Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Metallic Tastes in Mouths Proves Nuclear Disaster in Japan! Or Does it?

Once again, Arnie Gundersen and a bunch of illogical panic stricken fools say something stupid about Fukushima and radiation. 
Green Day - Panic Song
They are now saying that there is "anecdotal evidence" of people having a metallic taste in their mouths and, from this, they draw the wild conclusion that this means there is an uncontrollable nuclear chain reaction going on at Fukushima. This nonsense has no basis in science, reality, nor does it have any evidence backing it up. It is fantasy. I has no real meaning to anyone who actually has more than two brain cells functioning.

These alarmists like Gundersen are getting desperate for something bad to happen. It doesn't happen, so they are going to create a buzz about something and create a panic. Gundersen is in the wrong job. He probably would have been better at buzz or guerilla marketing. Isn't there a law against instigating panic? Isn't there a law against yelling "Fire" in a crowded movie theater where there isn't one?

Now, Gundersen is claiming that this "anecdotal evidence" proves nuclear contamination in Japan because some people report a metallic taste in their mouths. Just, who is reporting this? 

From Washington's Blog, this sensationalist schlock:

The Russian scientists and firefighters who fought the Chernobyl fire reported a "metallic taste" in their mouth. That taste was from radioactive iodine. (It is well known that all iodine has a metallic taste.)

"It is well known that all iodine has a metallic taste"? Really? Can anyone confirm this? I've drank it before for a medical checkup that required using diagnostic scanners and it tasted like liquid talcum powder to me. And, what does this have to do with Japan? Nothing really, excepting that Arnie Gundersen says "there's widespread anecdotal eveidence of people reporting metallic tastes in their mouths." 

Oh really? Here's what I found out after a search on Google about "metallic taste in mouth":

Let's see... Take your pick. Click on any one of them about metallic tastes in ones mouth:

1) Does anyone get a metallic taste in their mouth from anxiety? ...

3) Metallic taste in mouth now being reported in Japan and US west coast — Telltale sign of radiation exposure (Oh no. This one doesn't count. It's the same BS story from Gundersen. There are no stories about people experiencing metallic tastes in their motuhs excepting ones linked and related to this Gundersen story claiming ancedotal evidence. That's a royal FAIL Gundersen! Can't have facts, so let's capitalize on people's fear and paranoia and get them to imagine that this metallic taste is from Fukushima! Great idea!

Somebody please punch this guy or at least put a bucket on his head.

Here's more search results:

5) Metallic Taste in Mouth - Information from a dentist about how medicines cause metallic taste. 

6) Here's a Japanese Happoshu (kind of like beer) that actually brags that its flavor has a metallic taste: Kirin Tanrei Happoshu Review | MoIppai A light, soft, slightly metallic tasting happoshu from Kirin. Like most happoshus it has that odd metallic taste to it, but it's not too overpowering in
Happoshu outsells beer in Japan by a margin of over 2 to 1. 
You can bet that there's lots of us with metallic tastes in our 
mouths from drinking this swill.

The MSN article is interesting. It says:

In general, when a person’s ability to taste is altered, there is a problem with their taste perception and/or sense of smell (olfactory system). Most often it is a temporary nuisance, but sometimes it can be a long-lasting concern. To figure out what is going on with your wife, let’s go over some "tasty" facts.

Your mouth contains around 10,000 taste buds, most of which are located on and around the tiny bumps on your tongue. However, there are others under the tongue, inside the cheeks, on the roof of the mouth, on the lips and even in the back of the throat. Every taste bud detects five primary tastes:
  • Sour
  • Sweet
  • Bitter
  • Salty
  • Umami--salts of certain acids (for example, monosodium glutamate or MSG)
All tastes come from a combination of these basic taste sensations.

Your wife is experiencing an altered sense of taste (dysgeusia). This can be disguised as metallic, foul tasting or some other sensation. Since you didn’t provide too much information about her, we will need to do some detective work.

Even with a long history of people having a metallic taste sensation in their mouths - translation: this is nothing new or unusual, the hyperventilating sensationalist tabloid crap continues:

There is substantial evidence of ongoing nuclear chain reactions. Another piece of evidence - as pointed out by nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen - is that there are widespread anecdotal reports of people in Japan and the West Coast of the United States reporting a metallic taste in their mouths:

How having a metallic taste in one's mouth proves ongoing nuclear chain reactions is left up to the reader's (or, in this case, the writer's) wild imagination. Haven't any of these people drank canned beer?

Also, they fail to mention that radioactive iodine has a half-life of 8 days  and it still reportedly has a metallic taste in some people's mouths (as opposed to canned beer that has a metallic taste in everyone's mouth!) 

But that is not enough to get everyone in a panic and get their dander up. The world is coming to an end for sure....

Excepting one teeny weeny little details at the very end of the article. It says:

Note 2: There are, of course, other sources of "metallic tastes". 

Yes. Indeed. There are other sources of metallic tastes. But talking about pregnant women or cheap assed beer doesn't make for fun or sensationalist crap, does it?


boo said...

I can think of a few other causes:
1. Ketogenic diets: One day on low-carb is enough sometimes.
2. Any number of infections (due to inflammation or minor allergic reactions) in the stomach or mouth.
3. Any number of fairly common medicines, including tetracycline (a common acne treatment).
3. Two types of metallic fillings can cause induction under the right circumstances: metallic taste results.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I listen to Metallica, I get a heavy metal taste in my mouth.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I think worrying about radiation all the time can result in metallic tastes in the mouth. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mike

Some possible causes:

1. Your tooth fillings are working loose.

2. You are Robocop.

3. You've just had a drink of that Happoshu crap.

4. It's Christmas Day, and you've just found one of the silver coins your mother hid in the Xmas pudding. (UK only, possibly.)

5. You've just been punched by an iron fist in a velvet glove.

Will somebody please give this Gunderson guy something to do, so that he will shut up. I'm hearing a lot of "anecdotal evidence" that all this self-publicity is an attempt to win some work.



Anonymous said...

At this point, calling Gundersen puts you in good company...every other nuclear official/scientist (all bought off by the industry) that said nuclear containment issues were a zero percent probability. Oooppsy-Doopsy! Granted, a metallic taste in the mouth is NOT scientific...but if all things remained consistent, and I tasted something "metallic", and I lived in Seattle during the disaster, I'd be at least mildly concerned. Especially given the government's consistent under reporting of the actual radiation releases. Bad mouth him all you want, I suspect you were bad mouthing him BEFORE the accident too. I guess it becomes an issue of credibility at that point, and the my money is on Gundersen.

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh! "Marketing Japan"! That explains EVERYTHING. Your agenda isn't public health, it's putting money in your pocket..."It's all fine here! Just a little nuclear meltdown...Everything is FINE." There's that's the defining difference between you and Gundersen again. Credibility.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Hello!? Annymous. If anyone is selling something it is Gundersen. before you believe what that guy said (and he's already been hugely discredited by Scientific American and several others) go see what his job is at Fairweinds Associates. That guys has the agenda. Wake up.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Dear Anonymous:

You wrote: "I suspect you were bad mouthing him BEFORE the accident too."

Wrong. Never heard of him until he started mouthing off ridiculous nonsense. Check Fairewinds Associates and see what that company does. Now Gundersen is a guy aiming to make money off this accident. Not me.

Anonymous said...

every other nuclear official/scientist (all bought off by the industry) that said nuclear containment issues were a zero percent probability....

More made up "facts"..."every other nuclear official/scientist"?... "all bought off by the industry"?
Sounds like pulling data out of one's ass. Where's your proof?

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