What better thing to do before appearing on NBC G4-TV’s popular international live television show Attack of the Show! than test the machines cleaning the air as we have done since the Fukushima Daiichi triple meltdowns began devastating Japan March 11, 2011.
The producers of the program asked if I could bring a few samples to illustrate what we have been doing over 13 months that the American and Canadian governments stopped doing long ago – checking for Fukushima fallout contamination in North America.
First establishing background in a ten-minute average, the ambient air registered 45.8 Counts Per Minute (CPM) which, as noted before in prior posts and in radio interviews, is high for the Los Angeles Basin’s relative geology and elevation.
Typically, radiation backgrounds at sea level and on an alluvial plane will be in the 12 to 15 CPM range. Above ground nuclear tests at the Nevada Test and Training Range are not generally considered as big a factor in ambient L.A. air radiation as most of those “shots” were downwind of America’s second largest metropolitan area. California and the Pacific Northwest therefore only have about half the amount of radiation from shots than all points east of Nevada.
The high background here may be from the multiple experimental nuclear reactor partial meltdowns at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, commonly known as Rocketdyne, high in the hills between the Simi and San Fernando valleys. This reporter began covering Rocketdyne in 1998 for Los Angeles magazine two years before acquiring an Inspector Alert nuclear radiation monitor.
Shocking even this reporter, the aggregate dust of three HEPA filters in Radiation Station Santa Monica clocked in at 746% of background radiation or 7.46 times normal.
This high reading, pictured here after a ten-minute test, is over double the level that the California Highway Patrol considers a hazardous materials situation – three times background.
Carefully collecting the dusty debris, this reporter took the sample to Attack of the Show! knowing that it would be a good example of the challenges of dealing with Fukushima meltdowns radiation in something as critical as the air we breathe.
Prior to the show, which is filmed in the Miracle Mile of Los Angeles, the background of the studio hovered in the low 20s CPMs. Checking out the detritus, live on air, the Inspector Alert immediately began registering additional radiation and surged to 80 CPM before moving on to the next item to test, Japanese seaweed. That’s nearly four times background in a quick spot check.
It is going to be a long hot summer in Southern California as these high numbers indicate. The only silver lining to this foul air scenario is that Radiation Station Santa Monica’s HEPA filters captured these alpha and beta radiation particles before they could be inhaled or ingested.
That may be little consolation for the millions of Southern Californians barely aware of the continuing and growing threat of fission products flowing through the ocean and floating in the air towards the West Coast.
The effects of Fukushima fallout and Pacific pestilence can be mitigated by the use of HEPA filters in the home, office and motor vehicle. As we’ve continued to report in “Eat Me,” reducing one’s bioaccumulation of radiation is crucial to keeping one’s chances of contracting cancer to as low as possible.
2:15pm 10-minute INTERIOR AGGREGATE DUST/DEBRIS OF THREE HEPA FILTERS AFTER 40 DAYS USE: 341.6 CPM or 746% of NORMAL or 7.46 TIMES NORMAL
1:55pm 10-minute INTERIOR background average: 45.8 CPM^