Hysteria Mounts Over “Radioactive” Tokyo Water


The Japanese government has warned that Tokyo tap-water is contaminated with radioactive materials and that babies should not be allowed to drink it, prompting an immediate health scare as flighty Tokyo residents rush to buy up all the mineral water they can lay hands on.

The government admits radioactive iodine has been detected in Tokyo at a level of 210 becquerels per kg, significantly above normal levels.

It subsequently warned against babies or pregnant or nursing women from drinking this, immediately leading to panic buying of mineral water, with empty mineral water shelves and huge queues soon evident.


Fruit and vegetables from several prefectures have also been banned from sale after some exceeded government set (and exceedingly low) radiation limits.

Unfortunately, neither the government nor the mass media is highlighting the minuscule scales of the contamination or the highly precautionary nature of the health warnings, creating an immediate mass panic amongst a populace highly attuned to media scares and with virtually no ability to comprehend measurements of radiation.

In fact, it would be almost impossible to suffer ill-effects at the levels subject to warnings – the government estimates for a baby to reach the acceptable limit for radiation exposure (itself extremely low), it would have to drink 1 litre of tap water each day for a year.

Even larger scales of consumption apply to the amounts of contaminated foodstuffs which would need to be eaten by an actual adult in order to exceed exposure guidelines, let alone reach a level damaging to health.

Meanwhile, more level-headed physicians have pointed to research indicating more radiation may be involved in smoking a packet of cigarettes than in the levels currently subject to hysteria.

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    Avatar of stillcode
    Comment by stillcode
    22:29 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Japanese Government: "Don't worry, everything is fine. Radiation levels are too low to affect human health. Oh, by the way, don't drink tap water or eat vegetables."

    So which is it?! They must have completely lost the faith of their citizens by now. You can't trust what any government says nowadays.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:34 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    can you read its for babys and poeple that already are weak and 1 thing i am a father and dont give my baby water do you?? its not like any normal person can get sick from it or something the poeple in tokyo just panic over nothing

    Avatar of stillcode
    Comment by stillcode
    22:39 23/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Do you believe whatever the government tells you? Why do you think that the government has been censoring radiation levels in Fukushima and Miyagi ever since this crisis started?


    I'm an adult and I sure as hell wouldn't drink Tokyo tap water. Can you honestly say that by drinking Japanese tap water your chances of developing cancer in the future wouldn't increase even if by a little? I think not.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:03 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    There's a place in the UK that would get a dark orange color on the map because of the rocks in the earth, and while admitedly people don't live on it, I've walked my dog there for pity sake... Unless you live in the prefecture don't worry about it, if you're so scared of cancer the best way to ensure you don't get it is just off yourself now, because passive smoking is more likely to give you cancer than that water moron.

    Avatar of stillcode
    Comment by stillcode
    00:13 24/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.3)

    I'm not affected personally, however my girlfriend and her family are since they are living in Miyagi prefecture 70km away from the Daiichi Plant. Yes, I'm very worried that attempts by the government to put a smiley face on this situation could lead to her or her family members being at risk for developing cancer over the normal rate. We've spoken over SKYPE and she and her family too agree that the government has been censoring and downplaying the situation to the detriment of their health.

    It's not the background radiation that I'm worried about. It's the harmful radiation dose they may get if they eat the wrong food or breathe in a gasp of radioactive dust.

    Avatar of Odysseus
    Comment by Odysseus
    01:52 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.1)

    Enough with the idiocy.

    IIRC, someone on the forums posted links to regularly updated geiger counter readings from near the Daiichi plant. And where the hell is this "radioactive dust" supposed to have come from? Have there been Chernobyl type inner-reactor explosions that I haven't been made aware of? And no, the turbines are not in the reactors proper.

    Finally, if you're worried about drinking Tokyo water, you'd probably be best off never drinking it, since the levels of radioactive materials in the water are probably the same as they always have been. Even though Tokyo's one of the cleanest metropolitan areas I've been in (the other two being Osaka and Kyoto, being compared to cities around the world) there's still plenty of pollutants that will be able to enter the water supply that have trace amounts of radioactive isotopes that.

    Enough with the drama bullshit, it's getting no one anywhere while taking focus from important things. Like housing and feeding a whole bunch of people who lost their homes and rebuilding efforts.

    Avatar of stillcode
    Comment by stillcode
    00:04 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Please, follow the link that I posted above and you'll see for yourself. Fukushima and Miyagi are "under survey" and have been this whole time.

    Did you specifically hear about radiation levels in Miyagi and Fukushima? These are the places where radiation is likely the highest. From all of the sources that I've seen, they are reporting radiation levels for all prefectures except for those two.

    I have seen radiation levels for a few places within 20-30km of the power plant in Fukushima, but I have yet to see radiation levels released from places such as Sendai and Fukushima City. The 2 million people living in the nearby surrounding areas outside of the 20-30km are not being told their local level of radiation.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:50 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I listened to NHK this morning, and they were reading the radiation levels for all prefectures. What censoring?

    Sure TEPCO tried to manage information, but they got a mouthful from PM Kan for it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:48 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Little do they know that mineral water is just filtered tap water and the radiation is still there. :)

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:19 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    what if the watered was already bottled up before being contaminated

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:32 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not if the water comes from a different area... -.-'

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:15 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah. Like from here where the water is naturally three times as radiating as Tokyo tap water. Been drinking it for over 20 years and haven't died yet.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:17 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's... not how you test it. You should compare the number of cancer deaths per 1000 people in your area and an area with much lower average exposure to get a meaningful result.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    04:06 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    If it comes from an artesian spring it just may be slightly radioactive.
    Though filters and exchange resins would remove uranium and cesium just as they do lead and mercury.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:13 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Artefact, could you kindly put a massive statement at the end of your article saying that boiling the water doesn't help against radiation?
    It seems we have a lot of idiots in here.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:08 24/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Boiling water's actually far worse for radiation as it makes it into a vapor and your lungs are more susceptible to radiation than the digestive tract, though admittedly it's still pretty bloody minor at those levels.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    04:03 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Boiling would concentrate it they have these things called water filters that would remove the problem containment.

    If you have a reverse osmosis setup you have nothing to fear.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:34 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    You can get more radiation exposure from living close to a coal factory than a nuclear plant.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:41 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    it's not germs, it's radiation dammit boiling is useless.

    Avatar of Candy
    Comment by Candy
    21:21 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Better stock up on Rad-X and Rad-Away.

    Avatar of Gogetters
    Comment by Gogetters
    00:17 24/03/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    That's some good Nuka-Cola

    Avatar of araradude
    Comment by araradude
    21:54 23/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Crap, forgot where I left my Pip-boy! Now how will I know how much radioactive water and food I can take before instant death!?!

    Avatar of konakona
    Comment by konakona
    23:12 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    How to sell more stuff:

    1) Fake a radioactive leak.
    2) Spread news about it.
    3) ???
    4) Profit!


    Comment by Anonymous
    00:53 24/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    yea, i was just thinking that either the japanese government is extremely thick or they are trying to kick start the economy with mineral water

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    00:37 24/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    *Ding Dong.

    The price of Mineral Water Bottle has increased! The Japanese Government made a warning that vegies, fresh milk and seafood sold in the market are contaminated by uranium! Hirano Aya, Helmet-san is looking for you!

    *End of announcement.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:56 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Capitalism ho!

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:22 24/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    sweet! I can totally sell this water for 270% of the base price. I love this game!

    Capitalism Ho!

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:17 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    due to fear of radiation the price of bottled water has increased!

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:13 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    The Recettear references made me smile :D

    Avatar of Syobon
    Comment by Syobon
    07:36 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    hows the business bro?
    great, selling water like in radioactive Tokyo

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:48 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Bottled "spring" water is one of the biggest money-making scams on the planet. 99.9% of the time, it's local water 'filtered' and bottled.

    Why pay for something that you can get for (almost) free??

    And besides, 1/3 of the planet is covered in water.
    And out bodies are also composed of 1/3 water.

    Funny isn't it?

    Maybe I should sell some bottled spring water on [http://www.ebay.jp?]http://www.ebay.jp?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:06 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dont drink too much! You'll go into ghoulification

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:17 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    house wives have come in great numbers to buy the much saught after "water"!

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:34 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Be a ghoul then laugh at that rad water.

    Avatar of PikachuEXE
    Comment by PikachuEXE
    00:14 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think bottle cap PLANTS are my targets

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    22:12 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'd still go for coke

    Avatar of Yourtime
    Comment by Yourtime
    22:30 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    agree with @extrovertedotaku XD.
    well, all that makes me sad anyway.

    Avatar of obro
    Comment by obro
    22:04 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japan is so rad

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:10 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's so cold, but soooo funny. Not to mention true.

    Avatar of Rico21
    Comment by Rico21
    22:39 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    You play too much Fallout,don`t you?

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:40 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    It's just for laugh. Why so serious ?

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    00:20 24/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Look at his avatar.. I don't really think he can be... that serious.

    Avatar of Rico21
    Comment by Rico21
    00:33 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It was just a comment.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:50 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    And watch out for super mutants! Haha...

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:08 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now I'm in the mood to play FO3.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:57 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Water shelves just got hit by a tsunami of humans.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    17:02 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Funny how some Japan worshippers keeps saying there's no looting in Japan when the various banks that were cracked open in the Tsunamis had about a million dollar worth of money lifted by looters.

    Also, apparently Japanese hoard as well as anybody. You get the same kind of food/water hijacking in the event of an impending blizzards too. Same everywhere in the world.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:47 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Water shelves have been empty for a week or more...

    Have no idea where they found all that water in the pictures.

    Avatar of Maytaurus
    Comment by Maytaurus
    23:41 23/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tsunami : Revenge of man.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:49 23/03/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The radiationlevels of tapwater in our country is constantly 2-3 times higher than these scary levels in Japan... gotta love the media-induced frenzy..

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:24 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    hmmm, the human body alone contains on average 30mg of potassium-40, in which by itself is at 4000Bq... and they're worried about 210Bq... going on an airplane gives u around 450Bq of radiation... I'm guessing since people are THAT worried about 210Bq, they should 1} rip out their organs, 2} obliterate all the world's airplanes, 3) then get worried about the water, NOW, if only someone can explain all that to them...

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:15 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The effect of radiation is cumulative. Human metabolism will deal with radiation up to certain levels.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    04:21 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The onsens should have even higher radiation levels because the water is heated by volcanic heat deep with in the earth.

    Avatar of Shima-kun989
    Comment by Shima-kun989
    06:25 24/03/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    But then, why do they feel so.... refreshing?

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    07:54 24/03/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    That's because you're feeling the tingle of radiation wave eating your cells.

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