Former nuclear power industry executive and chief engineer of energy consulting company Fairewinds Associates told CNN earlier this week that residents of Seattle, Washington, are breathing ten “hot particles” per day of Fukushima radiation.
Hot particles are small, highly radioactive, and contain large amounts of radionuclides. They present significant health hazard when they enter the human body and are several orders of magnitude more dangerous than the same amount of radiation emitted from a large source over the whole body because if ingested or inhaled, they do damage to cells at close proximity, according to the Journal of Radiological Protection.
Radiation Protection Dosimetry, an Oxford Journal, notes that at intermediate distances the probability of lung cancer from so-called hot particles is high. “Ru hot particles might, indeed, exceed that from all other exposure pathways of the Chernobyl fall-out,” the journal wrote in 1988.