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Japanese Nuclear Disaster Highlights Risks of Radiation in Massachusetts workplace

Residents experience low levels of radiation on a daily basis. The levels of radiation released through the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, recently threatening the coasts of the U.S. in trace amounts, do not present a threat. We’re not completely in the clear however, small traces of acid rain are expected in the Boston area.

You are more likely to be exposed to excessive levels of radiation inBoston work accidents— particularly those residents who work in the medical or energy fields.
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Boston workers’ compensation attorneys understand that aside from the everyday exposure to residual radiation in the atmosphere and to medical applications, detrimental radiation exposure causes potential danger in local plants and nearby homes. We note the recent report from the watchdog group, Union of Concerned Scientists that listed 14 plants that had near misses last year.

Plants from outside of our state can also pose threats to our residents. Boston state health officials announced that the Japanese power plant explosion has caused a stream of radioactive rain on the Bay State. No need to be alarmed, the levels were declared too low to pose a threat to residents, according to the Boston Herald.

It is to be noted that the half-life of these radioactive materials is approximately 8 days. The matter is expected to dissolve and become virtually undetectable. Officials are continuously testing the state’s water supply as a safety precaution.

“The drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation,” said Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach. “However, we will carefully monitor the drinking water as we exercise an abundance of caution.”

Not all radiation or chemical exposure is life threatening. Everyday, acceptable amounts of exposure can result from medical procedures such as CT scans and x-rays. It is the massive amount of exposure, as the Japanese plant workers are being exposed to or the Danvers Explosion of 2006, that poses life-threatening consequences. While these explosions are unpredictable and sometimes unavoidable, OSHA has established rules and regulations in attempt to avoid any similar disaster from occurring in Massachusetts.

Here are some tips to help you through a nuclear power plant emergency should you every run into one:

-Stay inside your home until instructed otherwise.

-Don’t return home if you happen to be out during the incident. Wait until authorities have cleared the area.

-Listen for information from the power company and officials to stay informed. Ignorance can be a harmful burden in this scenario.

-Be sure to bring pets and livestock indoors.

-Do not use your phone.

-If you think you have been contaminated, take a thorough shower, put infected clothes in a plastic bag and seal it.

-Be sure to seek medical assistance if you experience any unusual symptoms that could possibly be related to radiation or chemical exposure.

The best way to limit radiation exposure is to stay informed, shield yourself from the radiation by staying indoors and be patient.

It is the responsibility of employers to provide a safe workplace for factory workers that may come in contact with these dangerous materials. It is also their responsibility to provide any necessary compensation should accident occur.

If you have been injured at work in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Massachusetts trucking accidents a common cause of workers’ compensation, personal injury, wrongful death claims, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2010

Massachusetts work accidents, car accidents, a danger in road construction zones, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, July 12, 2010

Massachusetts Hopes New System will Decrease Risks of Boston Work Zone Accidents, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 6, 2011