Capitol and Library of Congress buildings give off radiation 65 times higher than EPA safe limits
The marble and granite US Capitol and Library of Congress buildings give off natural radiation at a level 65 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) safe limits, according to new research.
According to a report commissioned by the website junkscience.com, gamma radiation in the Capitol building hallway and outside the Thomas Jefferson Building are as high as 30 microrems per hour, up to 550% higher than the dose rate from a nuclear power plant, and about 13,000 times higher than the average annual radiation dose from world-wide nuclear energy production. The level is also 13,000 times higher than the ongoing world-wide radiation exposures from the Chernobyl accident, and could be resulting in highly exposed individuals receiving anywhere from 60 millirems to 260 millirems of gamma radiation per year.
“Radiation dose rates inside the Capitol building and outside the Library of Congress may increase cancer risk by 0.5% among maximally-exposed individuals, according to EPA risk assessment practices that use the so-called linear, non-threshold dose-response model (LNT),” said researcher Dr Michael Gough.
“These radiation dose rates are much higher than the EPA proposed to allow at the planned high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada,” said Steven Milloy, publisher of junkscienc.com. Milloy told edie that he was not surprised by the results, explaining that the research was carried out in order to highlight inconsistencies in the EPA’s standards, and to raise awareness among a public which tends not to be concerned about this hazard.
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