Radiation and Tea in Japan


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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby JBaymore » Dec 3rd, '13, 22:32

Catfur is barking up the correct tree. Understanding radiation magnitude is important. This chart shows another measure..... Seivert levels:

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

I shared this chart a long time ago in the last "radiation" thread here on TeaChat that eventually deteriorated into a "morass" and was locked and deleted. Just one of many pieces of research from my studies when I was taking my college students to Japan in 2011 as well as my wife and I also in 2011.

best,

..............john
Last edited by JBaymore on Dec 4th, '13, 23:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Dec 3rd, '13, 22:43

JBaymore wrote:Catfur is barking up the correct tree. Understanding radiation magnitude is important. This chart shows another measure..... Seivert levels:

http://xkcd.com/radiation/

I shared this chart a long time ago in the last "radiation" thread here on TeaChat that eventually deteriorated into a "morass" and was locked and deleted. Just one of many pieces of research from my studies when I was taking my college students to Japan in 2011 as well as my wife and in also in 2011.

best,

..............john

Thank you, John.

And the old topic is actually still intact and in a safe place. Perhaps I could again bring it back to public eye as it is a shame to have it unavailable to those interested.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Saladin » Dec 4th, '13, 17:09

This is probably an extremely obtuse question ( sorry I'm not a scientist) but can things like pottery, or books, or the wood boxes in which they come become contaminated by radiation? I just read an article about salmon in the pacific being tested for radiation contamination, which of course has me paranoid about everything. I try not to get too wound up over sensationalist news..
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby JBaymore » Dec 4th, '13, 23:19

John,

The potters in Mashiko have been told not to fire their wood kilns with the wood from the local area. The trees took up radiation since Mashiko is not all that far from Fukushima and was in the downwind pattern a bit, and the firing ash falling on the wares and forming shizenyu will cause the pieces to be a bit radioactive. Pluss the effluent from the kiln will be contaminated too........ getting it into a more bio-available type in the soil. The process of converting a large volume of wood to a very small volume of ash concentrates the tree's contamination.

Scary...... not because of the HIGH level the pots might have...... but because that is not going away anytime soon for them. And is raising the prioces for firing the kilns.... which was already very expensive.

One expatriot potter (Euan) moved out of Mashiko, and even so had his wood source tested for radiation levels before he'd wood fire again at all.

best,

................john

PS: Old red orange and yellow Fiesta ware is seriously radioactive. The uranium colorant used was also contaminated with Thorium.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Dec 4th, '13, 23:37

I read on Artistic Nippon that they were not producing Soma-Yaki due to its proximity to this region, but they have resumed. I had wanted to look and see where Soma-Yaki is produced but never did.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Chip » Dec 4th, '13, 23:40

... just looked, it is virtually right there in Fukushima. From the Artistic Nippon Soma-Yaki page ...


(March 2013)

The Sue family who produce Somayaki items for our site are still unable to return to their home village of Namie.Therefore, Mr. Sue has started the process of setting up his own kiln in the city of NihonMatsu(in the middle of Fukushima prefecture). As his staff are scattered around the country and there is no clear date for their return, the kiln's output cannot return to its former level. However, Mr.Sue has indicated that he would be able to fulfill some small orders with the help of neighboring kilns. The good news is that despite a decrease in production and long waiting times,Somayaki is once again being created. If you have any requests for particular items please let me know and I will pass them on to the craftsman in the hope that we can meet your needs however long it takes. Thank you for continuing to support Somayaki.


It is with deep regret that we have to inform you that production of Somayaki is currently at a standstill. As you may be aware, the earthquake and tsunami which hit the Eastern coast of Japan on March 11, caused considerable damage to certain parts of Fukushima prefecture.
Namie village, where the production of Somayaki is based, was doubly hit, both by the earthquake and by the accident at the neighboring Fukushima Dai ichi nuclear power plant. Being within a 20 km radius of the plant, all the villagers have been forcibly evacuated out of the area.
We were deeply concerned about the whereabouts of the Sue family who produce Somayaki for our site and were very relieved to get word from them recently that they are safe. Having been on the move for weeks, they are now settled at an evacuation center in the Western part of Fukushima prefecture. However as their kiln was damaged by the quake, and as they have had no indication of when they can return to their hometown, we are unable to predict when Somayaki will be in production again.
Artistic Nippon would like to offer its sincerest condolences to the Sue family and their fellow craftsmen in their current situation. It is our hope that the long and distinguished tradition of Somayaki will not be diminished by the tragedy and will emerge stronger than ever in the near future.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Saladin » Dec 5th, '13, 01:07

JBaymore wrote:John,

The potters in Mashiko have been told not to fire their wood kilns with the wood from the local area. The trees took up radiation since Mashiko is not all that far from Fukushima and was in the downwind pattern a bit, and the firing ash falling on the wares and forming shizenyu will cause the pieces to be a bit radioactive. Pluss the effluent from the kiln will be contaminated too........ getting it into a more bio-available type in the soil. The process of converting a large volume of wood to a very small volume of ash concentrates the tree's contamination.

Scary...... not because of the HIGH level the pots might have...... but because that is not going away anytime soon for them. And is raising the prioces for firing the kilns.... which was already very expensive.

One expatriot potter (Euan) moved out of Mashiko, and even so had his wood source tested for radiation levels before he'd wood fire again at all.

best,

................john

PS: Old red orange and yellow Fiesta ware is seriously radioactive. The uranium colorant used was also contaminated with Thorium.



Wow, I had no idea that could happen! Most of the Mashiko pots I've collected over the last couple of years are probably pre-disaster. I was wondering if a pot, or its box living close to the danger zone become radioactive too? I'd hate for my pottery collection to be dangerous. Good to know about that old Fiesta ware! Lucy Rie bowls too no doubt..
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby JBaymore » Dec 5th, '13, 13:24

Chip wrote:I read on Artistic Nippon that they were not producing Soma-Yaki due to its proximity to this region, but they have resumed. I had wanted to look and see where Soma-Yaki is produced but never did.


Set up in his showroom, one of my dear friends in Japan has a display of represerntative pieces of work from a number of potteries in the area of Fukushima that are no longer able to work . Quite sad.

best,

..............john
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby bambooforest » Dec 6th, '13, 18:49

Saladin wrote:This is probably an extremely obtuse question ( sorry I'm not a scientist) but can things like pottery, or books, or the wood boxes in which they come become contaminated by radiation? I just read an article about salmon in the pacific being tested for radiation contamination, which of course has me paranoid about everything. I try not to get too wound up over sensationalist news..


I also wonder about this.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby AdamMY » Dec 7th, '13, 14:20

bambooforest wrote:
Saladin wrote:This is probably an extremely obtuse question ( sorry I'm not a scientist) but can things like pottery, or books, or the wood boxes in which they come become contaminated by radiation? I just read an article about salmon in the pacific being tested for radiation contamination, which of course has me paranoid about everything. I try not to get too wound up over sensationalist news..


I also wonder about this.



Unless you really understand radiation, the true answer to this will likely scare you. But basically anything can (and likely to some minor degree) *contains* radiation, if in the sense you mean contains some radioactive element. Though the doses from pretty much everything you encounter will be so minuscule it is effectively ZERO. Now this is not just items from Japan, this is from items from anywhere in the world -- heck, universe for that matter.

I mean studies have shown simply from sleeping next to someone leads to a measurable (but still effectively zero), amount of radiation increase that you would not get if you slept alone.

*edited to fix typo.
Last edited by AdamMY on Dec 7th, '13, 14:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby JBaymore » Dec 7th, '13, 14:34

Excerpt From Forbes:

Fukushima Radiation In Pacific Tuna Is Equal To One Twentieth Of A Banana

Tim Worstall, Contributor

"I’ve written several times here about the amount of radiation that the Fukushima disaster has spewed into the environment. And I’m always rather puzzled by a subset of the comments on such pieces. There seems to be a group of people convinced that we’re all about to drop dead from radiation exposure, that there is some vast disaster unfolding. I’m not sure why people want to believe this for it’s most certainly untrue.

One example of what I mean is the repeated insistence that pacific blue fin tuna have become so irradiated that they dangerous to eat. When actually the Fukushima radiation that would come from a tuna steak taken off a fish caught off the west coast would be around and about one twentieth of the radiation you would ingest from eating a normal banana. Which isn’t something we normally consider to be dangerous really."


(Utilized under Fair Use)

best,

.............john
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Saladin » Dec 7th, '13, 21:14

Gosh, why are bananas radioactive? Well, I grew up during the cold war so I was taught by the media to be terrified of atomic bombs etc., and the possible radioactive consequences. Unnatural (man-made) radiation is scary to most people. I don't particularly like getting x-rays, especially at the dentist. Every time I go they want to x-ray my head about ten times!
My girlfriend grew up in Washington State, and apparently you don't swim or eat fish down river from Hanford. We are exposed to enough scary stuff on a daily basis. Lets face it, we're guinea pig for certain things.. let the public try it until it causes cancer.
If I had books in my house that were dangerously radioactive I'd toss them out, and even some of my beloved pottery acquisitions. It's just sort of scary when you don't know, and there is lots of conflicting information out there.
http://www.turnerradionetwork.com/news/72-mjt
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby AdamMY » Dec 7th, '13, 21:39

Saladin wrote:Gosh, why are bananas radioactive?


I am by far an expert on this, but in my understanding Potassium which is found in very large quantities in Banana's (and in lesser amounts in other foods), has an isotope (same element but slightly different molecular configuration) that is radio active. So when you have a large enough concentration of potassium, you are likely to get some that is of the radioactive isotope as well.


Honestly yes Radiation is scary, and I am by no means suggesting anyone volunteers to stand in a giant version of a microwave or a nuclear reactor and see what happens to them. But the truth is radioactivity is a very natural occurring phenomenon, that humans have managed to capture its capabilities by concentrating it into amounts that can be used for both good and bad, (relatively safe and affordable energy, and devastating weapons). It is more so its use in weapons and the realization that the effects of the weapons extend much further than the actual explosion itself that has lead to such a scary picture of radiation. But the truth is, from everything that has been shown by scientific studies you need to be exposed to a massive amount of radiation for there to be any measurable increase in the chance of cancer.

Honestly, and I do not mean to be morbid, but given the fact of exactly what cancer is, the truth is that if you live long enough you will likely acquire it. Sometimes your body can deal with it before it is anywhere close to an issue, other times it needs drastic medical attention. But the truth when you realize cancer is an error in the replication of cells, and how often cells replicate in an average humans body, when taking into account the law of large numbers (given enough chances anything is likely to happen at least once), cancer will happen in anyone that lives long enough, and can be hard to link directly to an item such as radiation exposure.
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Saladin » Dec 7th, '13, 21:39

Rats, I ate Brazil nuts last night. http://chemistry.about.com/od/nuclearch ... oducts.htm :mrgreen:
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Re: Radiation and Tea in Japan

Postby Saladin » Dec 7th, '13, 21:52

AdamMY wrote:
Saladin wrote:Gosh, why are bananas radioactive?


I am by far an expert on this, but in my understanding Potassium which is found in very large quantities in Banana's (and in lesser amounts in other foods), has an isotope (same element but slightly different molecular configuration) that is radio active. So when you have a large enough concentration of potassium, you are likely to get some that is of the radioactive isotope as well.


Honestly yes Radiation is scary, and I am by no means suggesting anyone volunteers to stand in a giant version of a microwave or a nuclear reactor and see what happens to them. But the truth is radioactivity is a very natural occurring phenomenon, that humans have managed to capture its capabilities by concentrating it into amounts that can be used for both good and bad, (relatively safe and affordable energy, and devastating weapons). It is more so its use in weapons and the realization that the effects of the weapons extend much further than the actual explosion itself that has lead to such a scary picture of radiation. But the truth is, from everything that has been shown by scientific studies you need to be exposed to a massive amount of radiation for there to be any measurable increase in the chance of cancer.

Honestly, and I do not mean to be morbid, but given the fact of exactly what cancer is, the truth is that if you live long enough you will likely acquire it. Sometimes your body can deal with it before it is anywhere close to an issue, other times it needs drastic medical attention. But the truth when you realize cancer is an error in the replication of cells, and how often cells replicate in an average humans body, when taking into account the law of large numbers (given enough chances anything is likely to happen at least once), cancer will happen in anyone that lives long enough, and can be hard to link directly to an item such as radiation exposure.




Thanks Adam. I'm just your typical dumb-guy just hoping to limit his exposure to as many bad things as possible. I'm not worried about eating my beloved bananas, or the occasional trans-Atlantic flight, but a mercury-laced tuna melt, which may also be radioactive causes me to worry a bit.
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