Earthquake in Japan- Protect Yourself from Radiation (Update #17)

There have been explosions at the nuclear reactor in Fukushima, Japan, but so far there has been no announcement of an expansive spread of dangerous levels of radiation. 

However, news on the reactor situation is limited, and people are obviously concerned of the possibility of a fallout. Seaweed is disappearing from supermarket shelves (I'll explain why in a second). Here are the three things they are recommending to protect yourself from dangerous levels of radiation.

1. Get away from the source of the radiation (as far as you possibly can!)

2. Close those windows (shut doors, close windows, tape up the cracks- not letting radioactive air in makes a big difference)

3. Take iodine (through supplements or through diet)

Details about the third point: 

Taking iodine supplements, or iodine-rich foods helps prevent uptake of radioactive iodine (one of the common radioactive products of nuclear fission that are released in a meltdown).

One of the most iodine-rich things you can eat is seafood- particularly seaweed. Hence the disappearance of 'wakame' and 'konbu' (both types of seaweed) from supermarket shelves in Japan.

100g of seaweed can contain up to 300 milligrams of iodine. I hear an adult needs anything from 150 micrograms to 3 milligrams (3000 micrograms) a day. Japanese people I hear eat between 10-20 milligrams a day on average. That sounds like a lot, but apparently there are no harmful effects of having too much iodine. Eating lots of seaweed won't kill you.

...and it will help you keep the radiation away. It's quite the hot product at the supermarkets right now. You may want to get your hands on some before it's all gone!

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