The NYTimes has an article getting into radiation fears and how they are “overblown,” but unfortunately the author does not use the term “radioisotopes,” and does not distinguish between radiation we receive from x-ray machines and the like, and radiation we can receive from ingestion of radioisotopes.

As an example, the article states that at the recent accident in Japan:

most of the radiation is believed to have blown out to sea on the prevailing winds

No. It is not radiation that blew out to sea. It is radioisotopes, and some of them did not blow out to sea and fell to earth on crops and people’s land and water supplies. The public (and reporters and their editors) can’t get a good handle on the risks here, and subsequent studies necessary for assessing them, without this kind of understanding. These risks are in an entirely different vein than risk from CT scans and the like.


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