Each day, as the very unfortunate events in Japan unfold, it seems more likely that at least some radioactive contamination from the crippled nuclear power plants will make its way to other parts of the world. The news is not getting any better, despite what many “authorities” and mainstream news outlets are telling us.
I do not want to join the fear mongers. I will not. However, there are things to know and some sensible and reasonable precautions and preparations that we can take. There also are a lot of bogus, ineffective and even dangerous recommendations circulating. And I feel a responsibility to help people sort out the helpful from the not helpful.
Again, I want to say that my heart goes out to the people of Japan. I am very sad when I think of the immense suffering. If you want to donate to an organization that will make sure that your donations goes where it really should, here is a link:
The Tzu-Chi Foundation is one foundation you can trust and puts nearly 100% of their funds to work on the ground using volunteers who organize rescue efforts right there on the streets where it’s needed most.
Here, in the U.S. we are almost certain to get at least some radioactive contamination. We just don’t yet know how much, and exactly what types, or in what proportions it will be. As of 03/20/2011, a number of radioactive elements were measured along the West Coast of the U.S. at increased levels. However, the increases, so far, have been slight and not at the level that is known to represent a significant health risk.
It feels strange to make that statement since any increase in radiation and any exposure is harmful to all living beings. However, again I want to emphasize that so far the levels are still quite low and do not seem to require extra measures. Normal good health practices are enough for current levels – eating properly, making sure your body has a way to detoxify on an ongoing basis, etc.
The most likely contaminant that will reach the Western Hemisphere is radioactive iodine-131. It is possible that this is the only radioactive contaminant that will reach the U.S. in significant quantities.
My previous blog posts cover what you need to know about protecting yourself and your family and friends from radioactive iodine-131. However, I am getting deluged with calls and e-mails, asking what to do about the other most likely radioactive contaminants.
Many “authorities” from government and other institutions, are telling us that in the Western Hemisphere there is no risk. I don’t want to spread panic. However, I don’t think anyone knows at this point what the realistic risk is. There are simply too many variables to make accurate predictions. We don’t know how extensive the damage to the nuclear plants will ultimately be. No one knows how much radioactive material will be released. And we certainly do not know what the winds and other weather elements will do.
So I think the best antidote to fear and panic is good information. There are preparatory measures and protective measures that seem reasonable and that are practical.
I am seeing a good deal of misinformation that if followed will not provide the protection that people are looking for. In some case this misinformation is downright dangerous.
What You Need To Know:
First, let’s clear this up: Radioactive iodine is a special case. Because the thyroid collects iodine and can’t tell the difference between radioactive iodine and non-radioactive iodine, the strategy there is to simply make sure the thyroid has enough non-radioactive iodine so that it is not “looking” for more. This is well covered in the 3 previous blogs that are immediately below this one.
However, that is the only radioactive element for which this strategy is effective. The rest of the most likely radioactive elements, such as cesium, are not needed, even in their non-radioactive forms by any organs or parts of the body. In fact, at appreciable levels, even their non-radioactive forms are quite toxic. There is no “minimum daily requirement” for these other elements, in either radioactive or non-radioactive forms. So making sure your body already has enough so that it does not absorb more will not work.
It seems that the most effective approach is to first take reasonable measures to avoid contamination in the first place. Secondly, use the same body detoxification methods that are recommended for best health even when no radioactive contamination is involved. The same steps that will help get mercury and lead out of the body will work for the likely radioactive contaminants.
What Are The Practical Steps?
1. If there is real airborne contamination in the area where you live and work, limit your outdoors time.
2. If you must go outdoors, wear raingear that can be easily washed. Do not bring the raingear indoors with you.
3. Do your best to drink safe drinking water. There are some very good portable filters that do a good enough job to make most drinking water safe. The best of the back-packer’s filters will work well for this. However, none of the portable filters will get all of the metallic contaminants out. The best strategy is to have a good store of clean, safe drinking water beforehand. We live in California, which is subject to earthquakes. So we maintain a good emergency supply of safe drinking water that is carefully stored. Some whole house water filters, such as the “MetalMaster” units sold by Vitalsalus are effective at removing almost all metallic contaminants. Many other filters are not as effective. You may need to do a bit of research on your filter if you have one. Vitasalus has good consultants on staff to help you choose an appropriate filter for your area. Here is a link:
4. It makes sense to have an emergency food supply that is sufficient for survival for at least a couple of months. At a bare minimum, keeping a hundred pounds or so of dried beans of various kinds and a like amount of brown rice is a good start.
Detox – These Next Steps Are All About Detoxifying The Body:
5. Organic sulfur is one of the most crucial elements to support the body’s natural detoxification mechanisms. Your liver absolutely needs this sulfur in order to get rid of heavy metals and other toxins that are constantly accumulating in the body. There used to be sufficient organic sulfur in our food supply. But since the advent of industrial agriculture and synthetic fertilizers our food has been badly deficient in this crucial element. Supplementing with high quality MethylSulphonylMethane or Organic Sulfur makes sense. In fact, this is a great health measure for most people even when there are not extraordinary conditions such as radiological events. Most adults will benefit from taking a teaspoon to a tablespoon of Organic Suflur in the morning and another in the late afternoon and one more in the evening. I have a number of other posts in this blog about Organic Sulfur, which you can use to learn all you needd to know about this crucial mineral. In the event of radiological contamination I would double or even treble the amount. I would do this be increasing the frequency of the servings, not the amount per serving. The source of your MethylSulphonylMethane is crucial. I have tried and tested over 50 different forms of MSM, and have only found 2 that are really effective. Of these, the Organic Sulfur from “The Cellular Matrix Study” is by far the best. To order or to find out more use this link: Safe and Effective Organic Sulfur in MethylSulphonylMethane form.
6. Vitamin C maintained at an optimal level is another highly effective measure to both help the body detox and to help protect you from those contaminants that may not be eliminated immediately. If you do not already have it, I recommend that you get a copy of my article on optimal vitamin C use. Here is a link:
7. Periodic detox with an effective detox agent is a great general health measure. I generally do not recommend harsh and/or potentially dangerous detox agents, such as EDTA and related chelating chemicals. These can be effective, but really should be used under the close supervision of a qualified health care professional. However, in addition to some herbs and plants that I list below, there are some more natural detoxification agents that are safe and effective. One of the easiest to use of these is Zeotrex from Global Healing Center. I recommend keeping a supply on hand. Use it as per the directions that come with it. I do this several times each year as a general detox. In the event of significant radiological contamination I would follow the Zeotrex detox measures every few weeks until at least several months after the exposure is no longer significant. Here is a link:
8. In any situation where contamination might be an issue it is crucial to keep the intestinal tract moving. Avoid constipation. Since your colon is one of the most important detox pathways that your body has to use, it is important to keep it clear. If you follow the vitamin C protocol referenced above this will not be a problem.
9. Eating seaweed and/or kelp can be very helpful. Some studies of the aftereffects of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima found that many people fared much better than expected in terms of long-term health. It has been postulated that the typical Japanese diet, with an emphasis on eating seaweed and kelp was responsible for significantly mitigating the long-term harm from the radiological exposure. A number of studies support this theory.
However, a leap was made that I do not think was justified. The leap was to assume that the Japanese diet, heavy in seaweed and kelp, raised the iodine levels and prevented the uptake of radioactive iodine. This makes no sense since much of the contaminants that did the most damage were not radioactive iodine. They were other radioactive isotopes. Nonetheless, the seaweed and kelp clearly helped to reduce the harmful effects of the radiation. And it has been noted and well-confirmed that cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy do better if they eat lots of seaweed and/or kelp! And that therapy does not involve radioactive iodine at all.
So clearly the seaweed and kelp helps to mitigate the harmful effects of exposure to radiation. I am not sure why, and I do not know that anyone else is, either. But, if it works, why not use it? We keep a supply of dried seaweed and kelp in the house. Properly stored, (kept at room temperature and away from moisture), it lasts for years. We sometimes crumble it over salads, use it in soups, and sometimes just eat it plain.
10. Cilantro is also a terrific detox plant. We eat it plain in large quantities on a regular basis. We throw it in salads, soups, eat it plain and whatever else we can think of. Cilantro is one of the better natural herbs for getting heavy metals and many other toxins out of the body. Of course, in the event of a serious radiological event, it is likely that much of the available produce will be contaminated. So fresh cilantro, grown outside in a field as opposed to a protected greenhouse, will also be contaminated. If you have a greenhouse or access to one, go for it. Otherwise, consider getting a good food drier. You can google food drier for lots of options.
11. Chlorella is also a terrific detox agent, in addition to being a very nutritious food. There are lots of sources for chlorella. Look for one that is prepared in a way that breaks the cell walls. These are more effective than those that leave the chlorella cell walls intact.
12. I want to leave you with one more important aspect of detoxing. This is the emotional aspect. This whole subject and the events that have brought it into the spotlight are apt to raise anxiety and fear levels. That is certainly understandable. However, living with high levels of fear and anxiety for prolonged periods of time is very unhealthy. So consider employing meditation, yoga, self-hypnosis or some practice that will help you to relax, to sleep well and not to allow fear and anxiety from becoming trapped in your body for prolonged periods of time. We use EFT, or “Emotional Freedom Technique” to release our fears and anxieties. It works great and is easy to learn. We recommend that you learn and practice your preferred method before you need it. If it is habit and you are comfortable using it, it will be easier to use and more effective when it is most urgently needed.
Hopefully the situation in Japan will improve soon and these measures will not be needed, at least not in the Western Hemisphere. However, given the number of nuclear power plants scattered throughout the U.S. and some other Western Hemisphere countries, it is the unfortunate truth that the above information will be all too relevant at some point in the future.
That is unless we wise up as a species and begin shutting down these dangerous examples of human arrogance, greed and hubris while there is still time. We certainly do not have ANY business building new ones!
If you feel like telling our political leaders not to fund, license or otherwise allow more nuclear power plants to be built, please follow your instincts. They are likely ancient survival instincts!
I you have questions, suggestions, comments about this blog post, please enter them as comments so we can get some useful dialog going that others can benefit from.
To your health!
By the way, here is a link to best FDA page on potassium iodine: (pretty interesting)