picture of the day

Going back home

31 Comments

Wearing suits to protect against radiation, residents of the town of Futaba line up to leave Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, to visit their homes Thursday. Residents of Futaba, near the radiation-leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, were allowed a two-hour visit home to collect belongings for the first time since the complex went into crisis in March.

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31 Comments
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I guess those suits and masks are better than nothing.

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Looks like they are wearing raincoats.

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Not sure how much protection these raincoats actually provide. I guess it's more for their peace of mind than actual protection.

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Does anyone with any knowledge of radiation-protection suits know anything about what these people are wearing? Specifically, does it matter that their faces are exposed? Thanks. (Not looking for speculation, here.)

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The suits are just to keep irradiated particles from sticking to their clothing and following them outside of the contaminated area. The area they're going to is not that heavily irradiated, so they should be more or less safe with even those masks. Probably not effective for a long time stay, but for an in and out event it's better than nothing.

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Oh they look so Cawaii!! Now if we can just get some Louis Vuitton and Coach bag logos on them.

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NetNinja

Louis Pasteur would be more appropriate...

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Also the outfits from the feet to the top could be dispossed after use.

In another form or work it was the same for use in what we wore for safety.

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@5cents

Hhahahahaha, very few people make me laugh. That was right on time. *Raises can of RedBull - Cheers Mate!!

Do they have these XXL for Non-Japanese? Gomenasai!! Watsureta!!

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Actually, these suits do not "protect radiation". For that you need several centimeters of lead, which is not practical for clothing (although Lady Gaga would probably find a way). Their purpose is to protect the wearer from radioactive matter or particles from coming into direct contact with or adhering to the skin, where you could get radiation burns or maybe skin cancer in the future. Tht is all. Radiation itself can go right through the material itself. They really ought to be wearing lab glasses though.

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Sorry, I meant to say "protect AGAINST radiation".

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They look like standard food preperation outfits, mind over matter in this case, I dont think it will help them very much.

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I agree with shinjukuboy, Lead lined suits and boots Plus full on respiratory gear would have been the best protection against radiation in the air and soil. Cause what I'm seeing is really no protection. Surgical masks wont stop you from breathing in the radiation that's in the air.

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These suits are not meant to protect against radiation itself. Like a couple of pointed above, they are meant to protect against radiation sticking to your body, hair and clothing.

I got directions from my embassy for possible radiation leak, and they are kind of similar, for ex. wear a disposable raincoat outside esp. if it rains, shower once you get back in, protect all food in closable zip bags etc.

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@ NetNinja Marie Curie Designer bags would be better.

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I want to see a picture of the IAEA and the UN envoy that went to Daiichi. I bet they wore better protection than these Citizens. Whoever gave them those outfits were only concerned about radioactive particles and not radiation itself.

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Wearing those suits would not stop gamma radiation -that would still enter and exit the body with consequent effects.

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They protect against alpha particles but gamma would shoot thru it like a star-wars laser right into human cells.

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As others have pointed out, the "suits" won't protect against high energy radiation like gamma particles or even beta particles but would stop alpha radiation. However, the main radioactive materials which have been released into the environment don't produce alpha radiation - see below. I just wanted to clarify -"radiation" can't stick to anything. Radioactive material like radioactive caesium or iodine could stick to the clothing. The exposed parts of their faces have no protection and the surgical masks won't help very much except to avoid breathing in radioactive dust (i.e. large particles). I hope that someone will accompany these people with a dosimeter so that there's some idea of the level of exposure. The main idea with these "suits" would be to provide something that can be disposed of afterward to keep radioactive dust off their clothing. According to Wikipedia, radioactive iodine 131 produces 90% beta radiation and 10% gamma. Caesium 137 also produces both beta and gamma radiation but with a much longer half life.

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Seriously? They think shower caps are going to keep them safe from radiation? Dust particles, maybe, which can still clearly get on their face and in their eyes, but not rays or other particles.

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This kind of reminds me of the movie The Widowmaker, when they send people to deal with the nuclear reactor wearing simple chemical suits. Of course, I realize these people aren't going in to deal with the reactors, but you catch my drift -- they are being given woefully inadequate 'protection' for the potential dangers they face.

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One concern that seems to come up often here is the ingestion of particles into the bowels and body, where damage can be done from the inside. Lessons learnt from Hiroshima/Nagaskai? They have probably been told to keep the masks over their noses and mouths during their two-hour visit and not to eat or drink anything either.

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The principal result of this clothing will be to frighten those who wear it or see it being worn. The protection these people really have is that knowlegable professionals have surveyed the areas they are visiting and know that radiological hazard is small.

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(Not looking for speculation, here.)

Then you casme to the WRONG website.

I can't imagine anyone wearing this in the summer (like it isn't blazing hot already.) Those suits are gonna be so wet from the sweat, gross.

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One man has already died this month in the waste disposal facility, and another had to be treated last week for heat stroke.

Japan is not yet hot though. Just warming up...

Despite the uncomfortable clothing, it's time to get as much done as possible before the typhoons, the rains, and the savage heat are upon us.

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When authorities tested the residents for radiation after they returned from their homes, those from Minamisoma were found to have received up to 11 microsieverts, with those from Tomioka having received up to 12 microsieverts.

This quote is from a previous evacuees return home article.

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"Inadequate looking" is the thought that comes to mind for those suits.

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What did the people bring out , they must be home by now

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I'm not sure that the background radiation levels are the problem, so the suits are probably good enough. But inhaling the dust or bringing it out of the area is a bad idea. Sure, it's bound to be icky sticky in the suits but I bet they get a free decontamination shower when they leave the area.

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These clothes protect only from a dust. Very important after returning to clear clothes and things of a radioactive dust. Two hours in the conditions of weak radiation I think not dangerously. I am sure that in this situation psychological shock is much more harmful, than radiation. Rescuers in Chernobyl wore clothes from lead and gas masks. Nevertheless, some people didn't leave native places and till now live in the infected district.

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Nurse scalpel please! Just kidding, it is horrible what happened. I hope they are all safe

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