Friday, June 17, 2011

Radioactive air filters in cars!?

Arnie Gundersen says something really stupid again. Now he claims that there is dangerous radioactive "Hot Particles" in Tokyo car air filters and that this radiation is deadly yet it cannot be detected. This is getting really ridiculous. Seriously, is this old age, dementia or Alzheimer's with this guy?

His most recent idiocy is on Al Jazeera with an article entitled, Fukushima: It's much worse than you think.

Radioactive air filters from cars in Fukushima prefecture and Tokyo are now common, and Gundersen says his sources are finding radioactive air filters in the greater Seattle area of the US as well.

No. Gundersen, besides normal levels, there no "common" radiation finding in car filters in Tokyo. Fukushima is not much worse than we think. Your wild imagination and fast progressing senility is much worse than we, or even you, think. 
"Radioactive air filters from cars in Fukushima prefecture and Tokyo are now common"!? That's just total and complete bullsh*t. Jeez Louise, Gundersen, the ground around us emits natural radiation all the time! So does the sun! I'm sure that all cars emit some levels of radiation. It is a course of common sense. 

Are these levels of radiation dangerous or something to be concerned about? Not according to the University of Washington. But facts haven't stopped Gundersen yet from auditioning for the lead role in the new Chicken Little movie...

Well, I think, Arnie, you are failing miserably. If anything, the more you talk, the dumber you look. The only ones who look stupider are the mass and alternative media who blindly pass on your nonsense without taking a few minutes to research (or even think about for a moment) what you say. 

Just to show you what a crock of sh*t this idiocy Gundersen is saying is, I just did a Japanese language Google search looking for "車のエアフィルター 放射能." (In English this is "Automobile air filter + radiation"). There are zero results for this search excepting articles that refer to Gundersen as a source. Get that? Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Gundersen, you are caught red-handed! You are making up sh*t again.

Here's a screen capture of all results:

Are there any readers and Gundersen fanatics who do not believe me? Here's a shortened URL to the Google search: I hope that, by now, dear reader knows how to use Google Translation.

The Al Jazeera article continues with more fluff about dangers:

According to Gundersen, the exposed reactors and fuel cores are continuing to release microns of caesium, strontium, and plutonium isotopes. The hot particles on them can eventually lead to cancer.

"We are discovering hot particles everywhere in Japan, even in Tokyo," he said. "Scientists are finding these everywhere. Over the last 90 days these hot particles have continued to fall and are being deposited in high concentrations. A lot of people are picking these up in car engine air filters."

The hot particles on them can eventually lead to cancer.

"These get stuck in your lungs or GI tract, and they are a constant irritant," he explained, "One cigarette doesn't get you, but over time they do. These [hot particles] can cause cancer, but you can't measure them with a Geiger counter. 

Wait a minute, Grandpa! You just put your foot in your mouth again... What's this? You are quoted as saying at least three stupid things in one breath here: 

In one part you say about "Hot particles" that:

"Scientists are finding these everywhere."

Yet, you do not name these scientists. All the while you say that these "Hot Particles" are dangerous you also claim: 

" can't measure them (hot particles) with a Geiger counter."

Riiiiiiight. They are radioactive and dangerous but we can't measure them witha Geiger counter!? Earth to Gundersen! Earth to Gundersen! According to Wikipedia about "Hot Particles", under the heading "Attributes" it clearly states:

Hot particles can be identified by a Geiger counter, or by autoradiography. Their age and origin can be determined by their isotopic signature.

In a previous article, Gundersen makes another unsubstantiated claim. It is an audio interview with him. Here's a snippet from an interview with another fool named Chris Martenson who needs a convenient slap right up side the head too:

“Arnie Gundersen said he received 7 used auto air filters that came from Tokyo, probably from a repair shop. Five of them had no traces of radiation, but two of them were heavily irradiated. He said the fallout will be patchy..."

OK. I'm game, Arnie, old boy. Just how did you detect these Hot Particles in air filters "from Tokyo" (by the way, do you have a receipt and proof they are from Tokyo?) when you claim that the radiation, which is normally detected with a Geiger counter, is not detectable with a Geiger counter? Are you using some sort of sodium iodide crystal device or Ion chamber? Or is it just alchemy or some sort of magic potion? 

If your results would stand up to scrutiny, then why don't you make these results public (a Youtube video would be great - you seem to like being on Youtube) and also why can't you make these claims available for confirmation by other scientists (and no, I don't mean the "scientists" that you always refer to but never name) using the Scientific Method? 

Or do we all have to go and take your word for it?... The word of a guy who makes claims about all sorts of things using "anecdotal evidence" mysterious "sources" and other claims as proof?

It gets even more silly... Gundersen goes on to compare the dangers of "Hot Particles" in car filters to to the dangers of... are you ready for it?... Cigarette smoking!!! Laughable!

"One cigarette doesn't get you, but over time they do."

So, what you are saying Gundersen is that, besides not being able to keep your  story straight, with all the pollutants in our foods, water, industrial contaminants in the air and chemicals in our over processed foods, you think that this most recent news from your "sources" (Guffaw!) is cause enough for you to scare people and cause hysteria because the level of radiation is comparable to smoking cigarettes over a long time? 

Is anyone surprised when 
an over 75-year-old guy says some pretty wild stuff?

Oh please! Someone make sure Grandpa Gundersen gets his rest and makes sure he properly takes his meds everyday and on time. This guy is losing it quickly.

Grandpa, why don't you warn people about heart disease or high blood pressure? That kills tens of thousands more times the numbers of people annually than cigarette smoking does. From the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention here's the numbers for deaths of the leading causes of deaths (2007):

  • Heart disease: 616,067
  • Cancer: 562,875
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706

From the same site, in 1990, deaths attributed to smoking were, get this... 5,619! That's the most recent information I could find. Sales of cigarettes and tobacco products keep declining every year so I imagine that they've found it a waste of money to keep track of this anymore.

But Gundersen wants to compare the big bad "Hot Particles" to the evils of smoking when you have over a 200,000% higher chance of dying from heart disease or cancers (food preservatives, chemicals, too much salt, and car accidents). I also showed the relative dangers of this in a previous post entitled: For Every One Death Due to Nuclear Power, 4,000 Die Due to Coal in which the title of the post speaks for itself.

Gee, Arnie, why don't you do something more useful with your 15 minutes of fame and urge people to slow down and drive more safely? That would save a hell of a lot more lives than this nonsense you keep saying... 

Oh, but then again, I forgot. You work in the nuclear industry advising people on how to decommission nuke plants and not as an adviser to automobile safety organizations. But, nah! You don't have any conflicts of interest.

You are a REAL scientist!

Gundersen is a joke. I've already blasted Arnie for saying stupid stuff before. In Metallic Tastes in Mouths Prove Nuclear Disaster in Japan! Or Does it? I wrote:

Once again, Arnie Gundersen and a bunch of illogical panic stricken fools say something stupid about Fukushima and radiation. 
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.

"Anecdotal eveidence!" Isn't that hilarious? I already showed you how he has motivation for saying this and a possible conflict of interest (making him no more credible than, say, George Bush)... And speaking of "air" and "filters" I ripped him a new air-hole when he claimed that "the winds have now shifted and are blowing from Fukushima to Tokyo.

This most recent rubbish is just plain embarrassing. I guess the mass media is now latching onto Gundersen because they realize (as I demonstrated) that their last "expert" Michio Kaku was definitely a few CDs short of a boxed set. But, they'll soon see that Gundersen isn't any better.

I suspect, one day soon, people are going to realize that, when it comes to Gundersen, we are talking about a senior citizen here who seems to be losing his grip on reality. Anyone who has a father or mother over 75 or so, may have had  this experience. 

But I guess I shouldn't be too hard on the old guy. I mean, think about it, they say that radiation causes all sorts of damage to the body and to the human brain. There's no argument there. Gundersen also claims that he worked in the nuclear industry for over 38 years (something that has been proven as a gross exaggeration along with his claims of many of his other "qualifications" here)... If anything, I suppose that means that the nonsense he says is the best proof so far that radiation is damaging to humans. 

OK. Let's say that he did work at nuke plants for 38 years... That and Gundersen repeatedly spewing out unconfirmed, hysterical nonsense is a great argument that radiation does cause brain damage.


Anonymous said...

You seem pretty obsessed with the guy. From one writer to another, you're a lot more convincing when you don't call names. Invective only makes you sound like an angry old man.Anyways, why obsess with the guy if you feel he's a blowhard? I think there are more interesting issues to discuss. For example, this reactionary development on the part of Japanese society:

BlArthurHu said...

I'd like to reprint this in Asian Week, reply to this or send to arthurhu at hufamily dot com

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Dear Anonymous,
I am not obsessed with the guy. The mass media is and they keep printing his crap so that means, since there are few people who can rationally and critically analyze, I take him and the mass media on. People said I obsessed with Michio Kaku too but I blew him outta the water. When Gundersen stops making wild claims then you won't hear w word about him from me.
If you want to blog bout some actor losing his job because he speaks out then you can write your own blog. Big deal!
I MIGHT WRITE ABOUT IT. But as a former GM of a major Japanese FM station and president of an Ad and Talent agency, I completely understand why his agency would fire him.
No one ever said that actors, actresses or, say, sports stars were the most intelligent people around. They are paid to do look good and do as they are told. To think otherwise is foolish.
Maybe if he were a huge major Japanese star he could have gotten away with this opening his mouth about a subject that he is not trained in (that s the reserve of super stars) but, as a minor star, he is just a hot headed fool.

Anonymous said...

I regret wasting time reading this garbage.

The Polemicist said...


Is it true that massive amounts of radiation is currently being emitted from multiple meltdowns in Japan?

Is it true that massive radiation is being dumped into the ocean as Tepco pours water on the fuel rod pools?

Is it true that there is no viable solution being offered to stop the current meltdowns?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this up. I read that article on Al-Jazeera and knew something just didn't add up. Its scarey that such rubbish can be published as "news." Lets focus on things that actually might hurt us and try not to worry so much.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the part about air filters, the main point is that the disaster is way worse than the government or power company is admitting. This has been upgraded by many scientists worldwide to a disaster of Chernobyl proportions. Just look at some evidence:
Your bias against the science here is only serving to keep people from realizing the true extent of this calamity.

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Nope. Anonymous. Fairewinds?! Check your sources. Fairewinds is Gundersen's own company for chrissakes. You want to use that for evidence? Arie Gundersen operates a company that advises corporations on how to shut down nuclear power plants. That'w what he does and that's what he owns a patent for. Sure Fukushima is bad, but to say this shit is falling all over Japan and in Tokyo is just plain irresponsible. Where's the proof?

Anonymous said...

Nah, Mike, regardless of the part about Fairewinds, what Aonymous wants to say Gundersen's exaggerrations are way worse than what you even expose.

pinger said...

It is all in the sewage my friend. True, there is always a bit of conspiratorial hysteria in forecasting dire news - but there is a disaster going on, worse than the main stream media will investigate and report.

Anonymous said...

I came across this in looking for a source for Gunderson's claims regarding air filters (which I have not found on the internet).

When I started reading, I actually thought it was a child's writing as it was so emotionally charged and redundant with ad hominem.

For what they are worth - two unverifiable pieces of info - I have heard from two reliable sources that Tokyo is quite contaminated and that the area around fukushima daiichi will never be able to be used again.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this looking for an educated, objective and informed update on the situation in Japan. Unfortunately that was not to be found here. If you are discrediting Mr. Gunderson's evidence you should also back up your own allegations and assumptions with scietific data.

If you are suggesting that hot particles are easily dectable by standard radiation counters, perhaps you could explain how you would measure them? I'm sure the nuclear scientists and TEPCO would be most grateful for your insight. How many car filters have you tested for radiation and what were the results? Any conclusion from that?

I am not sure of the validity or purpose of your goggle search experiment, but I think if anything it proves Gundersen's point. The fact that a search on a Japanese search engine in Japanese on radiation in car filters in Tokyo doesnt bring any hits is hardly evidence that the situation doesn't exist. For somebody that claims to have spent so long in Japan you are showing an incredible lack of knowledge about how the media works here.

In all objectivity and without any ulterior motive, it does seem that despite the sensationalism, most of what both Kaku and Gunderson have stated from the beginning, from the actual level of the diasater, to the potential food contamination to the containment damage to the level of core meltdown has proven correct.
Not quite sure what your issue is or what you are trying to refute?

You sugggested Gunderson has a vested interest but judging by the title of your blog, maybe it is yourself that has the vested interest.

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this article looking for an educated and informed update on the situation in Fukushima. Unfortunately that was not to be found here.

As you point out it is your blog and if people dont like it they should close the door, and I will do that. But I am intrigued as to why the enormous anomosity and attacks of a personal nature toward Mr. Gunderson. If you are refuting Gunderson's claims may I sugegst you do so on a scientific basis.

From my understanding it is difficult to measure and detect hot particles. Especially once they are inside the human body. If you feel that is not the case perhaps you could suggest how you would detect these using a conventional geiger counter. I am sure the nuclear physisists and Tepco would be most grateful for this information. Interestingly you yourself note how you have taken numerous radiation recordings in Tokyo using a geiger counter and yet have never picked up these hot particles.

Regarding the car air filters, how many have you tested? What were the results? What conclusions did you draw from this? Better to share this data so that can be added to Gunderson's to give a more accurate reflection.

Without any ulterior motive, it does seem to me that what Kaku and Gunderson have said from day 1, from the INES level, through possibility for food contamination, through the containment damage to the compromised cores has proven correct. The fact that the diasaster was not a 4 but at least a 6 was noticed by them immediately and soon after the French. Not the British, nor the Americans, not the Japanese, not WHO and not TEPCO.

I can not comment on whether Gunderson has a vested interest, but judging by the title of your blog and your level of emotive content, I would suggest that perhaps you are the one with the vested interest.

July 8, 2011 1:58 PM

fluitek said...

I hope the news is not true. Why would they put a radioactive air filters in cars? Is there any reason?

plumbing said...

This is another situation that few know anything about but it just goes to show you that advancing our civilization is a very dangerous affair.

Ashley Williams said...

Hello!! I would like to support the fact that if such radiations exists in the Car air filters it should be identified and solved.But without proper research and studies popularizing such idiotic issues will never be entertained!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Arnie speaks the truth

Safdar Ali said...

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Jack Witson said...


Anonymous said...

The article is drivel.
nothing fact based offered just opinion.
If there is anyone who claims microscopic radioactive particles don't exist then then need to go back to bed. Of course they are going to accumulate in the air filter of a car... of course they are going to be detectable in that situation... A hot particle that has been inhaled is called an internal emitter. those particles that can be inhaled which then can become lodged in living tissue and deliver a concentrated dose of radiation to a small area over a lifetime... in that situation the level is too low to be detected by a geiger counter.
In fact scientist doing research on wolves near chernobyl still wear masks to avoid inhaling wolf dander because it is radioactive, and if inhaled would become an internal emitter.
Get your head around it! Were all screwed!

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