It's *not* that simple. You can't just shower off caesium particles, which get
absorbed into the skin, and get breathed in to the lungs. Cobalt 60 dust is even
worse, but harder to obtain since the way it normally comes for medical use is in
tiny cylinders 1 mm long and about .2 mm across, packed into a triple-welded
cylinder about 3.5 cm long and 1.5 - 2 cm across.
I was in one of the classrooms at Parirenwatwa Hospital (formerly Sir Sanford
Fleming Hospital) in Harare, Zimbabwe, about 7 or 8 years ago, and saw a display
of what happened when a janitor picked up a small vial of caesium powder and put
it in his pocket (it was a lesson on the need for proper storage security -- this
kind of incident would be unthinkable in an OECD country's hospital. One would
hope, anyway). He only had it for a day before he gave it to a doctor, but it ate
away most of his genitals and lower abdomen skin. Very gruesome.
If you get it in your lungs there's no immediate problem, but your chance of
getting lung cancer skyrockets.
Jon Spencer wrote:
> Actually, dirty bombs are not a big deal from a radioactivity point of view.
> If one is exposed to a dirty nuke, one only has to get to a complete shower
> (at home will do just fine) within a couple of hours, and there will be no
> long term effects. The cleanup will be a pain to be sure, but not a really
> big deal either.
> Of course, with all the hysteria over nuclear power that the envirowackos
> have stirred up, the emotional damage would be much greater.
> But that's a topic for another thread, one that I have begun doing detailed
> and extensive research on. You will be the first to see the fruits of that
> research - sort of a test market!
> Marc A. Schindler wrote:
> I think the most imminent threat isn't from a conventional nuke but from
> so-called dirty bombs, which are conventional explosives packed with a messy
> radioactive substance such as caesium (which is a powder in natural form).
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland
“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill
Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.
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