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asroming

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Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« on: Aug 03, 2011, 12:27 »
I was reading this story and wanted to ask the experts in this forum about the claims:

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/08/03/japan-a-nuclear-gypsy%E2%80%99s-tale/

In summary, a temporary worker doing a radiation job at Japan's Hamaoka plant received 180 mrem in a single job, and he claims to have felt nausea and other symptoms upon entering the radiation area, as a direct result of the radiation.  In addition to that, he talks about how the community of temp workers (with no education other than training for those jobs they do) shares many similar stories about people feeling immediate health effects directly from exposure to a radiation dose in those jobs.  They dramatize the stories far better than I ever could:

Quote
One worker said that right after he entered a nuclear reactor he heard a noise like a moving crab. “zawa,zawa,zawa…” He said that he could still hear this noise after he finished the work. Even after the inspection work, when he went back home, he couldn’t forget that noise. The man ended up having a nervous breakdown. A writer who heard this story spoke to this man and wrote a mystery novel based on that experience. The title of the book is “The crab of the nuclear reactor”. It was published in 1981 and was very popular among us.

In my case, I never heard such a crab-like noise but I had the feeling that my head was being tightly constricted and deep in my ears I heard very high-tempo echoes like a sutra “gan, gan, gan”.

These sorts of stories are circulating widely around Japan due to the obvious public disposition toward nuclear power at the moment.  The past hiring practices of Japanese companies for nuclear plant outages certainly do not help either.  I know a lot of people who are interested in debunking anti-nuclear propaganda, but it's considerably more difficult to tell someone "no, you didn't feel this", although that is my expectation in this case.

I'm willing to be proven wrong on that point - that no one can feel the effects of radiation below the levels conventionally accepted to have health effects, but only by people who know what they're talking about.  I'm almost sure that 180 mrem is not a level sufficient for someone to know they've been exposed at all.  I mean, if you put someone in an isolated room and gave them a radiation dose at an unspecified time and asked them to raise their hand at that moment, they would fail at that task.  To me, the obvious explanation is the powerful effects of hypochondria - convincing oneself that they are sick.  The mental connection between entering the scary plenum of a steam generator and feeling a headache is strong, so the mind can easily convince itself that it has those effects.

What is the reality?  Can anyone here say what what dose rate is scientifically expected to produce a physical sensation that can be felt?  Obvious this does happen at high enough dose / dose rates, but the real question is the level it happens at.  Can anyone who has worked in the US industry claim to have felt effects from radiation exposure with any sort of veracity?
« Last Edit: Aug 03, 2011, 01:19 by asroming »

Offline Starkist

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #1 on: Aug 03, 2011, 12:50 »
You're right. 180 would produce no acute results and a very small chance of somatic results. Here's my thoughts. Semi tropical atmosphere, no electricity, worked to the bone, stress,

Lets see the effects of heat exhaustion :
Symptoms of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache, lightheadedness, and muscle cramps.

Effects of sleep deprivation :
aching muscles, confusion, memory lapses or loss, depression, hallucinations, hand tremors, headaches,
bloodshot eyes


Why radiation then? Easy answer : its there. Its a good scape goat, and something media fear mongers like that quack Dr. Kookoo (sic) can quickly resort to when asked. 


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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #2 on: Aug 03, 2011, 01:13 »
Gollnick use to have a story about two policemen who found a package labeled Radioactive Material. the two officers started to exhibit symptoms of acute radiation sickness, but when the package was monitored and opened it was found to be empty.

Offline Dave Warren

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #3 on: Aug 03, 2011, 01:43 »
A nuclear power plant is infinitely safer than eating, because 300 people choke to death on food every year.

Offline jjack50

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #4 on: Aug 03, 2011, 04:43 »
The human body does not have sense receptors for ionizing radiation. It does not cause heat or tingling in nerves, or sound, or light (unless the exposure is to the eyes at +1,000 rem levels). Any feeling would be attributable to the damage caused to the body in the area of the exposure and generally that is not instantaneous. At a dose of around 2000 rem you would loose consciousness in minutes. Exposure even at the 500 rem level is undetectable until you get sick.
So, any story from someone who felt radiation is a misunderstanding or hogwash...

                                                                       :dupe:                  [agree]

Offline GLW

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #5 on: Aug 03, 2011, 06:29 »
A nuclear power plant is infinitely safer than eating, because 300 people choke to death on food every year.

Yeah well, I almost choke to death 300 times a year reading some of your "better" posts. Guess that makes me warrenchondriac,....

 [dowave] [Flamer]

The human body does not have sense receptors for ionizing radiation. It does not cause heat or tingling in nerves, or sound, or light (unless the exposure is to the eyes at +1,000 rem levels). Any feeling would be attributable to the damage caused to the body in the area of the exposure and generally that is not instantaneous. At a dose of around 2000 rem you would loose consciousness in minutes. Exposure even at the 500 rem level is undetectable until you get sick.
So, any story from someone who felt radiation is a misunderstanding or hogwash...

                                                                       :dupe:                  [agree]

Not really,....

When there's enough you can smell the ionized air,...

When there's enough you can see glow,...

When there's enough you can taste metallic in your mouth,...

When there's enough you can feel a pounding in your head,...

If you can smell, see, taste or feel it,.....you're already dead,.....

kinda like a one use only, disposable, bio-radiac,...

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/radevents/1990ISR1.html

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/radevents/1987BRAZ1.html

And if you were thinking of going to Central America for cheap medical care you get what you pay for;

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/radevents/2000PAN1.html

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/nuclear/radevents/1996CSR1.html

You could always bring your own meter, these guys can help;

http://www.ki4u.com/products1.php



happy shopping,....

(the above post is not a paid or solicited endorsement)  8)

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #6 on: Aug 03, 2011, 07:19 »
Why radiation then? Easy answer : its there. Its a good scape goat, and something media fear mongers like that quack Dr. Kookoo (sic) can quickly resort to when asked. 

Dr. Kaku the cuckoo on Fukushima:


Offline Laundry Man

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #7 on: Aug 04, 2011, 09:56 »
Go for a nuclear stress test.  You sure can taste the metallic Tc-99m in your mouth.  Sure didn't feel the internal dose though.
LM

Offline hamsamich

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #8 on: Aug 05, 2011, 12:08 »
most of the people who are older HPs on this site HAVE GOTTEN 180 mrem themselves in 1 day, I've gotten close but not 180.  More like 120.  I never felt anything and I doubt the people on here who have gotten way more than 180 in a day felt anything either.

Offline Starkist

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #9 on: Aug 05, 2011, 01:55 »
Dr. Kaku the cuckoo on Fukushima:



God I really really hope you're agreeing with me... The only thing he didnt blow out of proportion is the radiation reaching america.


Offline retired nuke

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #10 on: Aug 06, 2011, 06:21 »
most of the people who are older HPs on this site HAVE GOTTEN 180 mrem themselves in 1 day, I've gotten close but not 180.  More like 120.  I never felt anything and I doubt the people on here who have gotten way more than 180 in a day felt anything either.

My first job (jump) was ~ 850 mR in a couple of minutes....

I felt it...

no wait, that was the pitchers in the hotel the night before.... I think.....  :old: :stupidme: :-X
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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #11 on: Aug 08, 2011, 09:28 »
most of the people who are older HPs on this site HAVE GOTTEN 180 mrem themselves in 1 day, I've gotten close but not 180.  More like 120.  I never felt anything and I doubt the people on here who have gotten way more than 180 in a day felt anything either.

My first exposure was from 0 lifetime to 1050 mrem in about 20 seconds. We were cleaning out a sump and I was working for a radwaste company as an Engineering Assistant. I got drafted to carry the bucket of mung to the shielded barrel. I remember the HP's teletector going upscale fast as I ran by. He claimed it was 20 R/hr, but the needle didn't even slow down its ascent and he never touched the bucket with the detector. A little math says my TLD was in about 190 R/hr, give or take a few.

That is when I decided the HP's job was better... and that I liked Teletectors.

Bottom line: I didn't feel a thing... well, much later when I understood what had happened, I felt a bit of anger over the poor job planning and lack of proper tools (ALARA was not a word yet) but physically, there was nothing.
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IPREGEN

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #12 on: Aug 08, 2011, 09:48 »
Not gonna play 'Can you top this" with numbers, but I remember way back at Peach Bottom working CRDs in the rebuild room. We would call the dosimetry office to get a dose extension so we did not sign out with an overexposure. The converstaion would be like, "How much do you need?" The response would be, '"I'm still in the area working, how much can you give me?"

Offline jjack50

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #13 on: Aug 08, 2011, 10:19 »
God I really really hope you're agreeing with me... The only thing he didnt blow out of proportion is the radiation reaching america.



Unless some of the gammas involved passed through the earth or bounced off the atmosphere a few times, none of the radiation released reached the US. Or maybe there were some Bremsstrahlung X-Rays the managed to make it...

 [coffee]

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #14 on: Aug 08, 2011, 11:07 »
Unless some of the gammas involved passed through the earth or bounced off the atmosphere a few times, none of the radiation released reached the US. Or maybe there were some Bremsstrahlung X-Rays the managed to make it...

 [coffee]

Perhaps you should talk to the people that actually took data

Do-it-yourselfers

It was partially frustration with the lack of information that inspired Miller and his UW colleagues to build their own "McGyver" monitoring system. Even minute quantities of radioactive material can interfere with physics experiments, so the scientists need to know what's in the air.

The team found a high-flow air duct atop the Physics-Astronomy building on campus, and pulled one of the filters, where radioactive material hitching a ride on dust particles would likely collect.

In the lab, they rigged a detector using instruments on hand and lead-block shielding to screen out background radiation. They got their first positive reading from filters that were in place on March 17-18, about a week after the earthquake.

Isotope levels spiked on March 20, when iodine-131 activity measured about 4.5 millibecquerels, or 0.12 picocuries, per cubic meter of air. The biggest peak appears to correspond with the initial hydrogen explosions at the Japanese reactors, Miller said. Subsequent explosions generated a much smaller peak that reached Seattle about nine days later. Since then, levels have diminished to the point that they will be undetectable in a day or so, Miller predicts.

The crippled reactors are still emitting radioactive material, Alvarez said, particularly in the form of contaminated water being dumped into the sea. But the type of releases that loft isotopes into air currents headed for North America appear to have stopped for now.

The Berkeley team's highest measurements came from rainwater samples collected on March 23. Iodine-131 levels were 540 picocuries per liter. That's 180 times higher than EPA's 3 picocurie per liter standard for radioactive iodine in drinking water. On Monday, EPA reported that rainwater in Olympia collected on March 24 contained 125 picocuries per liter, about 42 times higher than the standard.


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014693490_nukemonitors06m.html

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #15 on: Aug 08, 2011, 12:53 »
I believe this conversation has reached the 'Radiation vs. Radioactive Material' arena.
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MacGyver

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #16 on: Aug 08, 2011, 01:02 »
I believe this conversation has reached the 'Radiation vs. Radioactive Material' arena.

I believe RDT is right ...


Offline HydroDave63

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #17 on: Aug 08, 2011, 01:51 »
< puts on a Mr. Limpet disguise and argues and argues

"but doesn't that Iodine give OFF radiation ?!?!"


 :P

matthew.b

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #18 on: Aug 10, 2011, 10:55 »
Unless some of the gammas involved passed through the earth or bounced off the atmosphere a few times, none of the radiation released reached the US. Or maybe there were some Bremsstrahlung X-Rays the managed to make it...

 [coffee]

Most neutrinos would make it through.

But then stopping the reactor reduced the rate greatly.

Offline Jonesmp

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #19 on: Oct 13, 2011, 11:41 »
I can tell you from experience (unfortunately), the only nausea I had from a 148 mrem shallow dose, 147 mrem deep dose, and 12.5 rem was from the all the coffee I drank that day crunching numbers, talking with the NRC and working through lunch.  That was a relatively acute dose (15ish seconds)

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #20 on: Oct 14, 2011, 09:57 »
Please expand and expound.  How can you get 12.5 rem if your DDE was .147 rem and your SDE was .148?  Am I missing a conversion here?
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Offline Starkist

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #21 on: Oct 14, 2011, 10:46 »
Please expand and expound.  How can you get 12.5 rem if your DDE was .147 rem and your SDE was .148?  Am I missing a conversion here?

The whoosh over your head :p

Offline thenukeman

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Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #22 on: Oct 14, 2011, 11:32 »
I think you missed the internal dose conversion factor for all the Coffee he drank all day and made him have nausea, ( something nonrad workers would attibute to the DDE or SDE)  which had alot more effect on him than the DDE and SDE.

Offline gogamecocks

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #23 on: Sep 04, 2012, 06:11 »
Go for a nuclear stress test.  You sure can taste the metallic Tc-99m in your mouth.  Sure didn't feel the internal dose though.
LM

...and when you get a Thallium Nuclear Stress Test you are getting about 600mRem per mCi. I use between 3-4mCi When I use Thallium201. There has been a huge problem with Tc-99m stress agents over the last 6 yrs or so due to the shortage of Tc-99m. Whenever the reactor in Canada shuts down(for planned  outage, etc.) then we have a severe shortage of Tc-99m and switch over all our cardiacs to TL201. Since there is another agent for hearts, we save the little Tc99m available for all the other nuclear med. studies. I actually like Thallium better but it does have that pesky longer half-life for the patient(around 3 days). 10% of pts. will get a metallic taste but this could be due to the saline. All the radiopharmaceuticals are made with saline and of course you also use a saline flush after so it's hard to tell which is causing the metallic taste. Point is this is a perfectly safe test and as you can see the numbers for one simple thallium stress test is well over 180mrem. BTW, if you ever step foot in a Nuclear Medicine department then you might want them to give you a note as to which radioisotope was used for the test so you can later explain excessive TLD readings. I've had a few pts. get taken out of their trucks by gun point going into the port(post 911 security). Especially my one pt. named Muhammad. Now I make a habit of asking my pts. what they do for a living...lol
(click to show/hide)

Offline GLW

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #24 on: Sep 04, 2012, 06:33 »
...... I've had a few pts. get taken out of their trucks by gun point going into the port(post 911 security). Especially my one pt. named Muhammad. Now I make a habit of asking my pts. what they do for a living...lol
(click to show/hide)

No big deal, for some scenarios the cops can find you while stopped at the red light after your procedure.

The technology has significantly outpaced the comprehension capacity of too many end users.

Anytime you get a phone call summarized by, "This doo hickey, the one in the yellow and black plastic cover, well anyhow it is making a beeeeeep noise, and the symbols are flashing with that watchamacallit symbol and then it switches to that other symbol like you told us about in that training seminar and this guy says he was just at the doctors and it's good radiation not the bad stuff, can I let him go?"

Yeah, that's a headshake moment,....

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline EugenioGarnica

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #25 on: Dec 20, 2012, 03:38 »
I know this post is quite old, but just in case anyone is interested, here goes my opinion about the initial topic...

From wikipedia: The physical effects of anxiety may include heart palpitations, tachycardia, muscle weakness and tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, stomach aches, or tension headaches (...)  Panic attacks usually come without warning and although the fear is generally irrational, the subjective perception of danger is very real. A person experiencing a panic attack will often feel as if he or she is about to die or lose consciousness. The emotional effects of anxiety may include "feelings of apprehension or dread, trouble concentrating, feeling tense or jumpy, anticipating the worst, irritability, restlessness, watching (and waiting) for signs (and occurrences) of danger, and, feeling like your mind's gone blank" as well as "nightmares/bad dreams, obsessions about sensations, deja vu, a trapped in your mind feeling, and feeling like everything is scary."

Anyone familiar with mental health area will be sure the experiences described by the worker in japan is a panic attack. It does not mean he didn't feel that, he almost surely FELT all that he explains. Although for many people used to radioactivity it may seem stupid, the biggest harm radioactivity may cause on "normal" population is due to fear and apprehension. And this harm, as been shown on population near Chernobyl) may be VERY real (anxiety and depression disorders are quite hard!)!!!!!!! Just think on the chaotic craziness that may appear if a dirty bomb is detonated in a city, although the real danger due to radiation would be very small.

Regards,

Eugenio

PD: I have received doses of 180 mRem in less than one hour and confirm that some kind of coffes may be quite worse. On the other hand I think 1050 mRem in 20 seconds... it's quite hard and really enough to be very angry with the job planning!!!!

Offline GLW

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #26 on: Dec 20, 2012, 04:04 »
PD: I have received doses of 180 mRem in less than one hour and confirm that some kind of coffes may be quite worse. On the other hand I think 1050 mRem in 20 seconds... it's quite hard and really enough to be very angry with the job planning!!!!

415 mrem in 10 seconds, planned special exposure,...

it's called nukeworker for a reason,...

there's always burgerflipper if the zoomies make you anxious,...

I'm just saying,... [coffee]

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #27 on: Dec 20, 2012, 08:09 »
415 mrem in 10 seconds, planned special exposure,...

it's called nukeworker for a reason,...


Perhaps some should be called "Nukedworkers"  :P

Offline GLW

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #28 on: Dec 20, 2012, 09:12 »
Perhaps some should be called "Nukedworkers"  :P


pfffffffffft,....

415 is nuthin',....

I'm not an advocate for the "mostest with the dosest" but seriously, the number of colleagues I have (most older than me) with tens of rems of exposure is substantial,...

of those who have passed on scant few die from cancers that cannot be attributed to lifestyle just as much or more so than lifeswork,...

my grandfather worked the South Pacific in the 40's and 50's,...

he lived well into his 90's,...

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline MGH

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #29 on: Dec 21, 2012, 01:02 »
There have been people who actually felt tingling from radiation exposure; however, explaining the tingling sensation was the last thing they said before losing consciousness.

There was also a case of an industrial radiographer who complained of pain in his gonads after entering a sterilization chamber with the source in the unshielded position. Of course, he is dead now. (You can find this one in the IAEA pubs section)


Offline EugenioGarnica

Re: Hypochondria in Rad Jobs
« Reply #30 on: Dec 21, 2012, 03:46 »
Ok, I must recognize that 415 mRem in 10s, as a planned (quite) special exposure is not so bad +K  :D I was thinking that for hamsamich as a "first experience" with radiation it was not perhaps the best one... -K
 
On the other hand, as MGH says... of course radiation is dangerous at high levels. In fact, after some discussion, we decided to put some scary (but real) photos of radiation accidents in our "basic nuclear handbook for beginners" so our workers didn't get overconfident on radiation-related tasks. I think a good level of training (theorical and practical) is needed to avoid  hypochondriac as well as kamikaze attitudes (and I have seen both!). Isn't it?

 


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