A real simple question, No need for double speak, mathematical shell games, or semantics.
Let me clarify. I do drink the rain water from creeks in Nor Cal filtered with a ceramic water filter, which is much more healthy than your chemical laden tap water, or the recycled sewage they drink in L.A. I do lot's of hiking and backpacking in the mountains of Northern California.
If my post seems accusatory, it is because I think they are playing semantics when they say, "The measurement we made was of rainwater, not drinking water, so the drinking water limit does not apply".
Is it true to say that the rain water has 181 times the safe level of radioactivity for TAP WATER? I am having a hard time with your double-speak. If this is the case, then surely you folks are downplaying the severity of the contamination. I drink this rain water, so does my garden and my cat.
[obscenity deleted by moderator]
Our apologies for not understanding the gist of your initial question. With this website we're hoping to inform everyone about the radiation levels so that they can make informed decisions. You can see all of our measurements of rainwater on the rainwater page. We're also calculating the number of liters of the water you would have to drink in order to receive a radiation dose equivalent to a cross-country plane flight -- this number is generally in the hundreds or thousands of liters, meaning the health effects due to radiation alone should be very tiny.
Since it sounds like you're drinking creek water, then the levels should be much lower than rainwater. We measured both rainwater and creek runoff here on campus (see our creek measurements). We were surprised to find that the creek water has I-131 levels that are on average 30 to 100 times lower than the rainwater -- this is probably due to natural filtration through the soil and dilution in the aquifer. These levels also have rapidly decreased below detectability.
By the way, do you know what size particles your filter can trap? The HEPA filter we are using for our air filtration measurements is designed to trap 0.3 micron-sized particles and larger, and we are consistently seeing the radioactive particles in our filters. So that might give you an idea of whether your system is effective in filtering the particles out if this is still a concern.
Regarding your last question: one of our I-131 rainwater concentrations was 181 times the EPA limit for drinking water. The EPA limit for tap water is a dose of 4 millirem per year, which they calculate to be equivalent to 3 pCi/L = 0.11 Bq/L of I-131 in water drunk for an entire year. All of our rainwater measurements of I-131 have been well above this level -- see the data on the rainwater page. On the other hand, the creek water measurements are all below the EPA drinking water limit.
Speaking for myself, I would personally drink either the rain water or creek water, if radiation is the only thing we are worried about.
Mark [BRAWM Team Member]
Within less than one hour, no less than three Berkeley students took the time to respond to your post with their honest opinions. If you would like to be more explicit in describing their "double-speak", please do so.
The SUBJECT of this post is RAIN WATER, not UCB or it's students.
Would you please just endorse drinking the rain water if you can.
Is it true that the rain water radiation levels are 181 times over the safe limit for drinking water?
I feel like I'm beginning to sound like a broken record but again, thanks to you, Brian, Dr. Chivers and everyone else at UCB who is doing all this work for us. If you get frustrated with the accusations or frustration being flung around, especially within the last two days, please remember, there are those of us who have been around for a while and still trust you guys and appreciate all of your hard work. Air hugs to all of you.
I didn't mean to forget you. :o)
I would not drink rain water, regardless of the presence of fallout. EBMUD has done a very nice job of providing me with clean tap water.
I will say, however, that I enjoyed a nice bowl of Cinnamon Life this morning with some 2% milk.
I wouldn't drink the rainwater because of the potential for chemical toxins from pollution...
However, if you want to know about milk or other things we are testing, we are not changing our habits in any significant way. Other team members may chime in on this. Please see our FAQ on our recommendations to the public.
Just curious: If the rain water was pure in all respects besides the radioactive contamination, would you be ok with serving it to your family for a few weeks?
The short answer: Yes. The levels I see in the rainwater are too low to cause me any concern.
A longer answer: If the rain water was uncontaminated by anything except radiation, it would probably be much cleaner than anything else I consume. I'm no medical doctor or biologist, but I know we consume plenty of toxins, parasites, bacteria, and other gross things every time we eat. That is why I consider this level of radioactive contamination to be negligible compared to the other risks that I take on a daily basis.
I wouldn't drink the rainwater even without the Japan incident.
How about instead of taking an accusatory stance against the scientists here, you simply read their data and determine its value to you. There is simply no reason to antagonize these people. Afterall, if they are truly in on some vast conspiracy, yelling at them about it would be a waste of time, no?
Time for people to stop accusing these UCB folks of nefarious stuff. Read the data, ask intelligent questions, read their FAQs. Believe the data, or not, up to you. Otherwise, complaints and accusations are just noise, and a waste of everyone's time here...
Did a post get removed? Who is accusing anyone of anything? All I see is a question if they would drink the rainwater.
Your post is the waste of time waaaaay off topic
pot meet kettle
safer than anything you would buy at the supermarket seems like a horribly/pretty low standard to me.
Thank you for your hard work and diligence. Please be assured: for each rambling individual on this forum there are thousands of (silent) people relying on your test results and the information you provide for their peace of mind. And they do so without questioning your judgment or integrity.
Thank you, you are the best.
Hopefully it will help ease some of the intense fear some of those posting here are expressing. And thanks to the whole team for providing this public forum. Most of all, thanks for hanging in there.
Reading the data BRAWM members are posting coupled with the calm replies to the many queries has helped so much these past couple of weeks. Knowledge indeed is power.
Keep up the great work!
the 1800% above normal that was quoted in the mass media. i will admit i have no idea what this means, or what a normal amount of radioactive iodine is or is not.
what does this mean in actual amounts,,, ie. how much radioactive iodine would be in a gallon or litre of water. and could you relate this to possible/maybe probable caesium-137 contamination questions.
I am the one who asked if you would drink the water without other contamination.
Thanks for being clear. I enjoyed the video, even though you were not drinking rain water. LOL
I found this site on the Canadian Drinking Water Standards.
It is interesting that they have two standards for I-131. The normal standard is 6Bq/L. They have a short term standard for emergencies that is set at 100 Bq/L.
It is very interesting that the US standard for long term consumption is only .11 Bq/L but Canada has a standard of 6 Bq/L. Thats quite a difference. After looking at this and getting the answers from the BRAWM team, I feel better. Thanks again.
I was drinking while I was reading this and just shot water out my nose!! :o) Thanks for the laugh.
Very cute, Joe. Don't eat grass though, please.
Ha Ha, then you will have to try the Japanese restaurant for some Sushi.
aha. thanks for the reply. so there were excessive amounts of radioactive iodine collected in rainwater samples.
you didn't relate this to actual molecular amounts of iodine or caesium contamination, could you point me to a webpage that would describe these findings in more detail.
EPA – Current Rainwater Radiation Data – Updated
UC Berkeley • College of Engineering • Contact
Campanile photo courtesy of Andrew P. Keating