From: Roger McClellan <roger.o.mcclellan**At_Symbol_Here**ATT.NET>
Subject: Re: FW: [DCHAS-L] Radiation Experiments
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 19:06:26 -0700
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
What aspects of the experiments are of concern to you and others. The radioactivity in the Fiestaware is fixed and the radiation doses at the surface of the dishes will be trival relative to background-- we all live in a sea of natural radioactivity and radiation. I suspect the concern is a manifestation of widespread radiation phobia that developed much earlier than chemophobia.
I would ask the Instructor to use this as an educational opportunity to acquaint the students with radiation and radioactivity from natural and man-made sources and the various units of measurement.. He might have the students calculate their own radiation exposure from the natural K40 in their body.and remind them that K is an essential component of their body.
I was recently in Japan to give a lecture at the Japanese Society of Toxicology meeting entitled -"Radiation Toxicology : From Discovery of Radiation and Radioactivity to Fukushima". I spent a day in the "exclusion " zone near the reactors and had a whole body count taken to determine my content of Cs 134-137 and K40. I had no Cs 134-137 as expected. The technician was initially surprised at my content of K40, much greater than any Japanese person that had been measured. The technican than said --"Oh, you big man, lot of K40". I said yes, I weigh 100 Kg, if I had more muscle and less fat I would have even more K40.
The answer to your question is a resounding --yes, the experiments are safe. Even if the Fiesta Glass ware were washed with acid the quantities of radioactivity removed would likely be quite low. That might be another experimant. An important part of the lesson plan should be to distinguish between radioactivity and radiation and hazard and risk.. They might also calculate the radiation dose I received flying from New Mexico to Tokyo and return and the difference in radiation dose for living in Albuquerque , at a mile high, versus that recieved living year round in Belton , TX.
I must admit my views may be influenced by growing up near the Hanford Nuclear site and spending my early career studying radiionuclide metabolism and dosimetry and 30 years as a member of the National Council on Radiation Priotectiona and Measurements.
Regards to all.
Roger O. McClellan
From: "Murphy, Dr. Ruth Ann" <rmurphy**At_Symbol_Here**UMHB.EDU>
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 4:22 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] FW: Radiation Experiments
From: Murphy, Dr. Ruth Ann
Sent: Thursday, August 15, 2013 5:21 PM
Subject: Radiation Experiments
Are "radiation experiments" with Fiestaware considered "safe"? [Instructor would take readings.]
Ruth Ann Murphy, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Chairperson, Department of Chemistry, Environmental Science and Geology
Chairperson, Health Professions Advisory Committee
Amy LeVesconte Professorship of Chemistry
JAMP Faculty Director
Goldwater Scholarship Faculty Representative
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
900 College Street
Belton, TX 76513-2599
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