Here’s the article, looks like nine pages, so there’ll be pictures. Um…pictures of actual massive overexposures aren’t pretty. Doubt we’ll see any here.
Nope, haven’t read it yet; this’ll be a drive-by blogging.
But first: any ensuing mockery is not about rad sickness. It’s not funny and getting a massively lethal dose would be terrifying. But even then…unlike other accidental deaths, this incredibly rare one usually gives you the chance to say farewells. And given modern narcotics, I’d choose this fate over most others if it meant getting to say my goodbyes.
So CBS, let’s see your journalistic take on the subject:
People are terrified about being exposed to radiation, including the stuff that some experts fear might leak from…
That “stuff” is called contamination. It’s what radiation “leaks” out of. Just FYI.
…radiation sickness…often proves deadly.
Rad sickness is extremely rare in modern times. Given that rareness, it does often kill when it occurs. Second page:
Nausea and vomiting are typically the earliest symptoms of radiation sickness.
No, that’s “journalism poisoning”. The earliest symptom of rad poisoning is depressed white blood cell count. Next:
Spontaneous bleeding. Unlike the woman hugging the commode, this nosebleed pic is pretty graphic. And:
Bloody diarrhea. Have no idea how they decided on that photo, but the restraint is appreciated. They’re not doing a bad job here, but this…
Radiation “targets” cells in the body that reproduce rapidly –
…is incorrect. Such cells aren’t “targeted”, they are much more radiosensitive. When isotopes target certain parts of the body it’s for chemical reasons, never radiological ones.
Sloughing of skin. Don’t worry, they just show a beta-burn. Wait, that’s actually a sunburn? Oh, right, beta burn victims are very hard to come by. Unlike sun-worshippers.
Hair loss. Is hair loss inherently terrifying? Apparently so, if you’re in the media.
Severe fatigue. Mouth ulcers. Infections.
And…it just ends. With that last symptom. No context about any of this.
The media are pushing 1 Sv (100 rem) for “nausea and vomiting”, and it’s agreed it can potentially start there. Maybe it has, but I don’t know any examples. I’d go more with 150-200 rem (1.5-2 Sv). The skin needs about 500 rad (5 Gy) to really start beta-burning. Most of those other symptoms require multiple Seiverts (200-300+ rem) which is most of the way to a lethal dose.
The lowest threshhold dose for the symptoms listed? I’d say “infection”, or more properly “heightened chance of”. Fewer white blood cells, more chance of infection.
Same as when you don’t eat properly, don’t rest enough, etc. Just as all of these symptoms are also produced by other ailments.