The nuclear emergency in Japan has been fading a bit from our everyday news, but the threat of radiation exposure continues.
For me, this is something that has only been crossing my mind every so often over the past week, but I think that it is necessary to do a bit of thinking about what this means, both for the Japanese people and also for ourselves.
Obviously, the situation in Japan is much direr than anything that we will face. There are reports of rationing water, prioritizing bottled water for infants since they will be the most affected by radiation. I personally have friends living in Tokyo. One of them e-mailed stating that her family is not drinking the water or using it for cooking.
I studied Japanese in college, lived in Japan for a year following my college days, and continued to tutor Japanese people in English for years after I returned. In many ways, the country of Japan is near and dear to my heart. So this tragedy affects me in a number of different ways, both emotionally and now possibly physically.
I can only imagine how stressful this is for everyone living there.
I don't mean for this information to cause you to be fearful, for we need to trust God in this and in all things. However, I do think that we need to be informed about what is happening in the world around us in order to do good and to care for ourselves and our families accordingly. As such, I have done some research this week on options for natural protection against radiation exposure and thought I would share it with you as well as tell you what I plan to do.
One of the best posts that I read on this topic was on The Healthy Home Economist. Sarah Pope states that:
Even more alarming, officials seem to be glossing over recent news of food contamination. Fava beans imported to Taiwan have tested for low levels of radioactivity despite the fact that they came from nowhere near Fukushima. In addition, Japanese raw milk and spinach within Fukushima prefecture have also tested for contamination, although officials have deemed the levels so small as to pose no threat to human health. The reasoning? A person drinking the tainted milk for one year would “only” be exposed to the equivalent of one CT scan.
Sarah then goes on to point out that radiation exposure is cumulative, so it stands to reason that these "CT scan" levels of radiation could very well be ongoing as well.
She then lays out a natural protocol for protection from radiation that includes Vitamin C, Siberian ginseng, seaweed, epsom salt baths, and modifilan, and she also mentions potassium iodide as an emergency measure.
The basic thinking behind these recommendations is to boost one's immune system and to strengthen the thyroid gland. Your thyroid absorbs iodine and needs enough of it to function properly. That is why people sometimes take iodine supplements when they have hypothyroidism. Well, the danger of nuclear radiation is manifold, but a lot of it comes from the thyroid absorbing radioactive iodine. Therefore, if your thyroid is "full" of good iodine, then it doesn't absorb the bad iodine and you can escape some of the effects surrounding radiation exposure. Life Enthusiast sells KI (potassium iodide) and provides a lengthy explanation of how and why it is to be used in an emergency situation.
Of course, your decisions about what to do or not to do depend on what is happening regarding the Japan crisis and what your current health situation is.
Here is what I plan to do and why:
- Add nori, dulse, and wakame to our diets.
- Increase our family's intake of Vitamin C to 3,000 mg total daily. You may choose to do more. We are dealing with some health conditions for which this level is a maximum for us. I am choosing to use up the Vitamin C that we have in our home and will decide after that what to do. I have been very pleased with our Vitamin C which is Now Foods AlphaSorb-C .
- Continue with Epsom Salt and/or Magnesium Crystal baths. I personally do not like to take baths so I will try to do a foot soak several times per week.
- Purchase ginseng and add it to our routine. But note that ginseng should not be taken if one is ill.
- Hold off on purchasing modifilan now because it is hard to find.
- Purchase KI (potassium iodide) and keep it on hand for the unlikely event of an emergency. KI's shelf life is 7 years and it is very inexpensive, so this is a simple step to take.
Most of all, we are going to be praying for the people of Japan. For as best as we know, we will only be dealing with small amounts of radiation, but they are living with this in their own backyard.
Also, if you would like more information on water purification, you may wish to check out my post on water safety.
What steps will you take or are you not concerned at all about the radiation exposure?