Iodine-131 in France and Switzerland.

The CRIIRAD website posts graphs of alpha, beta, and gamma radiation as well as iodine-131, for selected cities in France near nuclear power plants. The readings in Rhône river water show a sudden increase in iodine-131 and gamma radiation levels beginning on November 27. This river originates in Geneva, Switzerland, and there was a rainstorm there starting on Nov. 26 with about an inch of rain.

I have been watching these graphs for over a year now, and I have never seen a jump in gamma radiation like this.

Also, the CTBTO in Takasaki has now replaced the published levels of I-131, Ba-140, and Te-132 with ND (not detected) in the October data. Looks to me like someone had slipped up and shown the actual levels. They are now back to whitewashing radiation levels again.


CTBTO data shows daily releases of iodine, barium & tellurium.

The CTBTO isotope measurement station at Takasaki, Japan (Japanese) is indicating radioactive iodine-131, barium-140 and tellurium-132 was being detected every day from Oct.1 – Oct.31. Previous reports (link here) show that officially, iodine has not been detected since July 2011, barium since May 2011, and tellurium since April 2011. Of course, iodine-131 has regularly been showing up in sewage sludge, as reported here and at Fukushima Diary. And Mochizuki is reporting that radioactivity in seawater has been increasing from early September to mid-October.

Tellurium-132 is produced by criticalities. It was the first isotope detected after the Japan earthquake, and it indicated that a meltdown was occurring. It decays into iodine-132. It is currently appearing at mid-April 2011 levels.

Barium-140 is a dangerous isotope. Its presence always means strontium-90 is also present, because both isotopes are released by the same physical process. It is being released at May 2011 levels.

Iodine-131 causes thyroid cancer and many other thyroid diseases. It was discussed earlier in this blog that 31 times as much (more dangerous) iodine-129 was being released than I-131. It is being released at June 2011 levels.

I had reported earlier in this comment on Sept. 24 that everyone without iodine sensitivity or allergy should start taking stable iodine. In this post on Oct. 24 I mentioned that I had started taking Lugol’s iodine on a daily basis. Looks like my canaryhood has been verified.

Curium detected in Tochigi prefecture.

Enenews has a story about the detection of radioactive curium in Tochigi prefecture, 95 km from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Curium is a neutron emitter, it undergoes spontaneous fission. Neutron emitters make the chemical elements which come into contact with them radioactive. So if you eat some of this stuff, it is like having a little nuclear reactor in the cells of your body. Neutron radiation also is a factory for manufacturing simple radioactive elements like tritium and carbon-14, which affect plants as well as humans and animals.

The table attached here shows the spontaneous fission yields of these elements. Curium has a yield around 10,000 times the yield of plutonium-240, and 1,000,000,000 times that of plutonium-239. It hangs around for a long time, the spontaneous fission half-life being around 10 million years. Seeing this stuff at such a distance from the Fuku plant is really scary.

Radiation-eating fungi. They kill trees and they kill people.

In 2002, a robot was sent inside the sarcophagus of the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and took samples of mold and fungi which were growing on the walls. Five years later, researchers from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine demonstrated that certain fungi “have the capacity to use radioactivity as an energy source for making food and spurring their growth.”

With Fukushima Daiichi & the Japanese burning of tsunami debris spreading nuclear poison over the whole earth, we have a recipe for fat, healthy fungi and sick, dying people.

RADIOTROPHIC FUNGI

These fungus species are known as radiotrophic fungi. They use the pigment melanin to convert gamma and beta radiation into chemical energy for growth.

ALL MELANIZED FUNGI ARE POTENTIAL RADIOTROPHIC FUNGI

In the original paper, the researchers Dadachova et al showed that ionizing radiation changes the electronic properties of melanin, and enhances the growth of melanized fungi. So any fungus species that contain melanin have their growth spurred in the presence of ionizing radiation. These are not mutant fungi, they are ordinary fungus species found everywhere in the environment. Some of them are common molds that grow in your basement or bathroom.

So these fungi do not actually feed on radiation, they change the properties of melanin, so that it can be converted into energy for growth. Think of radiation as an enzyme that allows melanin to be “digested”. Effectively, it’s the same thing, though.

FUNGI ARE RADIATION-TOLERANT AND ACCUMULATE RADIONUCLIDES

In this paper, Dadachova and Casadevall discuss the radiation tolerance of fungi, and its role as an adaptation mechanism. There is evidence of widespread prevalence of melanized fungi in the early days of Earth, when radiation was at a much higher level than it is today.

Anyone that follows Chernobyl and radiation measurements of food in Japan know that the worst radioactive contamination in any foodstuffs are in mushrooms. Fungi are very efficient at absorbing radionuclides. Actually, they will eat anything.

RADIONUCLIDES ACCUMULATE IN TREE BARKS

Researchers in Turkey found that cesium-137 (from Chernobyl) accumulates more in oak bark than even lichen (which had been thought to be the most contaminated life form). Professor Mori of the WINEP blog showed an autoradiograph of how radionuclides were found in oak bark. Many mushroom species grow on these barks.

MELANIZED FUNGI GROW TOWARDS WHERE THE RADIATION IS

Fungus-ridden tree in New Jersey felled by Sandy

Dadachova and Casadevall also discuss radiotropism. This is the tendency of these fungi to move from less contaminated areas of the plant, to more contaminated areas. In a tree, if the fungi start eating in the inmost hardwood area (with the least contamination), they will grow towards the bark on the outside, destroying the tree from the inside out.

RADIATION PROMOTES SPORE GERMINATION

The two authors also discussed how radiation increases the amount of spores released by these fungi:

They observed that radiation promoted spore germination in species from contaminated regions, which they called “radiostimulation”. Contrary to their previous results they observed the “radiostimulation” only for the species from contaminated regions but not for isolates from the clean areas. They named this phenomenon “radioadaptive response”.

SPORES MAY TRAVEL IN THE JET STREAM

In the 1930’s, spores were collected in a weather balloon between the levels of 36,000 – 71,000 feet. This is higher than the level of the jet stream (30,000 feet).

MELANIZED FUNGI SURVIVE FOOD IRRADIATION

Food is treated with gamma rays, which destroy bacteria and microorganisms in the food. The authors also noted that melanized fungi are radioresistant to the typical radiation levels used in this treatment.

RHIZOMORPHS

Rhizomorphs from an armillaria fungus

Rhizomorphs in New York City

Rhizomorphs or mycelial cords are aggregations of hyphae growing from fungi, which resemble tree roots. They provide water and nutrients for the organism. They can grow very long, under streets and pavements, and can draw nutrients from decomposing leaves at the surface. These leaves may be contaminated with radioactivity, which is all the better for them. They also colonize new hosts (trees), in this manner.

DIFFERENT KINDS OF FUNGAL DAMAGE TO TREES

This link provides illustrations of different tree diseases caused by fungi. My son and I recently went on a field trip to 5 different sites in the local area, and saw different kinds of damage. Sometimes the crown goes first, sometimes it is at the bottom, etc.

GROWTH OF MELANIZED FUNGI IN DOMESTIC ENVIRONMENTS

This pdf provides a good summary on how melanized fungi grow in domestic environments. Many species evolved in unusual ecological niches, and fit right into today’s home. They love dishwashers.

MELANIZED FUNGI CAUSE HUMAN DISEASE AND DEATH

This excellent article (pdf) reviews the current state of medical knowledge of health impacts of melanized fungi. They include the diseases eumycetoma, chromoblastomycosis, and phaeohyphomycosis. The authors classify the conditions into the categories allergic disease, superficial and deep local infections, pulmonary disease, central nervous system (CNS) infection, and disseminated disease.

List of melanized fungi species known to affect human health

Exposure to these fungi is usually due to breathing or minor cuts from infected agents, like thorns or farm implements. “Surveys of outdoor air for fungal spores routinely show dematiaceous (melanized) fungi. This suggests that all individuals are exposed, though few develop disease. Exposure is primarily from inhalation or minor trauma, which is frequently not even noticed by the patient.” Most of these cases occur in the tropics, but they will widely distributed over the planet from now on.

It is important to recognize that exposure to radiotrophic fungi also includes exposure to radioactivity, which of course increases the risk of disease.

Chromoblastomycosis

Phaeohyphomycosis

ALLERGIC DISEASE

“Allergic responses to dematiaceous fungi may actually represent the most common clinical manifestation of these fungi. Though asthma has many associated environmental factors, several studies have linked it with exposure to molds and to dematiaceous fungi… Allergic fungal sinusitis is a relatively common condition, with estimates of 6 to 9% of all cases of chronic sinusitis requiring surgery… it is now appreciated that disease due to dematiaceous fungi actually comprises the majority of cases… Allergic bronchopulmonary mycosis (ABPM) is similar in presentation to allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), which is typically seen in patients with asthma or cystic fibrosis.”

SUPERFICIAL INFECTIONS

“These cases of superficial infections involve only keratinized tissues, such as the fingernails and toenails and the stratum corneum. Consequences of these infections are generally cosmetic… Tinea nigra is an uncommon infection confined to the stratum corneum. The characteristic appearance is that of a pigmented macule, usually on the palms or soles, and may be bilateral.”

DEEP LOCAL INFECTIONS

Subcutaneous lesions

“Subcutaneous lesions are the most common case reports of infection due to melanized fungi in the literature… Many patients are immunocompetent, and they often are from a rural background, i.e., farmers with frequent, minor trauma from plant material or gardeners… Lesions typically occur on exposed areas of the body and often appear as isolated cystic or papular lesions. Presentation is usually indolent, with weeks to months of gradual enlarging mass, though pain is often absent. Severely immunocompromised patients are at increased risk of subsequent dissemination, though this may rarely occur in apparently immunocompetent patients as well. Occasionally, infection may extend to involve joints or bone, requiring more extensive surgery or prolonged antifungal therapy.”

“Fungal keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) is an important ophthalmologic problem, particularly in tropical areas of the world. In one large series, 40% of all infectious keratitis was caused by fungi, almost exclusively molds.”

PULMONARY INFECTION

“Pulmonary infection is usually seen in immunocompromised patients or those with underlying lung disease, and it may be due to a wide variety of species… Clinical manifestations include pneumonia, asymptomatic solitary pulmonary nodules, and endobronchial lesions which may cause hemoptysis.”

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM INFECTION

“Central nervous system infection is a rare but frequently fatal manifestation of phaeohyphomycosis, often in immunocompetent individuals. In a review of 101 cases of central nervous system infection due to dematiaceous fungi, the most common presentation was found to be brain abscess… What is truly unique about this disease is that over half the cases were in patients with no risk factor or immunodeficiency. In addition, no specific exposures were associated with onset of infection, though many cases seem to occur in rural areas. Typical symptoms included headache, neurologic deficits, and seizures, though rarely all three… Mortality was >70%… The pathogenesis may be hematogenous spread from an initial, presumably subclinical pulmonary focus, though this remains speculation. However, it remains unclear why these fungi preferentially cause CNS disease in immunocompetent individuals… Meningitis has also been described, usually in immunocompromised patients.”

DISSEMINATED INFECTION

“Disseminated infection is the most uncommon manifestation of infection caused by melanized fungi. In a review of 72 cases, most patients were immunocompromised, though occasional patients without known immunodeficiency or risk factors developed disseminated disease as well… Interestingly, peripheral eosinophilia has been observed in 9% of cases, and these were generally due to Bipolaris and Curvularia. These same species are often associated with allergic disease… The mortality rate was >70%, despite aggressive antifungal therapy. There were no antifungal regimens associated with improved survival for disseminated infection.”

PSYCHOSIS

This abstract from researchers in China details symptoms of cerebral phaeohyphomycosis.

“Cerebral phaeohyphomycosis is a fungal infection of the brain typically caused by Cladophialophora bantiana, Exophiala dermatitidis, and Rhinocladiella mackenziei, all of which belong to the order Chaetothyriales. The disease results in black, necrotic brain tissue, black pus, and black cerebrospinal fluid. Pathogens usually reach the brain through the bloodstream or lymphatic fluid and occasionally through direct spreading or accidental inoculation. Patients can present with hemiparesis, tonic spasm, headache, fever, sensory variation, cerebral irritation, and even psychotic behavioural changes.”

The same thing will happen to human brains

The black, necrotic brain tissue is similar to the black, necrotic leaf tissue we have seen in the dying trees. The same thing that is happening to the trees happens to human brains.

Humans are radioactive too. These fungi seek food.

IT’S EVERYWHERE

Read this blog, the Wit’s End blog, or a database of photos I am collecting for more information. Or go to Flickr and enter the search term “Sandy tree”. Most of the uprooted and broken trees from Hurricane Sandy show sign of fungal damage. Tree damage and death is rapidly spreading across the planet.

UPDATE: CDC Responds to Multistate Outbreak of Fungal Meningitis and Other Infections

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with state and local health departments and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is investigating a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections among patients who received contaminated preservative-free MPA steroid injections from NECC. Several patients suffered strokes that are believed to have resulted from their infections. The investigation also includes other infections from injections in a peripheral joint, such as a knee, shoulder, or ankle. Patients who received injections in peripheral joints only are not believed to be at risk for meningitis, but they could be at risk for joint and other infections.

As of November 15, 2012, the predominant fungus identified in patients continues to be Exserohilum rostratum, with 84 CDC laboratory-confirmed cases. One patient, the index case, had a laboratory-confirmed Aspergillus fumigatus [JPG – 29 KB] infection. These fungi are common in the environment; fungal infections are not transmitted from person to person.

Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Investigation
http://www.cdc.gov/hai/outbreaks/meningitis-map.html

Exserohilum rostratum is a melanized fungus that is on the list of those that affect human health. More information from wikipedia. 32 36 dead so far.

UPDATE: An excellent scientific review on mycotoxins is available here. These are secondary poisons from fungi that affect the health of humans, animals, and plants. Some are carcinogenic.

Radiation in rain not going away.

Geiger counter readings of radiation levels in rain samples continues to be high. If this was just from the initial Fukushima explosions, it would have been down by 75% or more by now.

Portblog in St. Louis found levels of 11x background radiation. Here is a video from Lansing, MI with 25x background. Another video from Alabama with around 42x background. And Brazil checks in at around 14x background.

Here is some leaf damage, from New Brunswick, Canada I think. It looks like it might contain iodine.

Preliminary thoughts on the global tree die-off.

I just wanted to jot down some preliminary thoughts and points here about the plant and tree damage rapidly expanding around the world. For my own benefit as much as anybody’s. I have viewed thousands, probably tens of thousands of photos by now.

– Pine tree and palm tree damage extends around the planet. Pines are the most radiation-sensitive tree species. You might not know that palm trees grow in areas of Canada and Great Britain. This damage seems to be by something diffused around the globe.

– I want to focus first on deciduous plant damage. If you look hard enough, you can find it anywhere. But the worst anywhere is in Anne Arundel county, Maryland. That’s where I live!

– I am starting with the damage in 2012, because this is the most extensive, but this has been going on for some time.

– There are three main areas of damage (not excluding anywhere else though):
1. Louisiana and the immediate Gulf coast.
2. An arc starting around the Great Smoky mountains of Tennessee, moving northeastward along the east coast, through the east coast of Canada, crossing the Atlantic to Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, and south through western France & Portugal, and east to Denmark and Germany.
3. Northern Japan, Korea, northeasternmost China, and far eastern Russia.

– It has recently commenced in earnest on the west coast, Baja, Hawaii & Australia.

– Plant damage is worse near coal-fired power plants. It is worse in areas with high rainfall and humidity, and seems worse near seashores. Less damage is seen in 2012 drought areas. Plant damage is less in cultivated gardens and farm crops.

– The effects of plant damage from ozone, and from radiation in highly contaminated areas from Chernobyl, is remarkably similar. Both are pro-oxidant, and damage results from reactive oxygen species being formed. Both cause necrosis in leaves. Both reduce chlorophyll and carotinoids, and increase anthocyanins. Anthocyanin is a defense mechanism in the plant, is an anti-oxidant, and reduces damage from UV rays. There is less green and yellow in leaves, and more red, pink and purple. The main difference is that radiation induces mutations, fasciation, variegation, and can increase or retard growth and fruit yields.

– Ozone is formed from the reaction of UV light on hydrocarbons, PANs and VOCs. It also may be formed by the much more energetic action of gamma rays from radionuclides in air and rain.

– I am reducing the effect of the Louisiana sinkhole on this phenomenon. It seems mostly limited to the Gulf coast, though it still is a factor. The blue iodine spots in leaves is mostly radioactive iodine from Fukushima. This has been seen in Maryland, southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, Iceland, and Denmark.

– Radiation is turning ordinary air pollution and Gulf poisons in something much worse.

– Every time Tepco injects nitrogen into Fuku reactors, carbon-14 is formed. C-14 is the most dangerous nuclide for plants in the long term. Linus Pauling thought it was the most dangerous for humans, too.

– Neutron radiation from plutonium is causing C-14 to form in soils, by transmuting nitrogen via addition of thermal neutrons. You need rain and wet soil for this. If it is dry, you get tritium. Carbon-14 transmutes into nitrogen again when it decays, disrupting chemical bonds in plant sugars. This creates stress in plants that is additional to oxidative stress from ozone or PANs. C-14 has a half-life of 5,700 years. This means it will be around for 57,000 years.

– Coal-firing power plants emit hydrogen fluoride. When uranium mixes with fluoride, it forms uranium hexafluoride, an extremely toxic and corrosive substance. Some of the damage to leaves is from this substance in rain burning through leaf tissue. (Also beta radiation in high enough concentrations may do this.) Watering your garden with fluoridated water is an easy way damage your plants, if uranium is around.

– Oak leaf galls observed in Maryland were also found at a higher rate in the Chernobyl contaminated areas.

That’s it for now. I reserve the right to change my mind. I don’t see this problem going away.

Vermont town to anti-nuke protesters: Don’t pee.

The Vermont town of Vernon, the home of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, has passed an ordinance outlawing public urination and defecation in their town. Anti-nuclear protest organizers have attempted to set up porta-potties in the area, but have not been allowed to do so. Apparently there are no public restroom facilities, and they won’t let them use the facilities in the town hall.

One thing I can think of in response to this, is to pee on the members of the Vernon Select board. But personally, I wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire.

Enormous radioactive contamination in Fukushima City.

This blog post (in Japanese) includes a video, which shows that 515,000 Bq/kg of cesium was detected in soil in the Watari district of Fukushima on Oct. 14. If this is translated to becquerels per square meter (assuming it was measured according to IAEA guidelines) this comes out to 33,475,000 Bq/m2. This value is more than 6 times higher than the MAXIMUM contamination measured anywhere from the Chernobyl catastrophe.

And this area is not evacuated. This is something like 60 times higher than the levels which triggered mandatory evacuation in Chernobyl.

Also noted was that the cesium-134 levels were higher than it should have been if all the cesium came down in March-April 2011. This indicates much of this contamination has been recently deposited.

This radiation amount yielded a Geiger reading of 4.4 uSv/hr at 2 meters above the ground, and 18.5 uSv/hr at 1 centimeter. The latter figure corresponds to the highest rainfall readings Potrblog has measured at St. Louis.

Compare the second figure with 426 uSv/hr at an elementary school in Date City. This is 138 times more than anywhere from Chernobyl.

And if you think this is limited to Japan, consider that the vast majority of the airborne radioactivity blew over the Pacific, toward North America. This video I made from published radiation measurements by IRSN show how most of the radioactivity did not go over Japan, but over the Pacific. This shows only the early days of the disaster, but you get the idea.

This article (in Japanese) indicates that the highly populated region of Saitama has received the same amount of radiation as places in the Ukraine from Chernobyl. In 2008, 22 years after Chernobyl, 94% of children are sick, and 78% have chronic illnesses. Of course, the contamination is still going on, so it will be worse. I expect this will also be the case in most of the US and Canada by 2033.

Hurricane Valerie?

Ryan Maue is calling for the nor’-easter which will hit the northeast tomorrow to take on tropical characteristics, and become a hurricane. Maybe not technically a hurricane, but effectively so. The NMM and ARW hi-res models bear this out. It’s explosively deepening again. It is going to affect the very same areas hit by Sandy. Plus this time there will be snow in interior regions away from the coast. This will add to the likelihood of falling trees. So the trees that didn’t fall, but were weakened by Sandy, will fall this time. There will also be problem with storm surge and waves again.

UPDATE 11/7 11:30am: This now looks weaker than thought earlier. The worst of the winds will be in southeast New England and eastern Long Island. Still a danger for these areas. It is now being called Athena by the Weather Channel.

UPDATE 11/7 9:30pm: The heavy snow in Connecticut, New Jersey, and the New York City areas is now bringing down power lines and breaking tree limbs. The wind is also a large factor, but probably farther to the northeast in Massachusetts is where the most damaging gusts are still to come.