“My university is annoyed with me” — Air filter from Japan so radioactive, it must be buried at radioactive waste disposal site in US (VIDEO)

Published: December 11th, 2011 at 12:54 pm ET


New Video of Scientist Kaltofen Presenting to American Public Health Association, Fairewinds Associates, Inc, Dec. 8, 2011 (Emphasis Added):

A professional video of Marco Kaltofen’s presentation to the American Public Health Association was recently made available to Fairewinds. Kaltofen states that hot particles are contaminating portions of northern Japan. He also states that auto air filters from Fukushima, that he tested in his Massachusetts laboratory, are so radioactive that they have to be disposed of in a buried radioactive waste disposal site in the US. Additionally, he expresses concerns for the mechanics who work on cars in Fukushima Prefecture.

At 12:30 in

And also we have Fukushima’s which is about 65 kilometers away from the site. This automobile air filter is actually hazardous. My university is annoyed with me because we have to contract to have this filter disposed of as radioactive waste. Unfortunately, you can just imagine what this means to the people in Fukushima City which is not evacuated, and even for the (automobile) mechanics who are changing these air filters.

New Video of Scientist Kaltofen Presenting to American Public Health Association from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

Published: December 11th, 2011 at 12:54 pm ET


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112 comments to “My university is annoyed with me” — Air filter from Japan so radioactive, it must be buried at radioactive waste disposal site in US (VIDEO)

  • TheWorldIsBlind

    we need to fuckin wake up, and realize that this isn’t a nightmare we’re having – yet a reality. im afraid, however, that its just more than too late. so sad.

  • Mack Mack

    I wonder if we’re all so full of radioactive particles that we’ll need to be buried at radioactive waste disposal sites, too, or in lead coffins??

    Raise public awareness! Add this link to your Facebook and email to everyone you know:


    • many moons

      I think that will make things very difficult to move around. Probably people will become nuclear waste and countries won’t want that burden. People should leave Japan while they still can.

  • thelili

    People are strange. If you tell them “you are going to inhale radioactivity and die from these air filters” they will be hesitant.

    If you tell these same people that sales will be down and someone might lose their job over being caught selling said air filters THEN you’d actually get some sort of response.

    Death-not a problem
    loss of job-panic in the streets

    • Jebus Jebus

      These air filters are not new ones off the shelf.
      They are used out of cars and trucks.
      An IC Engine is nothing more than an air compressor or air pump.
      They draw in air thru the air filters at rates exceeding 300 cubic feet per minute as they swoosh down the road, stirring up dust, ect.
      Hence the reason that they make great hot particle catchers to analyze…

      • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

        Where does it say that they are used air filters? If used, are they testing new air filters? New cars from Japan? Just how much is coming into the US which is new and untested, both food and other industrial products? Almost everything is untested. Sad, sad, sad.

        Warren Buffet should be tried for crimes against humanity for importing tools from his company being produced less than 30 km from Fukushima Daiichi. Why isn’t our government protecting us? Are they even supposed to have another job than this?

        And haven’t the Chinese learned not to trust American nuclear companies such as Bill Gates’ Terrapower? Can’t they see what has happened to Japan? Isn’t the accident chose enough to home? If the politicians don’t even have common sense, we are all doomed.

        • SnorkY2K

          It does not say how hot that the filters are. It only says that the level is hazardous. Another one of the industries that I consulted for was the automobile industry. Cars are always run at the factory for quality checks, engine adjustments, and even to store for shipment. Engines built at the Nissan Iwaki assembly plant would be candidates for having high levels of radiation drawn in during initial quality runs. Izuzu and Honda also have plants in areas where a filter could accumulate particles during normal assembly. However, I do not know the model breakout for which models are not produced in these plants. It may not be wise to visit a Japanese car sales lot with children and it would probably be advisable to change out the air filter before bringing it home.

    • many moons

      And if you throw in that an immagrant is after your job…hmmmmm.

  • thelili

    Jebus do you know for a fact that no one has tested new ones?

  • thelili

    Jebus you worry me sometimes. You get lost in the little details. If these were from “old” ones and you know that the newer ones have been getting irradiated since March are you saying that they cannot possibly be contaminated yet or are you saying that it “can’t” happen until you see a video about the new ones being contaminated?

    • paulr421

      Replace the word “old” with “used” when reading Jebus’s comments so you can understand better what he is saying.

    • Jebus Jebus

      “These air filters are not new ones off the shelf.
      They are used out of cars and trucks.”

      No where did I say “old” air filters.

      The concept here is that the air filters, as installed into vehicles, pick up the hot particles with the air that the vehicle draws in.

      This topic has nothing to do with “new” air filters off the shelf.

      Lili, Your grasp of the topic does not worry me,
      The details when interpreting a topic do matter though…

      • SnorkY2K

        Actually, I would start to suspect plastic new throughout the car to be hot. Many injection molding operations require hot air to be blown through the plastic pellets prior to melting to reduce moisture content. As the plastic warms, it could take on particles.

    • Bones Bones

      I think Jebus was just trying to clarify what they tested and help your misunderstanding. Looks like he was just trying to help you. Why would you test a brand new air filter? lol My best friend is a mechanic and I will ask him to take and bag some replaced air filters from cars near the Pocono’s and other elevations.

      I wonder if the reusable and washable air filters, like K&N, would become dangerously contaminated over the years. Can you imagine the build up of particles on reusable air filters in Japan?

  • thelili

    Whatever comforts you Jebus is fine. If you feel that used filters and new filters that BOTH are contaminated are not a problem then neither do I.

    • Jebus Jebus

      Are you serious, You still don’t get it?

      He is talking about used air filters that people sent him out of vehicles in Japan.

      Show me anywhere that I said any contamination was not a problem!

      New air filters from Japan may very well be contaminated.
      But that is not what this topic is about.

      No matter how much you and yours want to derail this topic, most here are smarter than that and grasp the fact that he is talking about hot particles in used air filters sent to him by concerned Japanese people.

  • midwestern midwestern

    New air filters made in Japan most probably also contain levels of contamination, which is why I asked to see the box recently when having my air filter changed.
    But Kaltofen does state in this video that they chose to look at auto air filters “that operated” in different locations because they capture 10-30 cubic meters of air per day and therefore would be useful to study for info about radioactive particles in air in those locations.

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    The fact that the air filters are this contaminated is a warning to our government that they need to shut down unregulated trade with Japan. The American people deserve better than to be peddled goods that are dangerous. We have a strict policy with China yet we don’t have the balls to apply the same policy for radioactive products from Japan? That’s a pile of road apples and the policy makers know it! Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is guilty of monumental treason against the entire US population. Ignoring known science is not acceptable under any circumstances during a fallout event as large as the melt out at Fukushima Daichi. If air filters are accumulating large enough amounts of radiation to be considered hazardous then many other exports from Japan must have similar levels of contamination. There is very little time left before these exports begin being denied entry from other nations such as Russia. Hopefully the nations who stand up to the importation of irradiated goods sets the standard for regulation. If the people turn a blind eye they will suffer the mistakes of the past.

  • thelili

    Why would I test a brand new air filter from JAPAN?


    Okay then.

    • Grampybone Grampybone

      Because the material they made it from may be contaminated. You test everything that comes from a fallout zone regardless.

  • thelili

    @Bones oh wait I get it-you mean why would a regular person that doesn’t read anything about Fukushima test THEIR new air filters.

    Is that what you meant?

    • Bones Bones

      Omg. haha In context of this story, why would you test an air filter that has not had AIR from the surrounding environment run through it to get an indication of the level of contamination. They wouldn’t test a brand new air filter, that hasn’t been used, to get an indication of air contamination levels. That is all we are talking about.

      Obviously, everything imported from Japan should get tested. That is not the subject here though. The subject is air contamination levels determined through air filters used in cars from Japan.

  • thelili

    @Grampybone I absolutely agree. Right now I am close to feeling like there should be a full ban on Japanese and Chinese imports because neither can be trusted when it comes to getting large amounts of cash via their contaminated exports.

    Then I feel extremely guilty for the little people in Japan about to lose their jobs and incomes because the government cannot do the right thing.

  • thelili

    @Many moon I don’t understand the immigrant comment. What does some person making 4 dollars a month to help export contaminated goods that they will ultimately die from the exposure from have to do with this?

    This whole world is in this now. There are no us and them. ALL governments need to cease with the bullshit and immediately.

    Japan, China, and America get away with this garbage exactly because the people of their countries are divided.

  • thelili

    Fine Bones limit yourself to the story. I do not. If it comforts both of you to go this route then go ahead. Everyone else knows exactly what I mean.

    You two are sort of part of the problem seriously. Your thinking makes it REALLY easy for journalists to manipulate their readers.

    They say you are only allowed to look at things with MY perspective or it is absolutely wrong and cannot be considered in the context of this story.

    Isn’t that about right guys? It’s your way or the highway?

    • Jebus Jebus

      Don’t let your butt get hurt Lili, it’s just called being ON TOPIC.
      Unless a person was a shill, then they would try an do anything they can to drive it off topic…

      • lokay5 lokay5

        Personally, I cannot understand how anyone could possibly have thought you meant the testing of new, off the shelf air filters. I mean, come on. Get real. I thought all on ENENEWS was at the very least border-line intelligent. Looks like I may have “misoverestimated”.

    • Hogweed

      “Limit yourself to the story”

      thelili I think you are spectacularly missing the point. These car air-filter experiments are to show what a person’s lungs have taken in when exposed to the same environment.

      And for Fukushima city that seems to be VERY BAD INDEED. Some have calculated here and elsewhere in earlier threads that the Fukushima City findings may suggest that all the residents have already inhaled enough hot particles to guarantee lung cancer. I don’t think that’s a limited story if true.

      Of course if the entire population of Fukushima City are already the walking dead (barring lung transplants) then that might explain why the Japanese government is leaving them where they are.

      Now I hope things aren’t as bad as that but these car air filter results seem to be horrifyingly bad.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      I’m not touching it with a 10 foot pole. πŸ™‚
      You guys will drop it as soon as another BAD NEWS STORY pops up:
      3,2,1… πŸ™

  • thelili

    Jebus honey it is on topic to suggest on a board about radiation that ALL aspects of said radiation are discussed.

    You are discussing filters and I am discussing filters. You just don’t like what I said.


    • harengus_acidophilus

      The topic don’t mean all kind of radiation in all kind of air filters all over the world.
      Topic is: how to guess airborne radiation in the last few months in japan by maesuring the activity from used airfilters. because they’re like sample collectors.
      To investigate the past, you need old filters.
      The investigation of new ones can only get an answer to the question of general contamination of japanese goods. This is a very different question.


  • thelili

    As I said if I don’t discuss filters the way YOU want them discussed then it’s off topic right?

  • New products from Japan may have heightened radio activity, but it would be the food products I would really stay away from.

    But the significance of testing used air filters from Japan is that it indicates levels of radio active pollution in the air as a used engine air filter from a Japanese car has been exposed to a large amount of local air. The air filter itself might have been made in China or elsewhere. Can we all play nice?

  • thelili

    @Mark I can play nice as long as posters do not try to FORCE me to respond according to THEIR rules.

    The ONLY person on this board that can shut me the hell up is Majia and that’s because she gives her whole self- mind,body, and income to this cause. She is literally dying to inform us thus she gets all of my respect.

    Anyone else aside from the owners of this site-nope.

    But as to what you said I was just concerned about the fact that it is here. In the US. I don’t care if the fucking air came from Japan, China, or Mars. I want it MANAGED.
    I want it DEALT WITH.

    I do not want to argue endlessly about where people THINK it came from. We all KNOW where it came from. We knew on March 11th where the hell it came from.

    • If there is only one or two people you respect here then why do you participate? We are here to discuss the news item. We are all human and veer off course. But it appears to me you have a personal ax to grind or are purposefully trying to take topic off course.

    • Hogweed

      how it came to the US in this case was because the researcher asked for them to be sent so he could test them. They also tested air filters in the USA. Have you watched the video and read the PDF? Look at the auto x-rays where the used air filters expose the film all on their own. If the people who sent the filters could extract their lings and send them to the USA they would also expose x-ray film all on their own. That’s horrifying.

      Fukushima City Car Air Filter Self X-ray.

  • And the significance of testing air filters in Seattle is that one or two hot particles were found, earlier this year, so the hot particles do travel across the ocean. Our lungs also filter air so some of us on the west coast already may have hot particles in our lungs. This is the real story.
    Brand new air filters from Japan being radio active is a red herring and distracts from what most of us are trying to discuss. We all have to work together to find the truth.

  • Alice goaskAlice

    After watching this video, I can’t help wondering how the used air filters were shipped (airmailed) for Prof. Kaltofen to test.

    If they were so radioactive as to have been handled as high-level nuclear waste, I don’t want to think how it got to him and the mail-person who physically brought it.

    Therein lies the rabbit hole. (insert fingernail gnawing emoticon here)

    • Bobby1

      Obviously the government is checking nothing coming from Japan or anywhere else.

      • LEFTYM0M65 LEFTYM0M65

        I posted a link some time ago to the data base of all commodities imported from Japan through Sept 2011. L
        I’ll look for the post. James Tekron commented on it at the time. I found that we are still importing frozen fish and chicken. Also, toothpicks, baking products and drug ingredients.

    • The jets are also radioactive flying in the jet stream so much so they stopped checking them in March !

      • Alice goaskAlice

        Thank You everyone for acknowledging my post.

        Getting home from work on a bus when it’s raining can be a bit tricky. Seriously contemplating shelling out money for an Inspector. Maybe I might get some conversation started with curious fellow riders.

        If I feel this way, I can’t imagine how those Japanese who ARE aware of the implications feel.

  • thelili

    @Mark I have all the particles in my lungs that I am ever going to have so to speak. I understand the value of testing. I want people to understand the value of common sense.

    I am not at all distracted from anything as multiple perspectives do not confuse me from the bigger picture.

    Is anyone else confused here? Did me saying that I think new filters from Japan were contaminated confuse you so much that you were incapable of understanding the article written above was about used filters?

    Mark do you think the posters here are that limited? Seriously?

    • WorseThanChernobyl

      Reading your comment about new air filters being contaminated did not confuse me; it merely left me with the idea that *you* were confused about what the article actually said.

  • thelili

    @GoaskAlice that is an awesome question. The chain of overseas shipping and handling is indeed an interesting process.

  • thelili

    @GoaskAlice I would also be concerned about the mechanics handling the filters. If they have no idea of what they are handling then they can’t know what they are spreading.

    • Alice goaskAlice


      Aye. One reason I’m concerned is that my best friend who’s Japanese has a nephew and his family living in Tokyo. I asked her to tell him to leave the country and all she did was laugh at my suggestion.

      However, my hat off to the Prof for doing this, something the pertinent ‘authorities’ need to be doing but aren’t.

      Could it be that this dire situation is so overwhelming that there’s a certain cold comfort in burying one’s head in the sand?

      **waves to everyone**

  • thelili

    @Whoopie we are indeed in uncharted territory. Can you imagine what the people of Chernobyl had to go through with their amount of censorship? Forget about discussing their plight on an internet board.

  • thelili

    @Hogweed dying of cancer is indeed horrifying. Trust me on this.

  • thelili

    @Risabee that is terrifying.

  • And Wikipedia makes no comment whatsoever. Where did they all go, then? This is millions of people.

  • thelili

    @SnorkY2K so is your thought that maybe we should write them and ask that in addition to filter testing request that molding testing should be done as well?

    Eek. But it is definitely worth doing.

    This is Marco:


    This is the APHA


    • SnorkY2K

      We need to ensure that they are using multiple HEPA filters for the air intake to any equipment used for manufacture of exported parts. Although there is a problem with most people’s model of radiated materials. Many people look at the half-life and prepare containment for the radionuclide and treat is as though once the decay takes place that the problem is over. Instead, there is a series of daughter products and the daughter products are not always predictable. A radionuclide may pass right through a HEPA filter as a noble gas then transition to a solid and that solid may decay again and again occasionally changing phase. Filtering noble gases can be expensive. For instance: look at the decay chain for Te-135. It has a very rapid decay as a solid then those transitioned daughter product radionuclides have a half-life of almost 7 hours as a gas before starting the decay into cesium.
      Maybe the more responsible course of action is to evacuate northern Japan and not to manufacture anything there as lungs are constantly filtering the air for employees.

  • thelili

    Yep Stock I am a troll. Carry on.

    • Jebus Jebus

      Hey Lili, see the reply link next to the date and time?
      It puts your post into the thread you are commenting on, unless you like to mess up a topics threads…

  • thelili

    Anything you want Jebus…

    • Jebus Jebus

      It is not what I want, it is proper Blog etiquette.
      It keeps the threads coherent, unless that is what you don’t want…

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    EYES ARE WATCHING THIS BLOG. They’d love nothing more than to see everyone fighting, arguing and carrying on. Just saying.

  • goathead goathead

    Hmmmm, not only will I be getting kicked out of supermarkets with my Geiger counter, but car show rooms as well!

    • midwestern midwestern

      Just tell them it’s the latest version of an isomething–pod or kindle or whatever–very few will know the difference.

    • arclight arclight

      in all the months ive been testing, nobody except for one tonight ever noticed!! turn the beepy thing off! and look at the screen, if you need to let it cycle for a while just drop it on the plastic packaging and look like you want something….
      best find tonight scottish salmon steak 0.21 mcsieverts/hr, french soft goat cheese 0.18 microsievert/hr, highest air reading london 0.50 microsievert/hr with lots of pulses!! i hope you dont have as much fun as me? πŸ™

      the person who noticed… ex oil/chemical subcontractor…drawing sketches of the disaster from source data..worked all over the world at disaster sites … said that the drawings never worked with the initial data because the data was always flawed// macondo bhopal and numerous disaster forcasting of industrial plants… in short it was a very interesting conversation and the lessons of that can be applied to the fukushima disaster times 1000.. lies obfuscation (thanks lilly forgot how to spell that! πŸ™‚ ) and saving the corporate liability costs, supported bt law, enacted by short term thinking plonkers!

      and good night!
      peace!! light!! and LOVE!!

      • midwestern midwestern

        Sounds like you had a good conversation with the subcontractor…I’ve been having some with a local retired physics professor who is helping me learn to use a borrowed geiger counter, although he is very pro-nuclear and we are having some lively disagreements.
        Oh, the scottish salmon and soft French goat cheese. Wanted to make a goat cheese, sun-dried tomato, pesto terrine yesterday….such a loss.

  • But getting back to the original article, this air filter from a Fukushima Prefecture auto, after being tested by a reputable American university, needed to use special nuclear waste facilities at additional cost to legally throw away.

    I watched the video earlier and it was stated that the way Japanese people drive, the average Japanese auto uses as much air daily as a human being. So when those local people die, their lungs anyways would be considered nuclear waste.

    • vivvi

      Maybe they should mail it back to where it came from, where it will obviously be considered perfectly safe.

    • arclight arclight

      the fact that his university was “annoyed” with him seems to me to be the reason that busbies testing lab said that they might report him for sending hazardous post! it is a way of not having detailed records of this years disasters! we need our own labs to be able to do that, or a sympathetic university/private company.. the doors are closing for people like marc and chris.. this is not good! πŸ™

  • Nigwil

    I still haven’t fixed the short in the high voltage side of my home-built geiger counter, so dont have a working one at the moment.

    But it would be useful if some folk who have a decent instrument could in the cool of the evening, quietly wander around the sales lots of Japanese car dealers who sell new cars, waving their wands at exhaust pipes, under wheel arches and around the air intakes and radiator grilles. Then let us know what you find.

    We would then have an idea if any checks are being done at the docks.

  • Edward Edward

    Where is anderson cooper/cnn? I thought “keeping them honest” was going to be all over this nuclear disaster? Where did you go? This nightmare did not end… it is still unfolding. They are contaminating the ocean/environment and it is frightening. Where is the U.S. government/media, why aren’t we demanding the truth?

    • PayAttention

      hi Edward – write to anderson cooper and ask ! i’d be interested in hearing what his response is πŸ™‚

    • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

      AC is MCing CNN Heroes..tonight…
      …they’ve got to align themselves with heros…. to cover their complicity in corruption and the black-out of truth.

  • or-well

    “keeping you distracted” – fixed it.

    Where is .gov ? In donors pockets.

    Where is media ? In corporate boardrooms, blowing smoke.

    People are demanding truth. “They” are not listening.

    Either you have a lot of catching up to do or you are a troll.

    Either way, look around and learn.

  • midwestern midwestern

    Hanford to Fukushima: Part 4

    “This is part 4 of a 4 part series about the Hanford nuclear site in Washington State. We hope the series will help those in Japan achieve a better understanding of nuclear releases and be able to benefit from the experiences of the victims of Hanford as they deal with their own current circumstances related to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.”

    Sorry if this is a repost. There are a lot of links to information about Hanford here too.

    • midwestern midwestern

      posted in wrong thread, apologies, annoyed with myself now!

    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      Dear Mid: Do NOT be annoyed with yourself. I wasn’t visiting the other thread, maybe some others didn’t either, and I needed to see your post and link. Thank you very much.

  • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

    The facts as stated here by Fair Winds Associates mirrored talk by Kaltofen appear to minimize the scope of the dosimetry problem and continue to reinforce myths of emissions being at their worst in previous months. Unfortunately, the public, especially outside of Japan, is mainly going to hear, “it’s over” for the most part. Also, the public is going to pick up from this speech that it’s only a Japan problem. Neither of these things is true. Though, in part, the highest emissions in terms of particulates might have been worse after initial March nuclear explosions involving atomized, particalized and aersolized construction materials in the mix. The emissions continue in aerosolized form and fluctuate cyclically related to many factors at a very high rate. Differences between aerosolized and particalized (particle sizes) emissions was not discussed. Bioaccumulation was not discussed or emphasized though the speaker did mention some problem foods. The speaker did mention the problem of the long-term exposure due to hot particle “residence” inside the body. I found the notion that somehow the body blocks anything but alpha and beta, localizing it’s effects really, to be extreme minimization of the dosimetric exposure risks of diverse internalized radionuclide particles. The localized effects of alpha and beta radionuclides are so much greater due to the greater energy of these forms that the shielding effect of tissues is made nearly irrelevant or superfluous to the issue of internal dosimetry. Some of the problems of minimization effect here arise, in big picture analysis terms, due to plausible scientific testing parameters and the domain of the question being necessarily narrow as it is laboratory testing and there were speech time constraints. Once again, we learned nothing new, and the propaganda parameters were, perhaps unintentionally or intentionally, reinforced.

    • Bobby1

      Very few scientists are speaking out at all about radiation exposure in the US. It is good to see Gundersen and Kaltofen at least talking about it.

      But you’re right, the “body shielding” the effects of alpha radiation is distorted misspeaking. It is because the source of the alpha radiation embedded in the body can only travel a very short distance, that it does all its damage concentrated in a small area. This is what makes it so dangerous.

      And nothing about the radioactive contamination of the food and water in the US and Canada (and now piling up in northern Europe). Nothing about how the amount of radioactive materials allowed in American food is several times higher than in Japan. I seriously think American consumers would be better off shopping in Japanese grocery stores in Japan than in American ones.