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 "Decay Rates" and your health (filter testing) part 1 
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When testing air filters...

...I've heard all kinds of stuff like "oh now it's gone now so I don't have to worry about that".

The exact opposite is true when it comes to decay rates...

The reason you test the filter twice (or more) is to find the decay rate over time right?

The faster a substance decays, the harder it is on your body...

A faster decay rate is much more worrisome than a slow one.

Think "fire cracker" versus "campfire" in terms of decay rates...


A quick drop in count should worry you as these substances are more dangerous if inhaled or ingested. Although the odds (roll the dice) are smaller that you will actually come into contact with these substances internally (air / food), they cause much more damage (in the short term) than something with a longer half life.

So a quick drop in count is something to pay close attention to when testing air filters. Don't buy the "it's harmless after a few days" story as the quick decay rate is a alarm bell!!!!


Think "fire cracker" versus "campfire" when it comes to decay rates...

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Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:36 pm
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Fast Decay Rate??? It's here, but now I can't see it anymore with my counter so it's gone...

This is why I-131 is the big killer around a nuclear accident...

I-131 decays at a rate of 8 day halflife so 8X8 is 64 days before it is not considered harmful (although I personally don't believe that it's ever harmless)... A VERY big bang inside animals and humans (for a month or two). But, it simply does not have the time to travel very far from the original source.

Very Dangerous stuff!!!

Luckily we don't see much I-131 in our environment...

...unless you live in Japan.

HOWEVER...

Some isotopes of Radon have a half-life of around 3.8 days. Radon is one of the densest substances that remains a gas under normal conditions. It is also the only gas under normal conditions that ONLY contains radioactive isotopes. Radon is considered a health hazard due to its radioactivity and short halflife.

Notice that this is a VERY quick decay rate?

Firecracker, not campfire...

This stuff is literally everywhere and should be taken very seriously!

Funny how, now that we are looking for Fuku dust we are finding other sources of potent radioactivity that were already here.

Eat or breathe this stuff and someone will be opening your ketchup bottles for you for the rest of your short life...


http://www.radon.com

http://geology.about.com/od/geophysics/a/aboutradon.htm

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Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:54 pm
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So we know the faster decaying stuff is what will "run you over" and leave you and your family in the ditch when it comes to health (so to speak)...

C-134 is the big nasty one in a nuclear event because the half life is a little over 2 years (around 5 1/2 years before considered harmless), so it can travel great distances and get inside many more people and animals before it decays...

Even at 2 years it has a "big bang" in your body and can travel and "lay around" waiting for someone to ingest for quite a long time.

Kinda like a virus ya know?


...you won't see the counts drop much in a week or two if you have C-134 in your filter.


The current readings from around the country suggest you will encounter no C-134 in your filters. But if you do, you have a real problem.


The long road ahead...

C-137 has a halflife of around 30 years. The problem here is ingestion through food and water over a extended time period and the fact that it remains active for so long means it can contaminate (ruin) agriculture (and your water supply) for a century.

You won't see ANY appreciable drop in counts for a long time (months) with C-137 in a air filter.

Currently the information we have suggests that there is no appreciable airborne C-137 in the US.


If you disturb a contaminated air filter and then kiss someone you love, you may expose them to a "hot particle", purely by chance.

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Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:41 pm
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Does the general public pay attention?

Don't be smoking cigars at the park, that second hand smoke may get someone 50 yards away right?

Nope...

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Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:26 am
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