Gundersen: We just tested an air filter that has highest radioactivity seen in North America after Fukushima Daiichi — Found in Seattle HEPA filter used since 3/11 (VIDEO)

Published: July 7th, 2012 at 9:31 pm ET


Interview with Arnie Gundersen Capitol Forum July 1, 2012 At ~9:00 in

We just got a filter that was in for a year and a half. It was put in in February of 2011 and the owner forgot to remove it and took it out just a couple weeks ago. And this is a doctor in Seattle, and it’s the highest concentrations we’ve seen in North America are in this guys HEPA filter. It would have been in the house if not for the HEPA filter.

Published: July 7th, 2012 at 9:31 pm ET


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55 comments to Gundersen: We just tested an air filter that has highest radioactivity seen in North America after Fukushima Daiichi — Found in Seattle HEPA filter used since 3/11 (VIDEO)

  • X10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

  • jump-ball jump-ball

    I posted many times here during summer 2011 that air and AC filters in use for 3-4-5 months since 3/11 for cars, residential and commercial buildings in Japan, Hawaii and on the U.S. west coast should be tested and the results compared to identical tests done on used filters that had been taken out of use before 3/11, such as in impounded cars and home and commercial filter and AC units that had been taken out of service before 3/11.

    There must be plenty of pre-3/11 filters available, and the comparison tests could still be done, and the results would probably be very startling.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Who wants to go outside? ..I don't. And radiation inside as well. So, guess we won't have decent air till the plant is decommissioned.

  • lrpingel

    I was unable to view the video.. so please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't see anything indicating what nucleides were found. It is common for radon daughters to be deposited in filters, especially over such a long period. Gamma spectrometry would identify the sources. Otherwise this report has little meaning.

    • richard richard

      @lrpingel – i have questions from this short video grab. not trying to be a stick in the mud.

      two things – "highest concentrations we’ve seen in North America are in this guys HEPA filter" is an ambiguous statement. This could mean, well, the highest concentrations are not much. This also doesn't describe at what stage in North American history, so ie, no real time frame or particular location.

      my point is there is no specific number provided. it's a subjective statement. (i've raised this before when authorities say 'no level of concern'. now it applies the other way).

      the second point – in the last few seconds, Mr AG says, "what we are seeing now in north america, we're hardly seeing anything"

      but again, no actual numbers.

      like i say, not trying to be a downer on this, just saying.

      • pacific

        x1000. Richard, I live in the region and much as I appreciate Gundersen's contributions since 3/11, his VAGUENESS is infuriating. Why be vague?

        Why not tell us how much radioactivity was found in the HEPA filter, and what radionuclides? Why not tell us specifically where soil was tested with/by Kaltofen? Why not tell us where the organic farm was that shut down because its soil was too radioactive? Why not tell us all we should take Iodine back when he recently said he told his friends, back in March 2011? Why always say the only place that really got hit hard with radiation was The Cascades, that's a sparsely populated mountain range – what about the heavily populated valleys just west of it where most of the precipitation falls, as air masses meet the Cascades? I've said this here before, but naming a semi-remote place where few people live as being the only real danger zone seems like another way of vaguely telling the rest of us not to worry or take action.

        And while I'm at it, what is this 'distributed generation' he repeatedly tells the Japanese to lead the way with? I searched online and it seems to include SMALL NUCLEAR as well as safe sources like solar and wind. WTF?? And why is the book they wrote only out in Japanese, couldn't the rest of us take a look at it in English?

        I hate criticizing Gundersen, I know he walks a tightrope and so on to get information out without losing credibility, access to mainstream media interviews, etc. But…

        • flatsville

          >>>but again, no actual numbers.<<<

          >>>Why not tell us how much radioactivity was found in the HEPA filter, and what radionuclides?<<<

          Yep. I'm fed up with this nonsense too.

          Why be coy?

          "Trust me. I'm Arnie Gundersen," doesn't cut it. He is losing credibility like this.

          Let the nos. speak for themselves and if "officials" challenge him, all the better. He can then ask that they produce other nos. based on other testing. A debate can then ensue as to why the nos. are different, why some forms of testing are taking place and not others, etc…

          Since the the recent problems with SPF4, I am tired of half-wit explanations from "experts," "commentators," "reporters," and lack of data to back up claims.

      • Pierpont

        Does Gundersen run this blog?

        • richard richard

          hi Pierpont – well, no, i suppose. But what's the real question? I'm referring to the info coming from the video, i don't specifically pick a personality to relate to.

          Sorry to be vague, I don't see if that was an answer or not?

        • mem mem

          Interesting question

      • Pierpont

        Well, my reason for asking if Arnie runs this blog is that there's a guy going by the handle of Jim S tone who appears to be certifiably whacked to the limit, but he, like so many whackos, have the occasional interesting point. He is over-the-top anti-Gundersen and is claiming that this site is a front for Arnie.

        I note that this site is essentially run by an anonymous person. My Email inquiries get nothing. Given that the "news" is essentially news about Gundersen, I can see why someone would conclude it's a front for Arnie. WHOIS shows it registered via secrecy company.

        It's a useful site to me regardless who runs it, mostly for the excellent level of knowledge in the comments. But anonymous blogs make me a bit leery.

        • richard richard

          @Pierpont – I've only just comes across you question again.

          For me, I'e come across the name of the owner of this site and it's not Mr AG. Beyond that I can't say if there is a connection.

          But if "Jim Stone who appears to be certifiably whacked to the limit" thinks it's AG, then you can probably bet it's not. Who is this JS guy anyway, do you have any links?

    • Altamira

      Gundersen is gaining credibility as every day passes and new evidence confirms what he has said all along. It's not his job to report radiation, it's our government's job — oh yes — don't tell me that there aren't radiation detectors all along the Pacific Missile Range?! Right? Remember the Cold War? Yeah, we have radiation detectors all over the West Coast. At any rate, the numbers Gundersen refers to may be part of a longer term research project and/or insurance for keeping him and his family safe. Enough has trickled out already that tells us the Pacific Northwest got the worst initial fallout. You can look up mortality rates and other official data since 3/11 by city, region, state. But don't bad mouth Arnie Gundersen.

      • mem mem

        It's not about badmouthing Gunderson, it's about being frustrated by his remarks which are so scary yet so vague. It's not their job to report radiation to us, but it would help to have some information to back up what he does say…particularly in this case about the Hepa filter.

        Otherwise all it does is freak me out, and then I can't discuss this Hepa filter news with anyone because there are no facts to back it up.

        I do wonder if they're just not allowed to say that much though, why else would they be vague?

  • scintillator


    I was a researcher at the UW for a few years. Great institution. Seattle and the PNW are incredible. The San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands…

    This saddens me.

  • vital1 vital1

    Very High detections this week west coast,

    I saw this one in real time, (not there now)

    July 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm · Reply

    Vancouver now 113 CPM.;

    Anne has been reporting large detection at Longmont Colorado for about a week. The Longmont monitoring site has now been taken down for maintenance. I saw it get to over 10 uSv/hr.

    July 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm · Reply

    Radiation Monitor ‏@LongmontRadMon
    Calibration error found. Part on order from Mouser to fix. Will be offline for a week or so.
    4:44 PM – 6 Jul 12

    Radiation Monitor down for calibration for a few hours, possibly the weekend.
    3:37 PM – 6 Jul 12 via web

    930 CPM, 7.5516 uSv/h, 7.1085 AVG uSv/h, 26 time(s) over natural radiation
    3:28 PM – 6 Jul 12;

    Plus another detection in Washington state at around the same time of 3200 CPM.

    July 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm · Reply

    A great guy who lives in Washington State has been reporting to me his radiation numbers. He defintely knows how to use his Geiger counter and tests in various methods and not only in and and around his house but also in a city somewhat aways. The numbers are extremlely high. On July 1st he reported numbers of 80CPM within the ambient of the vehichle and 2,600 CPM outside. On June 30th CPM of 3,200 in Port Orchard Washington.

  • lrpingel

    Thanks for hard numbers. It would help to indicate whether higher numbers were associated with rain. It is not unusual to see triple normal background readings as rain washes radon out of the air. Having the spectrum shows if is radon or Fukushima. There are affordable gamma spectrometers (multi-channel analysers). See GGV1 and GGV2 at Even if the MCA isn't well calibrated it isotopes can be identified by the pattern of peaks.

    Another important thing is when taking measurements with Geiger counter is to note whether reading is gamma or gamma + beta. Look those up if you don't know what that means.

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      High numbers in Colorado were NOT associated with rain. There was a brief rain, but that did not raise the numbers which were many times over 1100 cpm and even over 1300 cpm. See links and data at forum post your radiation readings.

  • Ron

    This doesn't necessarily mean that Seattle has the highest concentration, just that this guy happened to forget his filter and left it there (and on?) the whole time thus gathering more. It's likely that most people would have changed or cleaned theirs by now.

    • Jebus Jebus

      It's sad, most people can't clean or change their lungs right about now…

      • Ron

        Yeah. Well lungs have their own cleaning mechanism so long as people have the sense not to kill their cilia by smoking.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    They need to cap the spewing reactors. But nuclear experts can't do it, till it's too late.

  • TCMac

    One of the things that isn't said when they test filters is the volume of air that went through the filters. Radioactivity in the air is reported in unit per volume (usually unit/cubic meter). Most small HEPA filter air purifiers have a minimum flow of 50 cubic feet per minute. If used 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 64 week, that comes out to over 7 million cubic feet (about 245 Boeing 747s worth of air). This is conservative because from what I've read, most people have been running them 24/7 and probably at high volume. It is important to put this into context because otherwise there is no way to evaluate the readings. Obviously a reading of 500 CPM on a filter that had 100 cubic meters go through it would be more worrisome than one that had 10000 cubic meters go through it as it indicated more radioactive particles per cubic meter in the former than in the latter. And as was pointed out, there was radioactivity in the air prior to Fukushima (and Chernobyl and TMI, and nuclear testing), so there will always be some detected on a filter. Auto filters are bad indicators because there is no way to estimate the volume that goes through one over a given amount of time. These numbers need to be put into context, or it's like saying a vehicle goes 55. 55 what? MPH? KPH? knots? Without knowing the country, and vehicle, that number doesn't mean anything.

    • Ron

      Good point, but we have to keep in mind that it only takes one (1) hot particle lodged in the lungs to cause cancer, and they have increased significantly since Fuku. So even if it took a year and a half and 10,000 cubic meters of air to catch that one particle, if it had been a lung filtering the air it would have been enough.

      • TCMac

        Actually, the danger posed by the supposed one (1) hot particle is overstated. Number one, intake of radiactiviy only increases the possiblity of you contracting cancer. Liken it to smoking cigarettes. Some people will smoke 20 packs a day and live to be 90 without contracting cancer. Others may smoke occasionally and die of smoking related cancer. Google Harold McCluskey, who was exposed to 500 times the occupational standard internally of Americium. He lived another 11 years at the age of 75 and had no trace of cancer at the time of his death. Lastly, there is very little chance of hot particles raining down 4,000 miles as plutonium and uranium are among the heavier natural elements and would tend to settle out first.

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          We've had this debate here, before. Have you read the UC Davis study on Fullerenes? And are you aware the findings have been extrapolated to include the transport of uranium and other radioactive particles from Fukushima?

          And this one:

          "How sea water could corrode nuclear fuel"
          January 26, 2012

          • TCMac

            Actually know someone who contacted the authors of the UC-Davis paper. They said that the work was theoretical and there is no evidence that there were any fullerenes produced during Fukushima, only that it could happen. I believe that they said the amount produced would not present an appreciable danger to the U.S. You could look up Tatiana Shvareva's e-mail at UC-Davis and ask her about it.

        • Ron

          Hi TCMac. Certainly one can always find an anomaly. George Burns for example. The tobacco industry used him for years as an example that smoking is not harmful. But it's not the rare unexplained anomaly, the one out of a thousand or 10,000, that we should use as our gage but the other 9,999. In the case of smoking science has stated clearly that it is a serious cancer risk. If you disagree than you argument is with medical science.

          The same with radiation. Science has clearly stated that there is no safe level.

          "A preponderance of scientific evidence shows that even low doses of ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays and X-rays, are likely to pose some risk of adverse health effects, says a new report from the National Research Council. In living organisms, such radiation can cause DNA damage that could eventually lead to cancers. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of these risks based on a review of the scientific literature from the past 15 years. It is the seventh in a series of assessments from the Research Council called the
          Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation."

          Consider hot particles. If lodged in the lungs a fresh particle of cesium will emit for the entire life of the host. That is a ceaseless bombardment. It is likely to cause damage to the DNA of nearby cells, causing cancer.

          More on hot particles.

  • TCMac

    Ron, I was pointing out, that getting one particle in your lung only raises the risk of cancer. Much of what I've read makes it sound like you WILL get cancer. That is exactly what your first link says. Note that is says, "…likely to pose SOME risk of adverse health effects". However, you do realize that even if there had never been an atomic bomb exploded or a nuclear reactor built, you would still be exposed, day in and day out, to low levels of ionizing radiation. People living in Ramsar, Iran are exposed to natural background radiation 55-200 times what is considered normal background (

    As for your assumption that a particle of cesium, it has a short biological half-life of around 110 days (meaning it is eliminated from the body in 110 day) so it is not going to stay there for the lifetime of the person who breathed it in.

  • Sickputer

    That tired old theory by the Dr. Frankensteins about how natural radiation is good for you (hormesis) is one of the lies of the nuclear fascists. It's baloney. Dr. Busby shredded it years ago along with others who know that artificial fission is a mutant breed that has little on common with natural radiation. Try reading his research if you want the straight dope from someone who doesn't let them shovel the tired old shitty lies down his throat:

    And as for cesium half life… I don't know what kind of cesium-laden peaches your source in Georgia has been smoking, but 137 and 134 have half-lives of 30 and 2 years respectively. And multiply those by ten to get the length of time they "might" be fairly safe. Actually we know now in Belarus that the 30 year half-life of C-137 is much more than 30 years because it has not diminished since 1986.

  • TCMac

    Sickputer, before you criticize, you might notice that I referred to the BIOLOGICAL half-life. You might want to Google it then come back and have a more knowledgeable conversation.

    As for Dr. Chris "Have I got some medicine for you" Busby, most of his claims have been discredited through further research. His methodology has been so shoddy that Journals aren't publishing him. He is now self-publishing his papers, which means there is no peer review to them. I know that you will say it's because they are trying to silence him. However, hard to respect someone who, when asked if he's making money from selling in Japan nutritional supplements he says will mitigate radiation at 8 times the cost of the same type of product made in Japan, replies with a "f**k you".

      • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

        They're getting desperate….

        TCMac obviously doesn't know this latest study co-written by C. Busby: "Uranium and other contaminants in hair from the parents of children with congenital anomalies in Fallujah, Iraq."
        Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of Ulster.

    • arclight arclight

      hi tcmac
      now thats NEWS!!
      have you a link for that f%&^ck you ?
      many thanks in advance 🙂

      " because they are trying to silence him"

      "they", being the domestic extremist terrorist squad now called the no name squad down in the home office?

      if you have any links to "them" i would appreciate it as i need to request a data protection enquiry but "they" are hiding..

      "they" also hack and intercept phones and computers and stuff.. videoed alot of it happening to me over the past year here..

      there is no independent research money going anywhere this year.. big science has said NO MORE!!…

      do you think they did all the above to silence me or was it to make me feel more comfortable with the security services?? 🙂

      i think someone doesnt want busbies message to get out .. wonder why??

      if hes such a bad scientist.. why bother to harass him or indeed any searcher of isotopes (ie me)??

      just a bit of arcy logic there no offence meant..

    • snowwy snowwy

      @TCMac I do not think that the topic is on anyone's expertise in the field. I do not think that anyone here has given any in depth analysis of the actual or potential harm from inhaling the same air as what went through to purifying system. I read the article as in the radiation is measurably higher than previously and this gives cause for concern to many people. So far the official stance was that higher radiation around atomic power stations is nothing to worry about and any clusters of leukemia has been denied and disregarded. The point is, every study has got a counter study and every thesis will be discredited given the right funding. there is quite a bit of research available about Chernobyl but I guess those figures there have been very "doctored" too and made to look more harmless as they really were and still are.

      biological half-life the time required for a living tissue, organ, or organism to eliminate one-half of a radioactive substance which has been introduced into it. what does this prove? NOTHING as the biological half life depends on more than just a working liver or kidney… there are too many factors in order to determine the actual gross biological half life without disregarding a great number of people who are either able to eliminate or or significantly less in the same time frame. statistically all radioactive contamination is harmful and scientifically proven, radioactivity is accumulative.

      • snowwy snowwy

        which means it is out of question that you may determine any biological half life in living human beings who still get contaminated every second of their existence.

        statistics- i only believe those that have been forged by myself (was the motto of our science class)

    • Sickputer

      Yes, I missed the biological adjective. My mistake, but rest assured the excretion of cesium and the assumption by wildlife biologists on fish retention of Fukushima radiation in the water has been an exercise in nuclear politics. Anxious to allay the public fears of widespread Pacific Ocean fish contamination, the "experts" immediately stated from the onset of the crisis that fish would excrete virtually all of the ingested cesium.

      Not only were they proven wrong, but older studies proved decades ago radioactive cesium passes through the skin membranes of fish. They don't have to just eat smaller contaminated fish or plankton, just swimming in contaminated water will give the fish (or presumably mammals) a dose.

      Cesium goes to the muscles and lodges there, fish or mammal. From that deposit it is very unlikely to be excreted by the organism without chelation materials ( and fish don't get any and most humans are unlikely to take sodium alginate tablets).

      The other issue of natural versus artificial radiation is just as important to remove the decades of nuclear proponent lies. Artificial fission products have so many different avenues of DNA destruction in living tissue that to compare them to mother earth's natural radiation sources is like comparing the lightning bug to lightning. And it's a good thing Mother Nature doesn't produce plutonium or Strontium-90 because if she did then this planet would be inhabited solely by beetles.

  • TCMac

    Arclight, here's the link for you:

    Sickputer, please supply the PEER-REVIEWED paper showing your assertions.

    BreadandButter, that paper is NOT in a peer-reviewed Journal. Going through Dr. Busby's Curriculum Vitae, the last peer-reviewed paper he offered up was in 2008. He has published more thourgh his Green Audit company than in journals.

    • arclight arclight

      my estimation of busby has just increased.. 🙂

      "When I phoned Busby to ask him some questions about these issues, his responses were less than enlightening. He began as follows: "You can fuck off frankly."

      When I asked him what his involvement was with the Christopher Busby Foundation for the Children of Fukushima, he told me: "I think you can fuck off. I'm not going to answer your questions." When I asked whether the products being sold in his name are snakeoil, he responded: "Of course it's not snakeoil you fuckwit".

      of course there is 2 sides to every story and monbiot is a self confessed "burn that waste for britian" type, glad not all the guardian staff are as pro nuke as monbiot.. theyve done some good articles.. looks like monbiot has retired lol!.. heres a reply by chris busby and richard bramhall of the llrc

      thanks for taking the time to get the qoute..

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      TCMac, funny you mention it. We were just discussing recently the problem that serious scientists face huge hurdles to get reports / studies with a critical approach towards nuclear published in the big scientific journals.
      How's that? Might be because the nuclear cabal do lots of funding at the "right places"?
      I have the greatest respect for Busby's work, no matter what.

      I mean, do you not think the horrid deformities in Fallujah and elsewhere were caused by DU?