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August 01, 2019


A man peed in his backyard. He exposed his family to nuclear radiation

(Thanks to Steve K)


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Thermonuclear “Pull my Finger.”

Think what would've happened had he tried to hold it in.

You'd think doctors in Australia would know their patients routinely urinate outside.

Actually, the article makes it sound more serious than it was. I-131 has a half-life of only 8 days, and since the guy got a therapeutic dose, it wouldn't have been that much. And he wouldn't have peed it all out at once anyway. It would decay to a point it was undetectable above background radiation in pretty short order.

I used to work a lot with I-125, which has a half-life of 60 days. We would just keep the contaminated items in a big lead-lined box until they'd decayed to undetectability, then throw them away in the regular trash. Which is perfectly legal, by the way.

And there's another reason to not eat asparagus.

Radiation makes for scary press, which is too bad.
We live with constant radiation on several levels that are considered safe. Turn on a Geiger counter anytime, anywhere and you will get some clicking. This is background (naturally occurring) radiation. Granite counter tops send off additional radiation.
I ran uranium grade control for Exxon a few years. We had to filter out all gamma, beta background radiation to determine the actual ore content.
This guy's pee doesn't contain anything explosive enough to blow his nose. Rod Nunley is correct about medical radiation having a short half-life and goes away all by itself.

Yeah, I did medical nuclear materials control in college. Ain't nothing to be worried about. Radium kidney stones would be another matter.

I've had whiskey like that myself.

Let me get this straight.
He wore gloves to take a leak in the backyard?

Man, you science guys know how. to kill a perfectly good panic-buzz.

He was probably peeing outside because either there was a deadly snake/spider in his toilet or he didn't want to mow the lawn for a half-life to two.

"... for a half-file OR two."

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