View Full Version : Plutonium in the urine
I'm missing a step here: You've probably heard true accounts of people working at nuclear sites overexposed to plutonium radiation. As I understand it, exposure should cause radiation burns to the skin. Even if one is overexposed to such radiation, then why/how does one pee plutonium - as typically mentioned in such true accounts such as 60 Minutes, etc., for example?
"They're coming to take me away ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee, to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time... :)" - Napoleon IV
02-29-2000, 03:38 PM
Maybe as it's absorbed by the skin which then processes it by the normal means. Your skin is a porous surface. Not to mention your mucas membranes that line your nose and esophogeal passages. Breathing in air with whatever micromolocules of plutonium vapor there might be could answer for that.
02-29-2000, 04:04 PM
Being contaminated by radioactive material is not the same as only being exposed to radiation. This is often reported wrong in the media. The recent accident in Japan was a good example. Local residents were being "decontaminated for radiation" which makes little sense but it was later reported there was a leak of radioactive steam in addition to a radiation leak.
02-29-2000, 05:34 PM
I found this link: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/phs9021.html which has a pretty good summary of how you can be exposed and what it can do.
My summary of their summary is as follows: Your most likely exposure is to breath it in. If you swallow it, most of it is excreted in feces or urine. It is not likely to be absorbed through unbroken skin.
The main health problem is increased likelihood of cancer from the spontaneous radiation coming into contact with internal tissues. I.e., lung cancer is the likeliest problem.
There don't seem to be any definitive studies, since exposure is extremely rare.
he sleeps on that pile/of newspapers/in the corner/and when he
takes off his/shoes you cannot/smell his breath
"king nicky", archyology
02-29-2000, 05:37 PM
Oh, and I have to state for the record that I don't believe 60Minutes is any more likely to tell the truth than the Hanford Nuclear Power people are. They each have their own agendas that come way before telling the truth.
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