Beware of Radioactive Car Upholstery

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on August 2nd, 2012

I’ve heard that auto trimmers can get sick from spray glue, rodent-infested interiors and even new-car smell – but this is an absolute first. Russia has apparently stopped 300 cars believed to be contaminated by last year’s radioactive leak at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant from entering the country. The cars are said to contain radioactive dust particles in their upholstery.

Physicist Stephen Granade recently explained to Jalopnik how this is even possible:

When the Fukushima power plants melted down and had hydrogen explosions, they released a lot of radioactive material. Some of that was radioactive iodine and cesium, which started out as a gas before condensing on dust particles or binding to water and falling to Earth. […]

At room temperature cesium’s a liquid, but it binds nicely with soil (and dust!) and water. Now imagine that dust settling on cars, drifting into their upholstery, getting trapped in their air filters, and in general permeating everything. The result is a radioactive car, not because the frame or the fabric is now radioactive, but because radioactive cesium’s been dusted everywhere. And it’ll be all but impossible to remove from fabric and air filters and the like. [more]

That said, I wonder if Dickies makes lead suits in navy blue…

2 Responses

  1. eaclark411 says:

    That just means there are 300 less Toyota Prius to get stuck behind going 20 in a 35mph zone! I don’t see the problem…

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