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What do you think about all the panic buying of bottled water in Tokyo after reports that radioactive iodine exceeding the limit for infants was found in tap water in some wards?


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Some people think it's ridiculous but they are usually the ones unprepared. everyone should have a couple weeks worth of rations in their home at all times and this would eliminate panic buying at the last minute. If nothing happens and the purchase of bottled water turned out to be in unnecessary then the worst thing is the people who bought it have extra water on the flip side if turns out water is needed then those who didn't act are not in a good position. I prefer to be prepared but it didn't take a recent emergency for me to know that.

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I don't think it is panic buying to begin with. This is different than people buying 4 quarts of milk and other foods that they don't really need. We knew that food and gas supplies would become stable after a few days, we don't have a clue what's going to happen with the water supply. I have 100 liters of bottled water in the big cooler type 20 liter bottles, upped from my usual 60 liters. Please don't take my word at it but I was told that the half life of the iodine is 8 days so anybody who can't get their hands on water should start filling empty bottles and let them sit for 8 days.

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I personally don't buy large amounts of water. For those with children I can totally understand it though. They should be prioritized now anyways. If it really comes to a serious shortage, I can live with substitutes and save as much bottled water as possible but children and babies absolutely need to have water. So far, while many stores might have sold out, I am confident, that they will get water in quite fast. After all, large areas of Japan are not affected and the infrastructure from there to Tokyo is just fine. Don't worry too much people.

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Everyone should have had a week or two of water on hand anyway, of course a nuclear accident will produce radiation in the water supply once the rain comes, it is very simple science and to be honest common sense.

Anyone who did not keep water on hand needs to learn some very basic rules of life.

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Please don't take my word at it but I was told that the half life of the iodine is 8 days so anybody who can't get their hands on water should start filling empty bottles and let them sit for 8 days.

No expert myself, but after 8 days, only half the radioactive iodine has decayed. If you were really worried in the first place, you'd wait for several weeks, but by that time, I wouldn't drink the water because you don't know how much bacteria has grown in there.

There is nothing wrong with bottled tea or other drinks. I just don't see many people buying tea round my neck of the woods.

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Where the heck is one expected to keep "a few weeks of food supplies" in a 1K apartment in Tokyo?!? Most apartments don't even have closets here!

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Emergency or Camping food don't take up much space, for the people with contacts to the military get a box or 2 of MRE's.

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"Where the heck is one expected to keep "a few weeks of food supplies" in a 1K apartment in Tokyo?!?"

Exactly! For many people in Japan the closest convenience store doubles as their refrigerator because of the size of the apartments. It's silly to expect people to keep weeks of food stuff on hand, that's not Japan.

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I think Japan is a very dangerous place to visit now.

So does most of international community.

Hope Tepco can fix this.

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I live here and although this nuclear situation is very stressful Japan is a very safe place to live although it would not be very enjoyable to visit atm. When this is all over with and people look at the damage it will still pale in comparison to the deaths caused by say coal mining.

As for tital waves, not much you can say about that.

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Did you know for the World Health Organization that danger levels are set at 3000 BQ for Water contamination for it to be dangerous. Japan's laws are much much stricter with Japan's standard being only 300 BQ (1/10th) that of the international standard, and the levels are not even there yet.

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Yesterday I shampooed my hair with some radioactive Tokyo tap water. My hair did not glow in the dark. I made coffee with some this morning. My hair did not fall out, or if it did, it's probably due to male pattern baldness. So far so good anyway.

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Only people with infants should be allowed to buy water in greater quantities.

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My hair did not fall out, or if it did, it's probably due to male pattern baldness.

All men after a certain age lose their hair. It is not related to radiation.

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LoveUSA, All men lose their hair? Well I'm 63 and got all mine, my grandfather at 90 had all of he's, If mine suddenly falls out it's radiation for sure!

Moderator: Back on topic please.

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I never drink the tap water as it tastes foul! People will always respond to a potential shortage by panic buying of just about anything! Food, water or gasoline will promote the highest response. Moderator why does JT only ever refer to Tokyo? Some of us live in other areas!

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Man there must be alot of babies on this country, tap water is fine unless you are under 1 year old.

If you are under one year old how can you be typing on this forum?

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Badge213 do you read the report? The World Health Organization released the warning. Not the Japanese goverment. The Goverment is only following the recommendation. According to the W.H.O, "Children are susceptible to radiation poisoning from iodine, which can accumulate in the thyroid and cause cancer."

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Norborito and what I'm saying is read what the WHO publishes as well.

The WHO Reports:

the guideline value (300 Bq/kg) set by the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan for restriction of drinking water intake.

"It should also be noted that the Japanese guideline value is an order lower than the internationally agreed Operational Intervention Levels for I-131 (3000 Bq/kg)

Again, all I'm saying is the Japanese levels are lower then the "internationally agreed" levels.

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Most bottled water was tap water before it was put in a bottle. Most is not mineral water. It may have been filtered.

I have my own filter, so no need to buy bottled water.

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I agree with keeping as much supplies as possible. If you can't store it in your small apartment, find a friend or family member close by that can maybe hold it for you. Holding a least a weeks worth of water and such doesn't take that much room.

Trust me I know, the wife happened to just go shopping for water and noodles and canned veggies right before this all happened. Good thing too because shelves were bare. She started eating things out of the fridge first, and then slowly tapped into her supplies.

Those boxes that case (6-8) litter bottles are nicely packaged in sturdy boxes, unlike here in the states. And just stack other can goods / ramens and what not on top of that. It doesn't take up anymore room than those old box set TVs.

It would at least hold you over for a few days to a week if rationed correctly. You binge eat, or just suck it all down asap, or wait until disasters happen. Well then.... it won't work.

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Radio-iodine is one of the expected products of a damaged nuclear reactor ... and it will go wherever the wind goes.

Knowing an iodine issue was very likely, the government and industry should both have immediately acted to move huge amounts of bottled water into the Tokyo area, buying out the whole south of Japan if necessary.

Water PURIFICATION units - the big ones, not home devices - should have been brought in by the SDF as well so people could bring their own containers and have them filled as a longer-term solution. If Japan didn't have enough such purification units, several friendly nations could have flown them in on very short notice.

It sounds as if the government dropped the ball here. However it must be noted that there was so much ELSE going on that some details were bound to be overlooked.

There is still time to FIX this situation however, IF action is prompt and decisive. Food and clean water MUST flow into Tokyo immediately. It seems the critical point is being reached right now and there may not BE any supplies within just a few days. This would be a new disaster with millions of victims.

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Tokyo has plenty of food and bottled water. Most of it is sitting in various homes already. ;)

Tokyo is and shouldn't be the main-concern here. The real need and disaster is further north.

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Tokyo is something like 40% of the economy? Of course it's the main concern.

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I am totally against the panic buying in Tokyo or other places as we got enough food and drink, others don't have access to those and need them.

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I agree with Zenny11. I always kept a full (6) liter box of water, and 3 boxes of MREs when I was stationed in Japan. Plus I kept spare batteries and those 100Y flashlights, and 2 real durable ones that were even water proof. Also had a good size water cooler for ice incase you wanted to keep things cool.

If you can prepare yourself before the fact. Then there should be no reason to panic horde. Causing people to do stupid things like buy 9 cartons of milk.

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Tokyo is something like 40% of the economy? Of course it's the main concern. And who feeds Tokyo?

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People in Tokyo are that little bit more selfish, which is why it was really important to stop the press creating hysteria and panic. After hearing stories about people wasting bottled water on things like washing dishes (wtf?) it wouldn't surprise me if there were some people buying bottled water for their pets and not thinking about the people who need it most.

As I have a 4-month-old baby, I'm really grateful that a lot of shops placed limits on how much water each person could buy and local authorities responded very quickly to supply water to mothers, even though the risk was miniscule. There is a very strong group mentality in Japan, but people, especially in cities, often forget which groups they belong to when no-one is watching. Those AC commercials have been really annoying, but very effective in reminding the Japanese who they are ; on the whole kind and considerate ; it's just that they sometimes forget.

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when the 3.11 earthquake hit, i thought the panick buying was totally stupid (i.e. bread and water), but now that the water has been irradiated some of the panicking is justified. it's really starting to freak people out.

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Plastic from bottles can contaminate water with endocrine disrupting chemicals. Also, bottled water is not regulated very well, so it could be worse than tap water. I think people are just irrational in their buying.

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I gave my neighbor(chinese married to japanese) my stock of water from the emergency kits as "for just in case" as those bottles are good for another 4yrs, they got a newborn. And replaced them with bought water from the super, my son is 10 so we are fine with current levels.

Don't have much monies but try to help out in many other ways.

Been teaching locals to make bread in a fry-pan, etc, also taught them to make Pemmican, etc. Also giving assistance on survival training, etc.

Many of us don't have a lot of money to donate but we got other knowledge, etc to share to help. My MA training as well as my Military, etc background are coming in handy and I get asked for advise often.

Sometimes trying to keep people calm and on the level and sharing info is the best we can do.

We don't need to donate large sums in order to help, sometimes a shoulder is all that is needed.

Just my view.

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Badge123: you are a bit misleading when you quote the 3000 Bq/l figure. the WHO recommends only 10 Bq/l for drinking water. the 3000 Bq/l statistic is for the IAEA intervention level for a NUCLEAR EMERGENCY. so even the current levels of 79 Bq/l are higher than the WHO recommended level.

btw, the japanese figure of 300 Bq/l is used only during emergency situations. please check out the WHO website under FAQs: Japan nuclear concerns for more info. jump to page nine for info regarding water safety.

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Someone please check my Japanese understanding, but from what I read, the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology has stated on their website (in a PDF) that pregnant women would drink Tokyo water for everyday of their pregnancy and still be safe. Even if the levels were up to 500 becquerels.

So, the levels of 100 for babies and 300 for adults are extremely conservative - as I think they should be. And they aren't talking about drinking for a few days.

I could be wrong so maybe someone better at Japanese than me could set the record straight.

I still think it would be good if we could leave the bottled water for the pregnant, babies and kids. Seems to be a lot of green tea, aquarius, pocari sweat, beer, and 24,000 other varieties of drinks that adults could buy. Lots of people probably didn't even drink water until the news yesterday!

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The current panic buying in Tokyo shows how stupid people are. Seriously, even with the disaster in the north, Tokyo didn't had any significant production/import losses, the amount of available supplies didn't change. It's not like a country where war would restrict the number of available supplies, we actually would have enough here if everyone jsut cotinued to shop as usual. Unfortunately all the brain dead panic buyers are creating the crisis themselves with their behavior, resulting in a false shortage os supplies. Worst of all, instead of starting to use their hoard, most of them probably continue to buy even more supplies every day out of greed.

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the amount of available supplies didn't change.

No grasshopper - the supplies of normal drinking water did decrease. They were found to be poisonous.

My wife would easily go through 100 litres of tapwater per day for various activities. Take away that water and she would want 100 litres from somewhere else. 10 million people in Tokyo probably want 100 litres fro somewhere else too.

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I think this is going to create mountains of empty PET bottles.

"panic hoard. Causing people to do stupid things like buy 9 cartons of milk"

There was no milk in the supermarket tonite. Oh, well, no hot cocoa again tonite. Maybe next week. Gotta keep remembering that many people up north have it way worse.

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Oh, well, no hot cocoa again tonite.

I am so sad you dont have milk... it makes me depressed.

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I used to buy bottled water at my nearby supermarket because it was cheap (68 yen for 2 liters) and I preferred the taste. But the only kind that I can find now is the expensive stuff, so my supply has already run out. I would definitely like people to stop buying up all of the water! Surely you've all stocked up by now.

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