The data and methodology shown is how I would have calculated my lung cancer risk from the Plutonium particles detected in Riverside California by EPA’s RADNET on 3/11/11 – 3/15/11. How you apply the information to yourself is your own personal decision. However, once having seen the data and calculations, I believe it would be in your own personal best interests to contact your local, state, and federal politicians and petition them to provide detail risk assessments for your own situation. Assurances that everything is safe and okay mean nothing without facts and data.
My calculations indicate that had I been in Riverside California on March 15th 2011 approximately 18.7 million combined atoms of Plutonium 238 and Plutonium 239 would have entered my lungs during that 24 hour period. My calculations indicate that based on the 2008 population of Riverside California, approximately 73 individuals in Riverside would have had an Alpha particle released in their lungs during that 24 hour time period. If the worst case fears of Plutonium toxicity are to be believed, 73 people in Riverside will develop lung cancer from that single 24 hour exposure to airborne Plutonium.
Many of the assumptions and groundrules I have used are obvious from the calculations. However, some assumptions are more debatable than others, and they deserve closer scrutiny in your own risk assessment.
(1) A 100% cancer rate from a single in-lung release of an Alpha particle from Plutonium. If this rate is to be believed, Plutonium may be the single most deadly thing on the planet. I left the rate at 100% so that it would be easy for others to recalculate their own risk based on their own research.
(2) The lung cancer calculation is based on a breath of 1 second duration in which every Plutonium atom that enters the lung also leaves the lung. If one assumes that the Plutonium will remain in the lung, the cancer rates will greatly increase.
(3) An atom of Plutonium releasing an Alpha particle in the Lung creates damage without respect to its exact location in the Lung space.
(4) Lung cancers resulting from the radioactive decay products of Plutonium were NOT directly examined; chemically induced cancers were also not directly examined.
(5) The calculations use an Air Sample Multiplier. The multiplier is used because the RADNET sample in question was based on 5 days of air filtering starting on the day of the Fukushima earthquake. Given the weather travel times from Japan to California, it is safe to assume that the entire Plutonium dosage occurred on the last day of the sample. Hence EPA’s listed concentration is 5 times too low.
(6) The Plutonium fallout was a one day / 24 hour duration non-reoccurring event.
(7) The fact that the EPA reported the exact same Curie values for both Plutonium 238 and Plutonium 239, despite their highly different Specific Activity values, is not indicative of under reporting the threat.