I am not stupid enough to believe that I need to find me a radioactive spider so I can become a webslinger, but I always felt some people, and in particular those with an agenda, exaggerated the risk of radiation. After all, radiation is everywhere. Sure Earth is blessed with a magnetic system that shields us from the brunt of the ugly stuff the sun throws at us, but the entire cosmos is about radiation, and a lot of it is not in the visible spectrum and considered to be quite harmful.
The fact of the matter is that radiation is with us at all time. Most people don’t know it, but the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Storage site was torpedoed by some devious and evil scumbags that demanded the radiation from the site be below the natural radiation occurring from the granite bed rock that was going to provide the ecological stability for the site. Yes, the earth produces radiation naturally, and we are exposed to it. I remember reading, a long time ago I admit, that many scientists believe radiation played a critical role in creating the complex organic molecules that produced life. And while the common belief is that radiation is so evil that after a nuclear war only roaches would inherit the earth, I always pointed out that since we had no reliable and measurable experience here – the effects of radiation in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and even the Nevada dessert where they tested nukes, seem to have really been exaggerated IMO – this was all conjecture.
Well, it looks like Chernobyl is now causing people to rethink radiation as well. Like with all things, what kills you isn’t that you are exposed to it, but how much of it you are exposed to. As I have already pointed out when having discussions about one topic or another around pollution, quantity is king. Shit, even too much water, a substance that is absolutely necessary for life as we know it, kills you! I remember some moron at work telling me all the men in Boston would soon grow boobs because some stupid Boston Globe article had pointed out all the water in Boston was contaminated with female hormones. I dug and found out that while they had found this contamination, it was like 3 particles per billion, meaning that someone would need to drink the equivalent of 3 lifetimes worth of water consumption for the average human to end up with the equivalent of a single hormone treatment dose. No dudes with tits there, man.
We know a lot less than we think we do, and we are learning that fact every day that science makes a new potential discovery like this one. Now beware of the Chernobyl man. I hear Khan came from something like that! Just kidding. He was the product of experimentation after the NHS doctors went on strike because of low pay and insane work hours demanded by penny pinching government bureaucrats that think doctors should earn the same amount of money as turd polishers do (all labor is worth the same!).