Sandpanther (sandpanther) wrote,

Becasue Everything's More Clear When Expressed In Bananas

A banana equivalent dose (BED) is a concept to place in scale the dangers of radiation by comparing exposures to the radiation generated by a common banana.

This means, thanks to the wonders of the Internet (thank you, Internet, for providing me with this handy-dandy Becquerel to Curie converter, because a week ago I'd never heard of a becquerel, much less had any idea how to convert it to nanocuries), I've been able to determine that the dose of radioactive iodine of 170 becquerels detected in the Fukushima city water supply is equivalent to 12.4 bananas. Note: That's not the dosage one receives from eating 12.4 bananas; that's how much one is exposed to radiation by 12.4 bananas.

I've had some friends and relatives express concern that I'm not planning on canceling my trip to Japan planned for the end of May, about 8 weeks from now. While I appreciate the concern, from the numbers released from the Japanese government of readings taken yesterday it looks like if I were to go to Utsunomiya (a city I plan on visiting in two months) right now, I would be exposed to and additional 5.62 bananas while I'm there. It's sweet of people to worry, but given the half life of radioactive iodine is about 8 days, I suspect that I probably will not need to wear special clothing to handle the additional five and a half bananas' worth of exposure.

(The Japanese government, by the way, lists safe exposure at the 21.9 banana level. Personally, I'm a bit concerned with how lax the US government is on their standards, since I regularly see more than 30 bananas at a time in my local supermarket.)

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