Monday, January 10, 2011

 There have been rumors that after Chernobyl and Hiroshima/Nagasaki, the only people that survived without radiation poisoning in close proximity to the radiation epicenters were people that coincidentally happened to be drunk when said incidents took place. There was speculation that something about the alcohol helped them escape radiation poisoning. There has been debate over whether their drunken state had simply knocked them to the ground, perhaps a ditch, and they -through sheer luck - escaped direct damage. Testing has shown that no alcohol at any level can actually prevent a person from being irradiated. Some people claim that small doses of liquor increase your resistance to external irritants, and makes you less susceptible to the radiation.

Now we need to talk about what is "radiation". There are mainly three types (there are more but we aren't going to talk about them). Alpha particles, beta particles and electromagnetic radiation (light waves aka, visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays and gamma waves). The light is broken down into ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. Ionizing means that it reacts with matter and can give it enough energy to break bonds and forms ions. When this happens it cells it can lead to cell and DNA damage. Gamma rays are the big problem, they can penetrate the body easily and are very energetic to damage the cell and DNA.

There is some science to corroborate the possibility of this theory. In reactor leaks, like what you would find in Chernobyl, 3-mi-I, or a damaged submarine, one of the isotopes likely to be released is strontium 90, which is absorved in the bones because it´s chemically similar to calcium. So you end up with nuked bones cooking you up from the inside. Not good at all.Wine, and apparently red in particular, contains strontium 85 (NON radioactive), so if you load up on booze you saturate the ammount of strontium you can absorb with the good stuff and thus the bad isotope just passes through without attaching to the bones.

Another possible truth -  The reason you hear so much about the thyroid during nuclear accidents is because one of the by-products of nuclear fission is radioactive iodine. It can collect in the thyroid and lead to thyroid damage or cancer. Now preventing ingestion of the radioactive iodine will prevent this. Also taking normal iodine in high does will also prevent it. It makes no sense that alcohol would "clean" the radiation out because if it did that would mean it is capable of removing the iodine. If that were so then every alcoholic that drink vodka would have an iodine deficiency and a goiter. Because this is not that case I don't see it have any effect. Ingestion of alcohol, specifically beer because of the "typical dosage," will cause a person to urinate with much more regularity, limiting the biological half-life of influential radioactive iodides, which in THEORY could also be accomplished with copious amounts of water

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