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Offline 00TAO

Hello. I live in an area that has elevated cancer cases (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/florida/AP/story/1458416.html). I thought it might be prudent to check my own home and water supply (well water) for radiation. Would the CDV-700 Geiger Counter do an adequate job of detecting Radium in soil and water? EBay seems to be full of CD V-700 Model 6's, 6A's, and 6B's for around $50. Would any of these models do the job?

Offline HydroDave63

Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #1 on: Feb 03, 2010, 05:34 »
No.

A better use of the testing money would be to send a sample to an approved lab near you.

http://www.pbchd.com/spotlight/acreage/cancer_cluster_well_water_testing_labs.html
« Last Edit: Feb 03, 2010, 05:37 by HydroDave63 »

Offline thenukeman

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Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #2 on: Feb 03, 2010, 05:52 »
The Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes EPA to limit the Maximum Contaminant Levels of radium and other radionuclides in publicly supplied drinking water. For 226 and 228 radium, the MCL is 5 picocuries per liter and for 224 radium it is 15pCi/l. Both the air and water standards limit the increased lifetime cancer risk to about 2 in 10,000.

The whole article here from EPA>  http://www.epa.gov/radiation/radionuclides/radium.html

The most common radium is Radium 226, The limit is 5 picocuries per liter.  This is basically 11 disintegrations per minute per liter,  A geiger counter is only about 20 percent efficent for beta and one thousands efficent for gamma.  If you check a one liter bottle you have to have thousands of picocuries to get a reading because you are only using the one thousands efficency for gamma.  Because the plastic would shield the beta.  Even if you poured the water in the sink most of the beta would be self shielded by the water and you would have to have hundreds of picocuries to even get a reading off the water in the sink   Because of self shielding and low gamma efficency.

HydroDave has the best answer.  A geiger counter is a waste in this situation.


« Last Edit: Feb 03, 2010, 05:56 by thenukeman »

IPREGEN

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Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #3 on: Feb 04, 2010, 08:27 »
old chemical dump sites are one of the contributors to these cancer clusters - use a lab

Offline Already Gone

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Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #4 on: Feb 04, 2010, 09:59 »
If you have Radium in the soil and water around your home, there will be Radon in your house.  Radon exposure primarily results in lung cancer.  If the "cluster" is a different type of cancer, you might have a different problem.
You might also be living in what is known as a normal neighborhood that some alarmist has labeled as a cancer cluster for some reason.  Approximately 25% of all people will have some form of cancer at some point in their lives.  In fact, the only reason that the entire population does not die of cancer is that they die of something else before the cancer has a chance to develop in their bodies.  A man who lives to be over 90 years old has nearly a 100% probability of having Prostate cancer.  Like I said, the only reason that every man does not get prostate cancer is that something else kills them first.
A simple, cheap Radon test kit will tell all you need to know concerning Radium/Radon.  Contact a local RealtorTM to find out who does this testing and who can give you a good deal on mitigation.
My house tested at 11 picoCuries per liter when I bought it (that is very high).  The Radon elimination system that the sellers installed for $2500 is keeping the levels well below the limits.  Don't get ripped off by someone trying to sell you more than that.
Anyway, have your house tested for Radon.  Don't go wasting your money on an instrument that will do you no good.  The fact that you call it a "geiger counter" (terminology that comes from the movies) tells me that you really won't know what to do with the information that it gives you.  If there is a problem, you want trained professionals on the job.  If there is NO problem, you won't be sure of that based on readings you'll get with an instrument that you don't understand.  I own a camera, that doesn't make me a photographer.  I have a car -- not going to see me at Talladega trading paint with Dale Junior.  You go buy a meter, and you'll just be somebody with an expensive doorstop.
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2010, 10:05 by BeerCourt »
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Offline stormgoalie

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Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #5 on: Feb 04, 2010, 10:06 »
If you have Radium in the soil and water around your home, there will be Radon in your house.  Radon exposure primarily results in lung cancer.  If the "cluster" is a different type of cancer, you might have a different problem.
You might also be living in what is known as a normal neighborhood that some alarmist has labeled as a cancer cluster for some reason.  Approximately 25% of all people will have some form of cancer at some point in their lives.  In fact, the only reason that the entire population does not die of cancer is that they die of something else before the cancer has a chance to develop in their bodies.  A man who lives to be over 90 years old has nearly a 100% probability of having Prostate cancer.  Like I said, the only reason that every man does not get prostate cancer is that something else kills them first.
A simple, cheap Radon test kit will tell all you need to know concerning Radium/Radon.  Contact a local RealtorTM to find out who does this testing and who can give you a good deal on mitigation.
My house tested at 11 picoCuries per liter when I bought it (that is very high).  The Radon elimination system that the sellers installed for $2500 is keeping the levels well below the limits.  Don't get ripped off by someone trying to sell you more than that.
Anyway, have your house tested for Radon. 

Good answer!  I second getting the Radon testing, but beware of scammers if you have to get a ventilation system installed to lower Radon levels.  A school district here paid HUGE money (>$250,000) to have a "Radon elimination system" installed in a gymnasium.  The "system" was just a couple of fans that removed air from the basement.  Gotta love honest construction companies......
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Offline RDTroja

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Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #6 on: Feb 04, 2010, 11:08 »
Another thing to remember is that the news media loves to point out things like this that scare people. Miami has some very good cancer hospitals... some people that get cancer move to where the good cancer hospitals are. The same thing is true about TMI. Harrisburg has some very fine cancer centers and not coincidentally has slightly higher cancer rates. The press tried to stick that on TMI but the real data did not support it. While this appears to be a different case, the press loves to jump on this kind of thing and make it sound worse than it is.

Also the number of cases in cancer studies are often very low which allows for more cancers due to plain old statistical anomalies. The web page that HydroDave provided the link to has a letter (http://www.pbchd.com/pdfs/press/2010/feb/febnews2-2010-dept-of-health-and-human-services.pdf) that says that there were 3 cases found where 0.5 cases should be expected. While that is 'statistically significant' it is not hard to imagine that 2 additional cases (since you can't really have half of a cancer) could occur and still be random. There are also many other possible causes.

Get the testing done, but consider that the stress of dealing with the situation is probably more damaging to your health than the potential for radiation damage. I will also jump on the 'don't buy yourself an instrument' bandwagon and point out that if it isn't properly calibrated on a regular basis it is more likely to lie to you than tell the truth.
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Offline 00TAO

Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #7 on: Feb 04, 2010, 01:30 »
Good info. This board has very helpful members. Thanks everyone!
« Last Edit: Feb 04, 2010, 01:34 by 00TAO »

Offline Marlin

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Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #8 on: Feb 04, 2010, 01:43 »
Another source of info:

Acreage area residents are beginning to speculate possible causes for the high rate of cancerous tumors. Environmental factors, particularly pesticides, are the most popular theory. The Mecca Farms grove surrounds the area where the alleged cancer cluster is located. It is believed the orange groves are regularly sprayed with pesticides. Area residents report seeing people in hazardous materials suits spraying regularly. It is unknown if any pesticides are indeed affecting area residents.

Thorough tests on Dunsford’s well water system came back clean, ruling out the possibility of something contaminating the water. This certainly does not mean the water supply in the Acreage is entirely safe; each homeowner has their own well, which supplies water to only their household. Further testing will need to be done around the alleged cancer cluster area to determine the area water quality. Palm Beach area health investigators say there is a long list of potential cancer causing agents that has not been ruled out.

http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2009/06/28/west-palm-beach-kiddie-cancer-cluster_200906281537.html

Offline Marlin

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Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #9 on: Feb 04, 2010, 01:52 »
and another source of info:

Palm Beach County Health Department: Acreage Investigation

http://www.pbchd.com/spotlight/acreage/cancer_cluster.html

Offline thenukeman

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Re: I Live in a Cancer Cluster - Looking for a Geiger Counter
« Reply #10 on: Feb 05, 2010, 01:09 »
I live near Oak Ridge TN, They had a independent group come in and the biggest contributing factor to cancer they found was income and education.  I think Morgan and Scott counties had the  highest rates and lowest life expectancy. Even though Oak Ridge Reservation is mostly in Roane and Anderson Counties.  THese counties are upwind and up stream from Oak  Ridge the majority of the time, It can also be genetics where the same family gets the same cancer , this can throw off the statistics.  Basically poor, smoke more, fatter,less money to take care of themselves, and less educated on how to take care of themselves.  



Not saying this in this case , I do not know the area , There was Love Canal that had a definite link, this was chemical not rad though.

There is a school of thought that a little rad is good for you and actually cuts down on cancer and increases life  expectancy, I believe the professors name was DR. Luckey and the theory was hormesis.  There is a curve for this. Like vitamins are good if you take the right amount, too much can hurt you.  A person actually died from a water drinking contest.
Proponents of radiation hormesis accept that high radiation levels are harmful; that intense artificial radiation, for example, is toxic. But they believe that low levels of radiation, comparable to the natural background level of radiation are not harmful. The subject of radiation hormesis has captured the attention of scientists and public alike in recent years, perhaps because of its counter-intuitive properties. Opinion pieces on chemical and radiobiological hormesis appeared in the journals Nature[1] and Science[3] in 2003.

While most major studies have used the linear no-threshold model (LNT),[8] the 2005 French Academy of Sciences-National Academy of Medicine's report concerning the effects of low-level radiation rejects LNT as a scientific model of carcinogenic risk associated for doses less than 100 mSv. They consider there to be several dose-effect relationships rather than only one, and that these relationships have many variables such as target tissue, radiation dose, dose rate and individual sensitivity factors. They propose that more study is done on low doses (less than 100 mSv) and very low doses (less than 10 mSv) as well as the impact of tissue type and age. The Academy considers the LNT model useful for regulatory purposes as it simplifies the administrative task. However, they also point out that approximately 40% of laboratory studies on cell cultures and animals report some sort of radiobiological hormesis.[7] They state:

"...its existence in the laboratory is beyond question and its mechanism of action appears well understood."

They go on to outline the growing body of research that illustrates that the human body is not a passive accumulator of radiation damage but it actively repairs the damage caused via a number of different processes, including:[7]

Mechanisms that mitigate reactive oxygen species generated by ionising radiation and oxidative stress.
Apoptosis of radiation damaged cells that may undergo tumorigenesis is initiated at only few mSv.
Cell death during meiosis of radiation damaged cells that were unsuccessfully repaired.
The existence of a cellular signaling system that alerts neighboring cells of cellular damage.
The activation of enzymatic DNA repair mechanisms around 10 mSv.
Modern DNA microarray studies which show that numerous genes are activated at radiation doses well below the level that mutagenesis is detected.
Radiation induced tumorigenesis may have a threshold related to damage density, as revealed by experiments that employ blocking grids to thinly distribute radiation.
A large increase in tumours in immunosuppressed individuals illustrates that the immune system efficiently destroys aberrant cells and nascent tumors.
Increased sensitivity to radiation induced tumourgenesis in the rare inherited condition Ataxia-telangiectasia like disorder, illustrates the damaging effects of loss of the DNA repair gene Mre11h (with Nibrin & hRad50).[9] More Here
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b7/Hormesis_dose_response_graph.svg/220px-Hormesis_dose_response_graph.svg.png&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiation_hormesis&usg=__Avvj82mOODCV_YqUUdAlBdxLoI4=&h=145&w=220&sz=6&hl=en&start=13&itbs=1&tbnid=VCnz616qmFBgOM:&tbnh=71&tbnw=107&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dluckey%2Bhormesis%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

« Last Edit: Feb 05, 2010, 01:19 by thenukeman »

 


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