Radiation likely came from radium in bottles beneath floor of empty house

TOKYO —

Setagaya Ward officials said Thursday night that an extremely high level of radiation has been detected in bottles kept in a box beneath the floorboards of an unoccupied house in Setagaya, and that this is most likely the source of radiation detected on a nearby street on Wednesday.

Researchers found radiation levels of 3.35 microsieverts per hour in tree leaves at a height of one meter by the fence of the unoccupied house along the street in Tsurumaki — much higher than previously reported levels. Initially, officials thought that the radiation may have come from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which is 220 kilometers away.

According to NHK, officials now believe that the radiation emanated from the contents of the bottles, believed to be radium, and not the nuclear power plant. No cesium was detected in the bottles. Cesium is one of the main isotopes that leaked from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Setagaya Mayor Nobuto Hosaka told a news conference the ward obtained the owner’s consent and entered the house to measure radiation levels. The search uncovered four old and dirty bottles in a mud-covered box underneath the floorboards. The radiation level in the bottles exceeded 30 microsieverts per hour.

Hosaka said that experts from the science ministry’s nuclear safety department placed the bottles in a lead container. On Friday, ward officials will begin to decontaminate the house but said they are not sure yet how to decontaminate the street.

Japan Today

  • 0

    Foxie

    That smells like a new form of terrorism.

  • 0

    zichi

    Just when I thought the story couldn't get anymore twisted. Just another reason not to have nuclear power-nuke terrorists?

  • 0

    David Wagner

    Oh....Uh huh.

  • 1

    CrazyJoe

    The cause was the radiation in a bottle and not radiation from Fukushima. Holy *****. This is worse.

  • 0

    Acjama

    Foxie-san, "dirty bombs" are quite an old form of terrorism. As of yet unrealized, thank god, but old.

  • 5

    Alex80

    Fukushima's nuclear disaster is huge and it's very difficult to see where its borders start and end. I think the situation is very serious, probably worse than we know now. But it's interesting to consider that maybe, some hotspots could have been present also before the disaster. Yesterday I was searching on Google for "radiation hotsposts" and casually I found out this: http://wakeupfromyourslumber.com/blog/andie531/israeli-consulate-nyc-radiation-hot-spot-2006 I was really sursprised...How many hotspots could be in our cities around the world, and we only don't know it? We can discover them only when we start to check, but normally nobody checks for radiations, in absence of a nuclear disaster...

  • 0

    zichi

    Chinese or North Korean nuclear tourists, hoping to get the bottles back home?

  • 3

    Seawolf

    Maybe somebody kept them to be able to calibrate his Geiger counter!

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Somebody working on a new form of Sake? "So good, it GLOWS!"®

    ;-)

  • -9

    Kyle Jensen

    bottles in a box beneath the floorboards of an unoccupied house????? does anyone believe the nonsense?

    • Moderator

      It is a fact.

  • 3

    Alex80

    Anyway, bottles or not...I guess there are many hotspots like this in Tokyo.

  • 0

    electric2004

    Maybe it was the result of a failed experiment to make a nuclear power supply in the DIY way at home.

  • 2

    pawatan

    ssway

    This is a poor attempt to misdirect people into believing there is no high radiation in Setagaya.

    And you know better... why? Perhaps this is the actual source of the radiation.

  • 3

    Cricky

    Really... Bottles underfloor? This really needs some investigation, disused house...? Doubt reading is unusually high, but will cause no harm.

  • -2

    DoYouRikeSushi

    Schultz: I see NOTHING!

    FaceSaved

  • 1

    Notthesame

    Glad this story came with pictures or else I would have doubted the claim. Ha!

    But let us not forget that not the only nuke related industry is in Fukushima. Some clowns in Ibaraki managed to make a critical mass in a bucket a few years back. Who knows what happened that we never heard about? Its not like there are tell-tale signs like plumes of smoke when these morons make a nuclear screw up.

  • -3

    hoserfella

    This is a load of baloney. They are trying to pin the high readings found in Setagaya on bottles from beneath the floorboards of an unoccupied house? This is a poor attempt to misdirect people into believing there is no high radiation in Setagaya

    ssway - normally I'd call this paranoia, but the Japanese government has been so dishonest and misleading with the nuclear crisis from day 1 that I will accept any explanation these days. Who knows what to believe anymore?

  • 6

    horrified

    I've cleaned out more than a few old Japanese houses and from what I've seen, this does not surprise me at all. Open up the trap door to look under the kitchen floor and find all kinds of things to make you scratch your head. Pickled dead animals (like snakes and various insects,) sake bottles containing Naphthalene, and other mystery bottles galore.

    I can imagine some old dude 60 years ago putting some old souvenir from Hiroshima/Nagasaki in bottles, having been told they are "mildly radioactive so keep them out of reach of children."

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    Well, that ia a twist, isn't it? I can't wait to find out where these bottles came from, what they actually contained and how long they have been there. It should make for some interesting reading, but whether it goes in the fiction or non-fiction category is yet to be determined.

    You have to wonder though, how would 'Naoki Average' come up with 4 bottles containing radioactive materials at such a high level?. What was in them and what did he or she do with it? How many more of these little deposits of radioactive bottles are hidden under floorboards throughout Tokyo? Were they left there deliberately? Mind boggling?

  • 2

    Apsara

    bottles in a box beneath the floorboards of an unoccupied house????? does anyone believe the nonsense?

    Yes. I find the idea that the authorities would lie about this to be far-fetched at best, paranoid at worst.

  • 5

    shanabelle

    They may have been taken from a university lab somewhere a long time ago....they (the national unis) have been slack on controlling lab security on handling radioactive materials until recent years.

  • 2

    Himajin

    Well, it's definitely not cesium....just watched the news, film of earlier today. Right up against the wall of the house, 1 meter off the ground, 6.70 micro sevierts per hour, 30 cm away at the same level, 0.3.....it also got no better after pressure washing the street, so they got permission to go into the house.

    The bottles were in a wooden crate and 'covered with mud'. Probably been there for years. Lucky find! It's good they're out of the neighborhood. Be interesting to find out where they came from.

    We can discover them only when we start to check, but normally nobody checks for radiations, in absence of a nuclear disaster...

    Exactly. Could be from a lab, as shanabelle mentioned. They've been sent to a facility to be analyzed.

  • -3

    Utrack

    But the article doesn't say if there were tops on the bottles. Could it be an accumulation of rain water or something.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    I wonder if there'll be a follow up. Where did the bottles come from? Why no radiation detected until now, and if it's only because of what's happening in Fukushima that they ran the testing and discovered it, how long has the area been a hotspot?

    Sounds a bit like rubbish to me.

  • 2

    cleo

    If the bottles had been there giving off radiation for a long time, how come the radiation was suddenly much higher than previously reported levels?

    Does previously reported levels mean the area had been checked previously ? Or had the lower levels been reported somewhere else?

  • -1

    BurakuminDes

    the ward obtained the owner’s consent and entered the house to measure radiation levels.

    They needed consent? Consent? Who cares about the owner and his/her wishes - this is a public health issue. No consent should be even sought. I mean, if I obtain and keep some radium in my home that is exposing radiation to the community, and I refuse to let officials in to check it, it's OK? Something is wrong in this joint...

  • 0

    Apsara

    But the article doesn't say if there were tops on the bottles. Could it be an accumulation of rain water or something.

    You think that somehow radioactive rainwater somehow managed to accumulate ONLY in the bottles?

  • 9

    Johannes Weber

    Maybe some numbers to put this into scale. Those interested in the history of nuclear accidents will probably know about the Goiania accident in Brazil in 1987. At this incident, a small 93g cesium chloride source (for radiation therapy) from a hospital that had been closed down earlier was stolen by thieves, since the former operators didn't handle the disposition of the source properly.

    Goiania is considered a 5 on the international scale of nuclear accidents. The dose rate at one meter distance from the source was 4.56 Sv/hour. Thus, the source was at least 100.000 or 150.000 times stronger than the source in Setagaya. This is not a major incident, nor is this a really big source. It is just another proof that Japan has not taken nuclear safety issues seriously in the past.

  • 1

    electric2004

    I expect the substances in the bottles are somehow related to using radioactive substances in a hospital, because they would need a bigger amount than university labs.

  • 1

    nandakandamanda

    On the other thread following the earlier article I asked about the radioactivity of watch face radium.

    Later, on the J evening news, reporters were asking the visiting experts about the possibility of radium, which they were unprepared to confirm of deny without further analysis.

  • 1

    zichi

    well if those bottles have been there for decades they must have been "hotter" than they are now!

  • 0

    Fadamor

    We've had lots of radioactive devices in and around the household: radium and tritium on clock and watch faces that "glow in the dark" and certain electronics vaccuum tubes contained a radioactive element as part of the driver. They've been replaced by non-radioactive equivilents over the last 30 years, but I suppose someone could have been collecting the stuff from "back in the day".

  • 2

    justacomment

    Uh oh... one of TEPCOs "temporary" storage places for their Radioactive water have been stumbled upon..

  • 1

    American Devil

    Here's a conspiracy idea for the reason why there are radioactive bottles. How about some jerk puts the bottles under the floorboards as a way to slowly kill the last occupant... or the one before that since we don't know how long this was there. Why wasn't it detected before? Who regularly goes around with a rad.counter? No one. Someone could have put it there to give their victim cancer. It would have been making people sick for years more to come if Fukushima hadn't started getting people to check for that stuff. Should investigate the owner more thoroughly...

  • -3

    warnerbro

    Why would they not arrest or at least as they frequently do in Japan "detain" without formal arrest the owner and hold him or her until they find out what he or she knows?

  • 0

    Lizz

    I suppose low levels of radiation are in circulation for commercial or general like medical research and have been widely used in areas such as factories and agriculture. But levels of this magnitude would likely have to be legally reported and it isn't like this is a storage warehouse that has come into sudden disuse...

  • 0

    johnnygogogo

    A Todai professor speculated is was radium earlier in the day... Anybody know any practical use for stuff with radium? Cleaning up nasty stains, bad tummy aches... practical jokes? Years ago, did any medications or products like paint (etc.) contain radium?

  • 0

    UnagiDon

    You think that somehow radioactive rainwater somehow managed to accumulate ONLY in the bottles?

    Indeed, and somehow accumulated in bottles in boxes, under floorboards. Guess the rain mutated from all that radiation and crawled in there.

  • 0

    UnagiDon

    Alex80;

    Anyway, bottles or not...I guess there are many hotspots like this in Tokyo.

    On what factual basis do you guess that?

  • 1

    UnagiDon

    smithinjapan;

    Why no radiation detected until now

    Because since Fukushima we suddenly have an elevated interest in measuring radiation, so lots more people with geiger counters and other detectors running around measuring their neighborhoods, and we have a media that thrives on reporting such things to feed on the hysteria and paranoia such as that displayed by many of the comments here?

    Crazy concept I know...

  • 0

    NeoJamal

    Setagaya, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Tokyo was a dumping ground for nuclear waste? This is going to stick.

  • 1

    nigelboy

    Because since Fukushima we suddenly have an elevated interest in measuring radiation, so lots more people with geiger counters and other detectors running around measuring their neighborhoods, and we have a media that thrives on reporting such things to feed on the hysteria and paranoia such as that displayed by many of the comments here?

    Unagidon

    If I may add, there appears to be reports of hot spots by "citizens groups" as well.

    This is case where the group reported 5.81 microsiverts on the 12th and when the city official checked the same location, it was measured at 0.91 microsievers.

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/news/20111013-OYT1T00678.htm

  • 0

    the_odeman

    So many wild theories...I wonder who will guess right...

    All I wanna know is how it originated......its not that easy to create your own 30ms/hour radioactive canister...or is it?

  • 0

    Chris Ward

    It shoud be pretty easy to retest the area after the bottles were removed to see if the levels go down... That should be pretty conclusive as to whether it is cauised by the bottles or if it's Fukushima related.

  • 2

    SquidBert

    @johnnygogogo

    Years ago, did any medications or products like paint (etc.) contain radium?

    Yes several actually. Radium was used in luminescent paint, and if you have an old watch(like pre 1950-60) with luminecent numbers or hands, it is most likely radium paint.

    Radium was also believed to have health effects and was included in many products and marketed as "good for you". Radium springs (or spas) where also popular to heal all sorts of ailments. In fact there are such springs in Japan, and the bottles may very well have contained water from there.

    Radium did however turn out not to be so healthy, specially for the women working in factories painting the luminescent figures on watch dials. As to keep the brushes, pointed for precision they licked (!!??) the brush to give it the correct pointed shape, which resulted in many of them becoming sick, and dying in cancer I believe.

    Radium also decays into radon which causes lung cancer.

  • 0

    SquidBert

    First sentence was supposed to be "quoted"

    Years ago, did any medications or products like paint (etc.) contain radium?

  • -1

    Farmboy

    <www.miamiherald.com%2F2011%2F10%2F13%2F2452260>

    As mentioned above, the conjecture seems to be that it's radium. What seems weird is that the hotspot was not originally reported as being found near a street, so either these things leaked out or the level of radioactivity must be huge. Something is odd about this.

  • 0

    supercub

    Not only is this hotspot not Fukushima related, but it also presented little to no safety risk. People don't spend a year or more with their faces pressed against one spot on the ground. These citizen geigermeisters need to chill with the vigilante science. It is borderline fear-mongering.

  • 1

    Farmboy

  • 0

    zichi

    from the EX=SKF blog

    The Ministry of Education and Science analyzed the content of the bottles, and almost identified it as radon. Since it was not one of the nuclides released from a nuclear reactor such as radioactive cesium, the Ministry concluded that it had nothing to do with the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    According to Setagaya-ku and the Ministry of Education and Science, the bottles look to be made of glass, about 7 centimeters long and 5 to 6 centimeters in diameter. There are several tens of bottles in a wooden box. The content of the bottles are powdery.

    Photo of the bottles

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GXnzZSFxWZo/TpclJg_AByI/AAAAAAAACLo/g5ihEJb4ORg/s400/setagataradiation-2.JPG

  • -1

    Badge213

    Of course there are people out there who WANT this to be a vast conspiracy.

  • 1

    TheQuestion

    Lots of old stuff used to have radioactive materials, if someone were to collect them it stands to reason that radiation could start to seep into the surrounding area. I have some antique medical equipment as a curiosity, several can't be transported because they contain hazardous materials.

    If this wasn't found so close to the plant disaster it would have been written off as a curiosity.

  • 0

    TheQuestion

    Just to clarify: By 'so close to the plant disaster' I meant time wise, not geographically.

  • 0

    Alex80

    @UnagiDon:

    On what factual basis do you guess that? It's just my fear...I hope I'm wrong. :)

  • 1

    ebisen

    It is either very old watch index paint (many workers in Switzerland got cancer from it), or some radioactive salt used in university labs. Either way, it has nothing to do with Fukushima.

  • 0

    Badge213

    Story hasn't been updated yet, but it was radium 226 found in the bottles, Radium-226 not used by nuclear reactors. The radium was found to be in powder made by the company Nihonyako that used to make florecent pant in the 1950s.

  • 2

    Farmboy

    Researchers found radiation levels of 3.35 microsieverts per hour in tree leaves at a height of one meter by the fence of the unoccupied house along the street in Tsurumaki

    So I'm still puzzled. How did the radiation from bottles under the floorboards of a house manage to get into the tree leaves?

  • 0

    Himajin

    I think it's just a crappy translation, Farmboy. Lat night on the news they were sticking Geiger counters amongst the leaves at the fence.

  • 1

    Lunchbox

    Update- Japanese news says that it's Radium 226 in the bottles, in powder form, they were covered in mud and so had been there for years. NOthing to do with Fukushima. They are guessing that the previous owner that lived in the house (now dead) had probably obtained the R-226 to use in luminescent paint, similar to the old watch displays.

  • 2

    WilliB

    There goes the Fukushima hype.

  • 1

    Farmboy

    I think it's just a crappy translation, Farmboy.

    Himajin,
    Maybe that's it. Still, they originally found the radiation outside, and only looked inside the house after that, didn't they? Did the bottles leak? Was the fence painted with radium paint? Is the radiation on the leaves from a different source? I just don't see, so far, how they were able to find these bottles at all by searching out in the yard near the street.

  • 2

    goinggoinggone

    I dont believe a word of this.

  • 0

    Badge213

    As mentioned the radiation came from radium 226 found in powdered form, most likely used by the owner (probably long gone dead) in somesort of florescent painting, not uncommon dating back to the 1940s-1950s. Radium 226 is not used at nuclear reactors at nuclear powerplants.

  • 3

    Nicky Washida

    These citizen geigermeisters need to chill with the vigilante science. It is borderline fear-mongering.

    Agree to a point, but they are mostly just parents concerned for their children, so you can hardly blame them for that. Its not as if the local authorities are really on top of things - to be fair it is nigh on impossible for the authorities to test every single street/park/ence- so if they want to feel any control at all over their situation they are simply taking matters into their own hands.

    I am personally very grateful for the ones in my area who have tested all over the place, made their results known to us all and confirmed that our area is safe - without me having to blow 50k on a geiger counter myself. I feel like I owe them all a beer!

    And, as it turns out, their actions have discovered a "hot spot" that could have lain undiscovered for years, or caused significant ill effects to someone moving into the house, or taking it down. It is only causing fear among the people who are already freaking out. Those who wait for facts and proper info to be available are not panicking.

  • -1

    Apsara

    I just don't see, so far, how they were able to find these bottles at all by searching out in the yard near the street.

    As stated in the article, they obtained the owner's consent to enter the house. The radiation readings would have got higher as they got closer to the source until eventually they found the bottles and realised the substance inside them was the source of the radiation- pretty simple concept, I would have thought. As for why they are finding high levels of radiation out on the street nearby, obviously the vials have leaked, raising the level of radiation on the area. Radiation....radiates.

    I don't think it's too far-fetched at all that someone could have a small stash of fluorescent paint in storage. The stuff existed, people used it, there will still be some of it around. If it hadn't been for Fukushima probably no-one would have never known about these vials, but you can't pin this one on Tepco, folks. As for the idea that this is something completely fabricated by the authorities, I swear some of you actually seem to want there to be radiation hotspots all over Tokyo.

  • 2

    NZ2011

    The reason that they were able to find it from outside the property is that the levels were so high, one article mentioned that it went over a low-level units maximum value at the source. As to why it hasn't been found before, from my understanding with every doubling in distance from a source the dose rate halves in strength, therefore with such a small source area even a few meters in another direction you may not see anything like the levels they initially found. I'm certainly not impressed (actually disgusted) with the Japanese Governments handling of this disaster, and Tepco not even worth mentioning, however to suggest the local government (basically totally separate from central government) of one of the richest areas of Tokyo would allow this to become public and then fabricate this while appealing to conspiracy theorist seems not just unlikely but borderline scaremongering.

    Remember many now well known poisons and carcinogens where in everyday use not all that long ago, i.e lead paint, asbestos and so on, it isn't as ridiculous as it seems that there was some seemingly very uninformed person storing these old industrial goods.

    The area will be tested and tested again both by independent groups and authorities, we will know in a matter of days if indeed this story is 100% accurate.

    I hope the ward office, despite this unusual find, keeps their promise to check and map more of the city, and hope those vigilant parents continue to check!

    I believe that there is clearly elevated levels here in Tokyo, and there are going to be areas that need more decontamination and possibly have restricted access, however I genuinely believe the largest issue now is food contamination.

    Now, if only there was the outcry for a known and proven carcinogen that is in Japan everywhere and often around little children for no other reason that selfishness, greed and stubbornness.. tobacco.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    I have yet to see photos of these mud covered bottles, that were hidden under floor boards.

  • 1

    Himajin

    Still, they originally found the radiation outside, and only looked inside the house after that, didn't they? Did the bottles leak? Was the fence painted with radium paint? Is the radiation on the leaves from a different source? I just don't see, so far, how they were able to find these bottles at all by searching out in the yard near the street.

    They pressure washed the street (which usually works) and still it wasn't lower.They brought the Geiger counter to the ground, and the reading was lower....up to 3 feet, much higher, higher than 3 feet, again low. Out 30 cm closer to the street, 0.3 millisieverts, much, much lower. The house is right up against the fence, and the fence is right against the sidewalk, not much space at all from the house to the street. By taking readings they gradually focused on the house, and then got permission to enter. The house is dilapidated, very old and hasn't been lived in a while.

    Each of the bottles is emitting 30 microsieverts, surely enough to radiate out as far as the sidewalk, with the house being right on the street.

  • 1

    Himajin

    They're all over the news, JapanGal, any channel...

  • 0

    Moondog

    I'm curious to know why the house is unoccupied. The occupants died of cancer, perhaps?

  • 0

    cactusJack

    Sounds like a very slow "dirty bomb".

  • 1

    Mahiru Shiratori

    I understand that the house was built in 1950s. The owner of the house, 90 year-old woman, was living there until last February. (not sure how long she had been living there) She has been exposed to high level radiation for a long time, but she seems to be fine, according to morning news.

  • -1

    mekki

    supercub People don't spend a year or more with their faces pressed against one spot on the ground.

    You would be surprised.

  • 1

    Christina O'Neill

    Must be a record of preious tenants so finding the nut who stored this lethal material should be detectable. Whoever the ratbag is, needs to be located ASOP

  • 2

    Christina O'Neill

    As soon as possible

  • 0

    Mark Bradley

    I believe this isn't a cover-up or misdirection. The story is too ridiculous to be used as a cover-up.

    Various theories, bottles were placed there: -to kill the occupants over time -because the material was too expensive or hazardous to recycle so it was hidden -because the material was thought to be for good health, such as radium hot spring water > (http://kadoyasan.com/radium-world.html)

  • 1

    rarara

    radium onsen is so good for health.

    proved by the fact that the 90-year-old lady, who had lived in the house for decades, is still so genki.

  • 0

    CentipedeCarpet

    The news story on TV I saw this morning said it was 600 uSv/hr right above the bottles. And they also showed a pic of brown bottles in a wood box, not muddy at all. Some of the bottles seemed fine, some looked open and lying on their side.

    The one thing no one in the media seems to notice or care about is that this would've never been found if it hadn't been for "crazy" people who bought Geiger counters post 3.11.

    But the levels found in the street? I've found worse in northern Chiba and I get ignored by the local authorities. Maybe I should send a video of my readings to the news and get on TV.

  • 1

    y3chome

    Why does everyone assume that when the area was measured previously that it was done "properly"? And the "area" may include a wider area clear of the house. I doubt they measured the exact same spot on the exact same street. Would make sense to do so, which is why I'm sure the local government DIDNT.

  • 3

    Nicky Washida

    Well, Im not a medical physics expert, so please correct me if I am wrong, but a genki 90 year old woman who lived above 30mSv/hr for decades kind of craps up the theory for me that half of Eastern Japan are doomed to a slow and unremitting death over the next 20 years.

  • 1

    Darren Brannan

    Crikey who had lived here? Curie-ous Joji? Thumbs up to both the citizens that originally found the elevated levels and the council for finding the source.Nobody should gloat that it wasn't from Fukushima as it was still quite a dangerous substance right next to a kindergarten. If this was the States there might be FBI and CIA running all over this. I guess it was once a place where a radiographer or the like worked..an old surgery? If they were really old bottles they could have been from WW2....plenty of bombs get found in Tokyo so things like this popping up wouldn't be far-fetched. What a weird incident.

  • -1

    Darren Brannan

    The AUM Shinrikyo would have been stockpiling this kinda stuff too.

  • 0

    Patric Spohn

    What a bad joke of a brain-death idiot o)

  • 0

    gogogo

    Why was radium stored there? What is its use?

  • 0

    Badge213

    It dates way back to the 50s, it's not an uncommon item to be put in florescent paints. Probably the old ladies' husband doing housework or something, and placed it there decades ago and was forgotten about.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    So have they bothered to ask the owner WHY the supposed bottles were there?

  • -1

    Badge213

    For other readings (not the story being discussed here), Brick houses or any building made of brick tends to give out higher levels of detected radiation compared to structures made up of other materials in Japan like wood. Your neighborhood ojiichan with a geiger counter picking up higher levels of detection at one brick house location might not pick it up right next door to the wooden house.

    Of course this would not explain every or all hotspots out there, but I would not be surprised if this would account for some of the reports being sent in.

  • 0

    shanabelle

    Nice one Nicky Washida, I agree!

  • -1

    nigelboy

    To answe smith, the answer is yes.

  • -7

    valley-of-the-shadows

    Radiation likely came from radium in bottles beneath floor of empty house

    Lol, and the government are always complaining about ppl making conspiracies? They hit us with the most unbelievable of them all!

  • 0

    Badge213

    Lol, and the government are always complaining about ppl making conspiracies? They hit us with the most unbelievable of them all!

    And if you research the story a bit more from other sources and what was actually found in the bottles, the story is more believable then the conspiracy theories who think it was planted.

  • 2

    SquidBert

    @Nicky

    Well, Im not a medical physics expert, so please correct me if I am wrong, but a genki 90 year old woman who lived above 30mSv/hr for decades kind of craps up the theory for me that half of Eastern Japan are doomed to a slow and unremitting death over the next 20 years.

    Well radium is not good for you at all, in any way (unless you are suffering from rodent ulcers)

    One the thing is that radium emits mainly alpha particles, which are relatively easily shielded by the bottle, box and floor. While cesium and other products in the Fukushima fall out produces beta and gamma radiation which is not easily shielded.

    The other thing is that while we are all eating and breathing the fall out from Fukushima, she didn't ingest the radium. (If she had, she would most likely have died, look up radium girls on wikipedia for a reference)

    The third thing is no one (I think ) is saying that half of eastern Japan is going to die a slow and unremitting death. This will be reserved for the ones who loose out on the DNA vs Radiation lottery (I'm not trying to fear monger here, but it really is a lottery), And "Monte Carlo simulations" can be used to evaluate the numbers that will suffer.

    Getting cancer or not is pretty much a lottery even without the effects of Fukushima, it just changes the odds to your disfavor, just how much remains to be seen.

  • 0

    SquidBert

    And..

    I haven't read all the news sources, but I do believe the dose was no-where near "30mSv/hr" . microSievert is abbreviated as uSv (Actually with a Greek mu 'μ' letter, but it seems I can write this letter in JT posts?) m is for milli.

    I have seen numbers ranging from 3.35 to 600uSv/h which is less than 1mSv/h.

  • -2

    goinggoinggone

    The hot spot was caused by old bottles of radium, Tokyo has no hot spots from Fukushima radiation. It doesnt matter how ridiculous it sounds when you consider the situation in Fukushima, no questioning allowed. This is the official line and noone is allowed to voice concerns, apparently. And if you dont believe it, or have any suspicions, then keep them to yourself, as to question is, apparently, to fear monger. No matter that already there has been thyroid damage to Fukushima children who have been tested. Perhaps it is a special kind of non harmful Japanese radiation.

  • -2

    valley-of-the-shadows

    And if you research the story a bit more from other sources and what was actually found in the bottles, the story is more believable then the conspiracy theories who think it was planted.

    So If many "sources" believe it to be so, it is so? That sounds like a fallacious argument to me...

  • 0

    Amanda Harlow

    90 year old lady, husband who died years ago was a painter/scientist/university lab worker....that's my guess. The box they keep showing on the Tv appears to have tubes of oil paints in it too - so maybe an amateur artist who stashed an old box of stuff under the floorboards and his wife never knew....if there weren't radiation fears in Japan now this would never have been detected.

  • 0

    NZ2011

    Its likely had this other catastrophic event in Fukushima not occurred this would have ended up at the local rubbish dump when the house was knocked down, with no-one the wiser.

    With people thinking about, learning about and testing for radiation there are probably many other spots that will be found, some from Fukushima, some from industrial waste and some natural (Brick/granite etc)

    I'm not suggesting at all that we shouldn't be vigilant and demand that the food be tested and labeled and that systematic testing, mapping and decontamination continues indefinitely.

    There higher levels in Tokyo and other areas after this disaster, absolutely and undeniably.

    I say congratulations to these parents for finding and making this public, no matter what the source, and hope they continue to actively do their best to protect their children..

    Sure this is all far too late, but I see it as a success to some degree, the public raised an issue very publicly and it was responded to relatively quickly, Im hoping this is the beginning of a more empowered and aware Japanese public.

  • 2

    Nicky Washida

    @squidbert:

    So what you basically saying then, is that one genki 90 year old does not a major crisis dissipate? Damn! Oh well, back to freaking out then. Shame. I was starting to enjoy the thought of not going into tachycardia every time I shop for a change...

    I think you will find though on the "East Japan is doomed" thing that if you look back over various threads some posters are saying exactly that.

    gotta ask though - what on earth is a rodent ulcer??! And how do you know if you have one??!

  • 1

    SquidBert

    To all those doubting the story.

    The radiation spectra would have been quite different for Cesium Isotopes vs Radium. It should be relatively easy to confirm (opinion of armchair scientist ,if you are better informed please correct me) if the original measurements where consistent with Radium if they had separate counts for alpha, beta, gamma.

    I wouldn't put it past JGov to try to fool us, but I doubt the have this level of imagination. But if the strontium on the rooftops turns out to be bird droppings from the Chernobyl Blue Lark, I will revise my opinion

  • 1

    SquidBert

    @Nicky

    Believe me, if you have a rodent ulcer you will know it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodent_ulcer (It was the first disease treated by radium therapy)

    And regarding freaking out, that is really not going to help you, so relax and just try to be a bit vigilant about what you eat. I grew up in a place that was quite badly hit by the Chernobyl cloud, and I am doing alright.

    And that extra eye I grew on my back comes in really handy sometimes. ;-)

  • 2

    Darren Brannan

    seems that the little old lady moved out a while back and her daughter has been living there and sleeping about 2 metres away from the box which contained 'tens' of 7cm x 5cm bottles and would have been getting an exposure of about 30 milliseiverts a year, according to the mainichi shinbun article I read. Also said that there was no known link to the use of radiaoctive isotopes even when including the old man who had passed away.It is radium 226 which was,in fact, used to paint the glow in the dark numbers on dials and clocks etc back in the days.

    also the high reading in that park at Funabashi was read at about 1.5 so not really ALL that high but has been cordoned off anyway.They don't know why the same survey meter could show such a discrepancy in a day, and intend to remove the sand, topsoil etc ASAP.

  • 2

    WilliB

    Foxie:

    " That smells like a new form of terrorism. "

    The idea is not new at all. Intelligence agencies and assorted pundits have for many years speculated about the use of "dirty bombs" and some such. This particular case, of course, has nothing at all to do with terrorism. Seeing how widespread the use of radioactive material is, e.g. in radiation medicine, you can expect thousands of such hotspots around the country. Only difference is that these days all the media immediately scream "Fukushima", even if there is no connection at all.

  • -2

    It"S ME

    "Dirty Bombs" = nothing new.

    Even the ancients catapulted dead bodies(lepers, plague victims, etc) into a besieged city to force a surrender.

  • -1

    nandakandamanda

    This house could be a candidate for a blue plaque, maybe.

    "Marie Curie lived here"

  • -2

    telecasterplayer

    I really hope this isn't going to be used to blow-off a zillion legitimate complaints about radiation in Tokyo. Since the disaster, a lot of people in eastern Japan have purchased radiation detectors, and they're finding radiation all over the place. How about this radiation in Hachioji station? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2BmZoH8jnM Did this come from bottles? Or from an old glow-in-the-dark watch face?

    They found freakin' STRONTIUM in Yokohama, and that's even more to the southwest of the radiation-spewing meltdown in Fukushima than Tokyo.

  • 3

    WilliB

    telecasterplayer:

    " Since the disaster, a lot of people in eastern Japan have purchased radiation detectors, and they're finding radiation all over the place. "

    ....and most likely they would have found the same radiation all over the place before the disaster, if had bought radiation detectors at that time.

  • 1

    Himajin

    How can the government 'fool us' with citizens everywhere with Geiger counters?

  • 1

    gyouza

    Now, if only there was the outcry for a known and proven carcinogen that is in Japan everywhere and often around little children for no other reason that selfishness, greed and stubbornness.. tobacco.

    Yup, it kills more people than radiation. We don't even need sophisticated equipment to detect it!

  • -1

    kurisupisu

    How did the radiation get onto the tree leaves?

    From where...........?

    Jumped out of the bottles?

    There is something strange about this story............

  • 1

    NZ2011

    How did the radiation get onto the tree leaves?

    From where...........?

    Jumped out of the bottles?

    There is something strange about this story...........

    Radiation.. radiates, it doesn't stop just because its not exposed to the air, and certainly not much decrease being inside a wooden box in a wooden house (perhaps if it were in a lead lined case in a concrete house it would have been harder to detect, though I believe certain types of radiation would pass though this also).

    Radiation decreases as you put distance between you and the source, much like sound gets quieter as you get further away, its all a form energy after all. This explains why fallout radiation is often considerably higher closer to the ground or in a drain where the particles can accumulate but barely above normal background levels at handheld hight.

    To preempt your next question.. Yes Tokyo is fairly far from Fukushima, however unfortunately the elevation we see in radiation we see here isn't from the power plant directly (i.e radiating directly from Fukushima to Tokyo) itself but the particles that have traveled from the power plant in smoke, dust, rain and on the wind.

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    kurispusu, as someone wrote above, the geiger counter was held towards/among the leaves and they got high readings.

    At that time they did not realize that the source was the house behind the trees.

  • 0

    Darren Brannan

    The surface of the box was goving out 600 microseiverts/hr.

  • 0

    Uwe Paschen

    Radium was used by some as a therapeutic practice. Some people believed in the late 70 till the late 80 that this would cure them and a few people placed this in their house, just as some people today buy IONIZER and 03 vaporizer believing that this will cure them or protect them from cashing the flue... Well, it certainly killed them faster just as breathing in 03 does. But people still believe in it and still use those devices. There are probably a lot more of such bottles around Japan killing people that bought an old house or live in a new house just next to one that still stores such radioactive bottles. We only started checking for radiation hot spots due to the nuclear accident. Would we check in Kobe and elsewhere, we may find some more such hot spots. And some people wonder why they get cancer... With all the junk we put out there intentionally!

  • 1

    mike23thurgood

    I suppose the cynicism is understandable, but hardly justifiable.

    I presume that Japan had companies decades ago who employed workers happily painting dials with a radium paint to make them luminous so they could be seen at night time.

    Someone in the house probably worked at such a firm, long ago put out of business when the reality of the radiation dangers from radium were properly recognised. No doubt staff would steal a bit of the paint for their own use - who knows what could happen before the reality of the dangers from radium were properly recognised. That's why no one would use it these days, the much safer tritium being used instead, but under far more strict radiological controls.

    Radium painters in Britain would actually point their small brushes by drawing them across their tongues. Unfortunately many of them died as a result of cancers induced in their tongues and mouths.

    Just look at the current problems at Dalgety Bay in Scotland, with radium particles continually being washed up on the beaches, the residues from radium painted dials which were actually burnt to dispose of them, the residues seemingly being thrown into the sea. We would regard such activities as criminally irresponsible these days, but not four or five decades ago.

    So I really don't believe there's any justification to be cynical and disbelieving about the presence of those bottles in an empty house, stored away under the floor and long ago forgotten about. It happens, unfortunately, even though it's in Japan this time and not Britain.

  • 2

    zichi

    Uwe, thanks for the comment hope you have rebuilt your house?

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Before everyone goes crazy over "hot spots", remember that radiation naturally eminates from the ground at varying levels depending on where you are standing. Always has and always will. For all of your life you've lived, played, and loved amongst a varying amount of radiation and were never concerned. Now with the Fukushima incident everyone has become hyper-sensitized on the issue and ANY changes in levels starts a small panic. Unless the radiation has an isotope signature that can be equated to Daiichi, it's probably not something to be concerned about.

  • 0

    AntonA

    This is nothing surprising. Radioactive materials are everywhere. Many American fluorescent paints from 50's-60's also contain A LOT of radiation (radium) just like those old fluorescent paints found in Setagaya. My grandfather in Australia still has a lot of them in his loft, and he is healthy 95 years old. His loft is probably like Guarapari (in Brazil) where you constantly receive TEN microsieverts, and Guarapari is a health resort in Brazil and many people live long and healthy there. Also my dad's old camera lenses have high radiation (thorium), especially these old lenses from Leica, Olympus and Pentax.

  • 2

    Uwe Paschen

    mike23thurgood, I do respect your comment. However, I live here in Japan and I am being bombarded with radiation against my own will, so let me be. Radium was banned as a paint in the US in the 30s after a massive law suit by the so called "Radium Girls" You can find it on Wikipedia. In Japan it was in use much longer and resurfaced in the 70s as a cure for certain ailments. The era where all believed that small doses of radiation could cure cancers and other illnesses. Once it was proven and passed on to the public that this was false it disappeared, but no one bothered to check what happened to all the radium sold or handed out... Same with asbestos and other wonder products, we knew they where bad sold them a miracle products and even the governments ended up buying some of those toxic products in some cases and dismissed those that warned against it. The North American and now modern philosophy for many is it is okay to use and sell as long as no one can proven be on any doubt that it is bad for us or the environment. See our use of fossil fuels and uranium or dioxins... or look at Monsanto and their GMO's. Than we have the other side of the coin such as in some Asian and European countries whose philosophy is that we should not use it nor allow it before we can prove be on any doubt that it is safe and okay to do so... I opt for the latter and forgive my sinister nature but most of humanity is knowingly, deliberately and willingly poising the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat and the soil we live on! I am sorry but it is grand time for a wake up call.

  • 0

    It"S ME

    As was said.

    The setagaya hotspot existed for years/decades, yet everybody is panicking due 3/11, and more than "normal" testings going on. How many kids, etc passed that spot over the last few decades? Scared yet?

    Way more hotspots in Japan and across the globe that we don't know about YET. More scared yet?

    As I said before, people are the most on their guard after the fact and thus the most panicky as data they get to know that they wouldn't get to know if X event never happened but yet were happy with before.

    Same if I gave people in my neighbourhood the TRUE crime stats(available from the police/online/etc for interested parties) but unless it makes the news ......

    Scratches head.

  • -2

    Lloyd G. LeCain

    This is a load of baloney. If such bottles had been in the house for years then everyone would have died of Radition Sickness, Cancer and other ailments over the years. The Japanese government need to be forthwith and honorable and not engage in a cover up. Men and women world wide expect this from Japan.

  • 0

    Himajin

    How do you know they didn't? The history of the family who lived in the house hasn't been published.

  • 0

    Lloyd G Lecain

    You are right we need to wait to get the whole story. Thank-you

  • 0

    Puller Lanigan

    Why would someone have bottles of radium buried under their home?

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