Monday, March 21, 2011

CPSIA - Good News and Bad News

Here's the scoop: there is no safe level for lead but apparently there ARE safe levels for radiation.

According to reports today, the radiation from nuclear material drifting over from Japan is "harmless". No one should worry one little bit even though the Japanese radioactive material is now on the EAST Coast of the U.S.: "Since last week, the officials have tracked the radioactive plume as it has drifted eastward on prevailing winds from Japan — first to the West Coast and now over the East Coast and the Atlantic, moving toward Europe. . . . On Monday, European officials said the plume had reached the East Coast after drifting over North America. One station that detected the fresh radioactivity is in Charlottesville, Va., officials said."

This is not a problem, believe me. For one thing, it's not lead, for heavens sake - it's only iodine-131, iodine-132, tellurium-132 and cesium 137. You probably put that stuff on your cereal, tough guy!

The radiation levels are so low that the experts won't release them. They probably don't want to bother us, the levels are so low. "The global network of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, an arm of the United Nations in Vienna, has detected the movements of the plume. The organization’s mandate is to monitor the global ban on the testing of nuclear arms, and it has more than 60 stations that sniff the air for radiation spikes. The group has declined to make the recent findings public, but it shares its information with 120 member states, some of which have divulged the status of the plume’s movements."

Experts point out that radioactivity is everywhere, what's the problem with a little more???

The federal government apparently agrees with this guy: "While the news of these radioactive substances being detected may startle some residents, the EPA has emphasized that the normal daily dose of radiation is 100,000 times higher than the radiation found at these monitoring stations. Every day, people are exposed to radiation unknowingly. Radiation is present in food, air, water, and even our homes, all of which are natural sources of it. Increased exposure to radiation can come from medical procedures and industrial occupations as well." [Emphasis added]

This is in interesting contrast to lead which as everyone knows is dangerous down to one lone, little atom. I know this because pseudo-scientists like American Academy of Pediatrics (fearful of bicycle licking!) and Consumers Union (terrified about 4th graders playing brass instruments!) have repeated over and over that there is NO safe level for lead. NO safe level, kids! They're experts so they must know, right??? At least they say they're experts . . . .

These folks pushed Congressional patsies to impose an outright ban on ANY children's product that might emit ANY lead into the human body. [Section 101(b) of the CPSIA] The CPSC Commission (really, the Democrats on the Commission) helpfully interpreted Section 101(b) to refer to ANY lead, meaning one atom. Nothing ON EARTH can be exempted on this basis, so nothing has been given a pass under the lame-o exemption provision of the act. Had trouble finding choices in new children's bikes this year? Want to buy a youth model ATV? Remember the days when you could buy rhinestones to embellish your children's shoes or pants or in the form of cheap jewelry without resorting to the black market? You can thank Section 101(b) for this absurd situation. L&K to the AAP and CU (and let's not forget the Queen Bee of the zealots, Rachel Weintraub of the CFA) for all this safety!

Thank heavens that AAP, CU and CFA aren't worried about radioactivity. That means there MUST BE safe levels of radioactivity . . . . I see, Fukushima prefecture spinach or milk isn't really dangerous - but it will give you a healthy glow!


Melissa said...

Spot on, Rick! Excellent, timely and relevant. I'd sent it to Nor for some ammo.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. The irony was not lost on me when they started talking about radiation in Japan found at "unsafe levels" in food. Only they said, those levels really aren't "cause for concern".

I could foresee the day when there was some lead contamination somewhere at levels well exceeding 100ppm and our government saying the same thing, oh well "there really is no evidence that this is unsafe".

In fact, they already do this. They haven't told anyone to take the "unsafe" leaded products away from their kids, but once you try to sell them to another kid they are now considered hazardous waste. Go figure.

Ben S said...

I am rather hoping this was an example of Poe's law. I'm over here in Portland, Oregon, on the front lines, prepared to sacrifice my radiative health for the sake of the rest of the country. I mean, just look at those numbers! And it's even worse in Washington, where they have twice as many sites!