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Posted: 6/11/2002 5:43:30 PM EDT
Dirty bombs have been a heated subject on CNN's Crossfire the past few days, and it's got me thinking about how to deal with one. Obviously, the best thing to do would be to stay indoors and keep all the doors and windows closed. However, there is still a need for fresh air, and newer homes have open ducts from the outdoors to gas furnaces and the like. These would have to be covered or filters placed over them. So the question arises, how would one go about filtering outdoor air to remove radioactive contaminants? Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 6/11/2002 5:46:12 PM EDT
My plan is to pop KI pills, put on a dust mask, and git the f outta dodge.
Link Posted: 6/11/2002 6:17:43 PM EDT
The problem with a dirty or dispersal type radiological bomb isn't really the radiation. Since the bomb is, in effect, its' own fallout, poisoning is the problem. Uranium and plutonium can kill by being used in a fission weapon, in a fusion weapon as the fission igniter, by directly poisoning you, and by causing really horrible liver, lung, bone, and brain cancer as a mutagen in very short order. Since the chances of you inhaling enough dispersed Pu or U particles to poison you is probably very slim due to he strong tendency of the metals to fall and not be easily stirred up, this route of death is not very probable. What is probable in the event that a radiological dispersal type of weapon is detonated is that you will inhale a few particles. This will not be enough to poison you or burn you radiologically, but it will be enough to act as a potent mutagen that is not easily removed from your body by your kidneys. Expect really horrible fast growing metastatic lung and bone tumors mostly, followed closely by liver, brain, and possibly kidney cancer. This will crop up and probably kill you in 6 months to three years. If you ever fantasized about being a bank robber, you won't have anything to lose at that point, so go for it. On the plus side, don't worry about it. This is every bit as much a threat as anthrax in reality. And remember the millions who died from that? I don't. In reality most of the threat is gone with the first light rain. The bomb is only a real threat if detonated at +\- 1000 feet over a well populated area with good steady winds. This is a psychological weapon. Remember, you are probably pretty smart, but most folks are idiots. They are incapable of rationally and calmly reacting and making decisions. Manhattan would become a ghost town for a long time if not forever of one of these was set off over Wall St. or 6th Avenue and 48th. Since the governemnt has worked steadily to make everyone with a lick of sense totally distrust them, government reassurances that the threat was over after a rainstorm would be met with disbelief and people would not return even though everything was OK and there were zero to few casualties.
Link Posted: 6/11/2002 11:49:10 PM EDT
My answer is strikingly similar to AlClenin's. Q for poikilotrm - would a mask or better yet, a respirator help? TIA
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 10:36:57 AM EDT
Okay, a lot of this is speculation, and there are a lot of variables to consider. But let me use my own situation as an example. I live about 35 miles NNW of Denver. Say Abdul bin Asswype detonates a dirty bomb in Denver, and the prevailing winds are right at me. My thinking is to stay put inside the house and make sure it is airtight. Ideally I'd like to put filters on the fresh air ducts to the furnace from the outside, but I don't know if this is practical. As a last resort they could simply be sealed off. Eventually a combination of wind, rain, cleanup, and possibly other mechanisms would make it safe to exit the house and evacuate to a safe area if necessary. This strikes me as the logical approach to handling this situation, assuming I'm not right on top of the detonation. Bugging out in the family SUV seems like it would be fraught with many more problems, including traffic and my fellow citizen's overwhelming self interest.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 10:42:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By marvl: Okay, a lot of this is speculation, and there are a lot of variables to consider. But let me use my own situation as an example. I live about 35 miles NNW of Denver. Say Abdul bin Asswype detonates a dirty bomb in Denver, and the prevailing winds are right at me. My thinking is to stay put inside the house and make sure it is airtight. Ideally I'd like to put filters on the fresh air ducts to the furnace from the outside, but I don't know if this is practical. As a last resort they could simply be sealed off. Eventually a combination of wind, rain, cleanup, and possibly other mechanisms would make it safe to exit the house and evacuate to a safe area if necessary. This strikes me as the logical approach to handling this situation, assuming I'm not right on top of the detonation. Bugging out in the family SUV seems like it would be fraught with many more problems, including traffic and my fellow citizen's overwhelming self interest.
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Of course, the roads will be packed with people trying to evacuate the fallout zone. But not being in the fallout zone is still the best way to avoid fallout. Would you want to watch yourself and every family member die slow, agonizing deaths because you missed a crack somewhere and sit in a fallout zone, feeling as safe as the kitten who is invisible, because his head is hidden? Scott P.S. I said it before. Here it is again. The best defense against I-131 is a diet rich in Iodine source foods, such as kelp. Or taking iodine source supplements [b] EVERY DAY[/b], not just popping KI or KIO3 when the device pops.....
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 11:02:58 AM EDT
Ok, an answer! Any filter rated n100, r100, p100, or HEPA will do just fine filtering out bad stuff. No difference as to a paper mask or a cartridge mask so LONG AS IT ACTUALLY FITS. That being said, I would probably go with a neoprene/silicon reusable mask, equipped with p100 filters, since making sure the seal is tight is easier than paper masks. For a house, I would trick up an air intakes with plastic and duct tape, using widely available HEPA furnace filters. I would also buy a cheap tyvex painters overalls, with booties, to keep the dust out of my clothes and make decontaim easier. These filters/masks/overalls are available at any home center store. (or at least they are until TSHTF) KI tabs are USELESS in this scenario because there is NO radioactive iodine being released. So save your tabs.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 11:41:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By legrue: Ok, an answer! Any filter rated n100, r100, p100, or HEPA will do just fine filtering out bad stuff. No difference as to a paper mask or a cartridge mask so LONG AS IT ACTUALLY FITS. That being said, I would probably go with a neoprene/silicon reusable mask, equipped with p100 filters, since making sure the seal is tight is easier than paper masks. For a house, I would trick up an air intakes with plastic and duct tape, using widely available HEPA furnace filters. I would also buy a cheap tyvex painters overalls, with booties, to keep the dust out of my clothes and make decontaim easier. These filters/masks/overalls are available at any home center store. (or at least they are until TSHTF) KI tabs are USELESS in this scenario because there is NO radioactive iodine being released. So save your tabs.
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A good ,very well informed answer. In a "dirty bomb", the contamination is the real problem, and quite frankly, for the most part it is more of a psychological problem than a physical one. DON'T - "Expect really horrible fast growing metastatic lung and bone tumors mostly, followed closely by liver, brain, and possibly kidney cancer." There are documented cases of people having large confirmed assimilations of radionucliides and dying of old age. Forget about the KI; I-131 is a fission product. Unless fission has occurred(someone blows up an operating reactor or detonates a fissionable device), it is a non-factor. My concern would be potable water. Plutonium, as well as being highly radioactive, is one of the most chemically toxic substances known to man.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 12:36:08 PM EDT
All this talk of dirty bombs. I just don't get it. Why not wash them, so that they will be clean bombs ?
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 12:56:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/12/2002 1:13:40 PM EDT by Fearandloathing37]
Also The term DIRTY BOMB is misleading...The Term DIRTY FIRE would probably be much closer to the truth of how terrorists would elect to disperse nuclear materials. You will have noticed, the FBI stated that Gas Stations were locations considered by the terrorists as sites suitable for their Radiologigcal dispersion device. There is a reason for that. The smoke from a DIRTY FIRE will move down range, much farther than the dispersion of radioactive material that would occure as the result of a Dirty Bomb, all things being equal, at ground level. This is also one of the reasons that the Cyanide thefts in Mexico last month were so scary. The Idea in setting a dirty fire, is to allow it to burn for as long as possible and thus have the longest possible smoke plume, covering the widest possible area. To do that you have to make the DIRTY FIRE as deadly for the firemen trying to put it out as is humanly possible. I figure a Stolen Semi with the trailor filled with about 50 plastic barrels of Sodium Cyanide, 10 barrels of Sulfuric Acid, 20 plastic barrels of gasoline, and a couple of plastic barrels filled with powdered nuclear material suspended in liquid SuperGlue, Pulled into the middle fuel (Gasoline side) island of a large Truck stop Upwind of say Washington D.C. would fit the terrorists plan nicely. A couple of terrorists just hop out with AK's and shoot a few patrons till everybody flees, turn on all the pumps, set the sucker off, then wait across the street in the ditch for the first police car to show up, Gun the police car , killing a couple of cops and causing at least a half hour delay while Police find a way to take out the bad guys, while the fire dept is tied up blocks away, because the scene is unstable, And then cops and people down wind start dropping dead from the Cyanide. On a side street, on a fire engine a radiation meter starts to chirp...The huge plume of Oily black smoke is stretching for miles downrange tward the city of D.C.,....Do I need to go on, or can you all imagine the rest. The use of the term FALLOUT is also misleading, since it brings to mind the effect cause when a nuclear bomb is detonated at ground level. In a nuclear detonation as desribed, the Mushroom cloud rises miles into the atmosphere within minutes, spreading its deadly cargo of FALLOUT into the upper atmospheric currents, spreading radioactive particles and fission products for hundreds of miles. The smoke from a DIRTY FIRE would only go up into the atmosphere for at most a few thousand feet and would be much more localized.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 2:55:10 PM EDT
Because, as we have seen...our little Muslim friends love it when they kill lots of cops and firemen.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 3:15:17 PM EDT
keep in mind the term "dirty bomb" is a couple sticks of TNT and some medical grade radioactive material. several city blocks or a small town sized area is affected for about 4 months. back in the 80's when people talked about a "dirty bomb" it was a 20-40KT device that failed to properly detonate. one device would cause large "Texas sized" area to be uninhabitable for several hundred years. A lot of drums of spent nuclear fuel have gone missing and a single drum could be used in a "Oklahoma city" type device to make a large city uninhabitable for about 500-1000 years. it's a bad deal for everyone.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 6:44:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Tate: My answer is strikingly similar to AlClenin's. Q for poikilotrm - would a mask or better yet, a respirator help? TIA
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Helldog40 answered my question in another thread:
Also, you guys should also know that a good half-face respirator with OGV (organic vapor) cartridges will also protect anyone who may not have their medicine close at hand. A full-face ("gasmask") offers better protection (by a factor of 10:1) and also shields the eyes from irritant gasses and smoke.
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Link Posted: 6/12/2002 9:26:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 10:38:29 PM EDT
Run of the mill gas mask type filters are not going to prevent inhalation of most particles, FWIW. In the event of such an exposure in an urban area the best place to be is in the inner region of a skyscraper near the top(not all the way at the top as some particles will initially settle on the roof) They will rapidly drift down to ground level. If you must go out carry your children to keep them away from the ground(it will be radioactive). To attemt to leave may be worse than finding an elevated protected area and biding your time depending on the circumstances. Maintaining distance from a radioactive source is imperative. Prevention of inhalation/ingestion is likewise important to prevent longer term damage, etc. The degree of risk and time until safe depend on the radioisotopes used in a "dirty bomb". It is really not a very good weapon for much more than terror. There are some ways to make it more lethal but I'll not discuss them here.
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 1:37:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Fearandloathing37: ...a couple of plastic barrels filled with powdered nuclear material suspended in liquid SuperGlue
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I thought nuclear material was stored in plastic tubes suspended in green (?PRELL) shampoo.... I saw a documentary or something.... Scott
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 3:55:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By drjarhead: Run of the mill gas mask type filters are not going to prevent inhalation of most particles, FWIW. In the event of such an exposure in an urban area the best place to be is in the inner region of a skyscraper near the top(not all the way at the top as some particles will initially settle on the roof) They will rapidly drift down to ground level. If you must go out carry your children to keep them away from the ground(it will be radioactive). To attemt to leave may be worse than finding an elevated protected area and biding your time depending on the circumstances. Maintaining distance from a radioactive source is imperative. Prevention of inhalation/ingestion is likewise important to prevent longer term damage, etc. The degree of risk and time until safe depend on the radioisotopes used in a "dirty bomb". It is really not a very good weapon for much more than terror. There are some ways to make it more lethal but I'll not discuss them here.
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"Run of the mill gas mask type filters are not going to prevent inhalation of most particles, FWIW." Sorry to tell you this, but that statement couldn't be further from the truth. And I don't think I would want to be inside any large building(read MASSIVE VENTILATION SYSTEM). Trust me when I say that any "ready available" nuclides will settle out quickly and will be more of a nuisance than a hazard. The ground will not be "Radioactive", it will be contaminated. Dispersal for this type of device is minimal.
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 8:17:10 AM EDT
DScott...The glue matrix is meant to both make the cleanup at the sight harder and hopefully provide toxic sticky smoke carrying radoiactive material....the idea being not so much to kill individual people, but to make large parts of the target city unihabitable for many years. The idea is to make it where your plutonium smoke residue sticks to brick buildings, streets, Ect and does not wash off easily. Human casualties are rapidly forgotten by the general public (witness how fast the dems have got back to the business of attacking a U.S. war effort.), But a massive fenced off, Love Canal type, radioactive wasteland that streched for miles across much of Washington D.C., would serve the terrorists well, in that, there would be no rebuilding this ground zero. If they used something like plutonium and did it right, the only memorial of a dirty fire attack, would be a chain link fence with big DANGER RADIATION signs that streched across many miles of D.C., for about the next hundred years.
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 8:30:06 AM EDT
[url]http://www.ki4u.com/free_book/s73p916.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 2:30:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2002 2:31:36 PM EDT by legrue]
Originally Posted By Rabbit9:
Originally Posted By drjarhead: Run of the mill gas mask type filters are not going to prevent inhalation of most particles, FWIW. In the event of such an exposure in an urban area the best place to be is in the inner region of a skyscraper near the top(not all the way at the top as some particles will initially settle on the roof) They will rapidly drift down to ground level. If you must go out carry your children to keep them away from the ground(it will be radioactive). To attemt to leave may be worse than finding an elevated protected area and biding your time depending on the circumstances. Maintaining distance from a radioactive source is imperative. Prevention of inhalation/ingestion is likewise important to prevent longer term damage, etc. The degree of risk and time until safe depend on the radioisotopes used in a "dirty bomb". It is really not a very good weapon for much more than terror. There are some ways to make it more lethal but I'll not discuss them here.
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"Run of the mill gas mask type filters are not going to prevent inhalation of most particles, FWIW." Sorry to tell you this, but that statement couldn't be further from the truth. And I don't think I would want to be inside any large building(read MASSIVE VENTILATION SYSTEM). Trust me when I say that any "ready available" nuclides will settle out quickly and will be more of a nuisance than a hazard. The ground will not be "Radioactive", it will be contaminated. Dispersal for this type of device is minimal.
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Rabbit, What he said is %100 true. Most "gas masks" are made for chemical agents and work by absorbing them in a charcoal filter. If you are filtering fine particles, you need a different filter, or a combination filter. See my post above. [edited because I don't proof read well :)]
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 3:02:41 PM EDT
Rabbit, I gave good advice. Fortunately, I don't live in a city. If you do, sitting at ground level in a traffic jam while fallout envelops you is a real shitty idea for you, but even more so for your children. Worst thing you could do is panic. If you're worried about the ventilation system, SHUT IT DOWN, at least temporarily.
Link Posted: 6/13/2002 3:17:36 PM EDT
Note to DScott You are mistaken, in that, it is Hollywood Nerve Gas, that is suspended in Green Liquid Prell Shampoo, Not Hollywood Plutonium. As seen in such ultra realistic movies as "The Rock" with Nick Cage, not only that, but Hollywood Movie Nerve Gas is mixed with acid!!! and will eat thru your suit faster than Alien spit. That's OK Scotty, you may resume washing your hair, your Liquid Prell or Johnsons Baby Shampoo, is not going to kill you.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 3:48:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By legrue:
Originally Posted By Rabbit9:
Originally Posted By drjarhead: Run of the mill gas mask type filters are not going to prevent inhalation of most particles, FWIW. In the event of such an exposure in an urban area the best place to be is in the inner region of a skyscraper near the top(not all the way at the top as some particles will initially settle on the roof) They will rapidly drift down to ground level. If you must go out carry your children to keep them away from the ground(it will be radioactive). To attemt to leave may be worse than finding an elevated protected area and biding your time depending on the circumstances. Maintaining distance from a radioactive source is imperative. Prevention of inhalation/ingestion is likewise important to prevent longer term damage, etc. The degree of risk and time until safe depend on the radioisotopes used in a "dirty bomb". It is really not a very good weapon for much more than terror. There are some ways to make it more lethal but I'll not discuss them here.
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"Run of the mill gas mask type filters are not going to prevent inhalation of most particles, FWIW." Sorry to tell you this, but that statement couldn't be further from the truth. And I don't think I would want to be inside any large building(read MASSIVE VENTILATION SYSTEM). Trust me when I say that any "ready available" nuclides will settle out quickly and will be more of a nuisance than a hazard. The ground will not be "Radioactive", it will be contaminated. Dispersal for this type of device is minimal.
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Rabbit, What he said is %100 true. Most "gas masks" are made for chemical agents and work by absorbing them in a charcoal filter. If you are filtering fine particles, you need a different filter, or a combination filter. See my post above. [edited because I don't proof read well :)]
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Sorry, I'm not familiar with any modern respirator that doesn't have a rating for particulates along with activated charcoal. If we want one just for "gases", we have to order the special filters; even the combination fiters are rated for particulates. I've been using the Drager's for the past couple of years, but the MSA's I used had the same type of cartridge.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 3:57:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By drjarhead: Rabbit, I gave good advice. Fortunately, I don't live in a city. If you do, sitting at ground level in a traffic jam while fallout envelops you is a real shitty idea for you, but even more so for your children. Worst thing you could do is panic. If you're worried about the ventilation system, SHUT IT DOWN, at least temporarily.
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I really doubt I would panic, considering that I deal with this stuff on a daily basis. We're not talking about "ground zero" here, we're talking about a contaminant laced conventional munition. Stay in your car, turn off the ventilation, and if your in a traffic jam just wait it out. If those terrorists are scaring the shit out of the guys who hang out here, I can't imagine how scared the rest of the sheeple must be.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 4:10:43 AM EDT
If the terrorists are gonna use shampoo, I hope at least it's the kind that makes womenz say "Yes! Yes! Yesss!" just like in the commercials.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:27:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2002 10:29:21 AM EDT by legrue]
Originally Posted By Rabbit9: Sorry, I'm not familiar with any modern respirator that doesn't have a rating for particulates along with activated charcoal. If we want one just for "gases", we have to order the special filters; even the combination fiters are rated for particulates. I've been using the Drager's for the past couple of years, but the MSA's I used had the same type of cartridge.
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People in the safety field will be ok. My post was more for the guy/gal who has no clue what to buy, what the differences are in cartridges/masks, etc. edited to add: I usually buy MSA's myself, but it is irrelevant since NIOSH has standardized things.
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