it will be hard. Cosco Us doesn't feature sames items than cosco canada and they dont take orders from canada. As long as I know!!!

    There are some other Watt's models that offer 53 and 58 but again, only us!

    Went to the site NSF but they do not provide a list of retailers.

    Lost into that :(

    Only thing I know: prices will grow up!

    And demand too.

  4. That:

    seems to be more recent, and at a higher price, in addition, one step of filtration. It is said to be in conformity with normS of NSF...

    I just can't find : what are those NORMS!

  5. Here is one in Canada, that will meet both certifications if you have the additional VOC filter "Guard" filter installed. Their advertising is a bit sneaky because it appears all of their units are certified, but if you look closer only the "K5 Drinking Water Station" meets both standards AND that is only if you "customize" it with the extra VOC filter

  6. I did some more research on the K5 Drinking water stations, looks like it costs $1800US, that seems incredible expensive.

    However it does appear that if you go with the Canadian system you mentioned and replaced the filters in it with certified ones, that the required specifications would be met. That would be much less expensive than getting that K5 system

  7. Finally, i've been able to order one with Watt's! The same model!