Letters to the Editor

Letter: Radiation fears were overblown

Why does the Herald continue to give publicity to the overblown concerns being raised by a “Hanford watchdog” about contamination being found in the filters of some Hanford workers’ cars (Sept. 5 issue; front page said “Trouble in the air: Radioactive contamination is found in filters on workers’ cars, Hanford watchdog says.”)? After you published a similar article on Feb. 21, I pointed out that the radioactivity level found in the materials in the filters was lower than the radioactivity level in a banana (letter-to-editor in Feb.27 paper).

Let me now give another example to show that this is much ado about nothing. With material containing radioactivity at the level reported in the February article, a person would have to get about a half-pound of that material in his/her lungs before the radioactivity would reach the level that could be reliably detected by the highly-sensitive “lung counter” used to periodically check Hanford workers. I don’t see how any workers could get half a pound of such material in their lungs; if they did, I think they would have much bigger problems than could possibly result from the contained radioactivity.

John L. Swanson, Richland