Radioactive apartments in Taipei

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Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby history_nerd » 09 Feb 2011, 10:50

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_radiation_accidents
Radioactive steel scavenged from a nuclear reactor was melted into rebar and used in the construction of apartment buildings in northern Taiwan, mostly in Taipei, from 1982 through 1984. Over 2,000 apartment units and shops were suspected as having been built with the materials.[14] At least 10,000 people are known to have been exposed to long-term low-level irradiation as a result, with at least 40 deaths due to cancer.[15] In 1985, the Taiwanese Atomic Energy Commission covered up the discovery of high levels of radiation in an apartment building by blaming a dentist operating an imaging machine. However, in the summer of 1992, a utility worker for the Taiwanese state-run electric utility Taipower brought a Geiger counter to his apartment to learn more about the device, and discovered that his apartment was contaminated.[15] Despite awareness of the problem, owners of some of the buildings known to be contaminated have continued to rent apartments out to tenants (in part because selling the units is illegal), and as of at least 2003 and likely to the present, no coordinated effort has been made to track down the remaining affected structures. The Taiwan AEC has harassed medical researchers looking into the consequences.[15] Some researchers from Taiwan claimed that the gamma rays from the cobalt-60 had a beneficial effect upon the health of the tenants.[16]


Does anyone know if these apartments are still around and if so where are they?
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby cranky laowai » 09 Feb 2011, 12:27

About 10-15 years ago I saw a map indicating the apartments. IIRC Fuxing North Road had a lot of those places.
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby Tempo Gain » 09 Feb 2011, 17:43

there's a list of them online somewhere. I believe there was a post here some years ago about it with a link.
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby Charlie Jack » 09 Feb 2011, 22:27

Here are a couple of posts that talk about it:

viewtopic.php?p=1047337#p1047337

viewtopic.php?p=1047356#p1047356

There's a page that contains a map (or maybe a reduced copy of one) that is entitled, "Map of radiation contamination of Taipei City by application of Co 60 as a rebar for buildings and infrastructure." At the size at which the map is shown on the page, I find it difficult to read. Additionally, I cannot vouch for its accuracy. The map is about halfway down the page: http://www.kalmatron.com/files/files1/a ... chure.html

Here's an excerpt of a study by W. L. Chen and others, apparently undertaken in Taiwan, which seems to say that among the radiation-exposed subjects of this particular study there was a smaller percentage of congenital defects and cancer deaths than would be expected in the general population (perhaps I read the document wrong):

In these comparisons, the health effects observed strongly contradict the predictions of the ICRP models. The actual number of cancer deaths and the actual number of congenital malformations are many times smaller than the numbers expected based on the natural incidence of cancer mortality and natural incidence congenital malformations (see below), whereas the ICRP models predict numbers in excess of the natural incidences.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/

Please note that I am not making the claim that this study seems to make.
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby Abacus » 09 Feb 2011, 23:18

Charlie Jack wrote:Here's an excerpt of a study by W. L. Chen and others, apparently undertaken in Taiwan, which seems to say that among the radiation-exposed subjects of this particular study there was a smaller percentage of congenital defects and cancer deaths than would be expected in the general population (perhaps I read the document wrong):

In these comparisons, the health effects observed strongly contradict the predictions of the ICRP models. The actual number of cancer deaths and the actual number of congenital malformations are many times smaller than the numbers expected based on the natural incidence of cancer mortality and natural incidence congenital malformations (see below), whereas the ICRP models predict numbers in excess of the natural incidences.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/

Please note that I am not making the claim that this study seems to make.


Did anyone ask W. L. Chen and his scientists if they would move their family into one of these buildings? :ponder:
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby lupillus » 09 Feb 2011, 23:29

Government website to look up radioactive housing:
http://gamma.aec.gov.tw/ray/house.asp
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby Charlie Jack » 10 Feb 2011, 00:18

Abacus wrote:
Charlie Jack wrote:Here's an excerpt of a study by W. L. Chen and others, apparently undertaken in Taiwan, which seems to say that among the radiation-exposed subjects of this particular study there was a smaller percentage of congenital defects and cancer deaths than would be expected in the general population (perhaps I read the document wrong):

In these comparisons, the health effects observed strongly contradict the predictions of the ICRP models. The actual number of cancer deaths and the actual number of congenital malformations are many times smaller than the numbers expected based on the natural incidence of cancer mortality and natural incidence congenital malformations (see below), whereas the ICRP models predict numbers in excess of the natural incidences.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2477708/

Please note that I am not making the claim that this study seems to make.


Did anyone ask W. L. Chen and his scientists if they would move their family into one of these buildings? :ponder:


I don't know, but I'd rather not live in one.
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby tommy525 » 10 Feb 2011, 02:29

I had the mistaken belief they were torn down. Guess not. But it should be illegal not to disclose that fact to renters. They should be torn down. Unless of course it is proven that it is in fact a benefit (highly doubting that) to have the radioactive bars.

I know , or have heard that since then all imported scrap is checked with a geiger counter before being melted down. Lets hope that is in fact true.
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby Icon » 10 Feb 2011, 09:35

According to my coworker, the houses in question were built after 1983, so if your house is older, you should be OK. He also mentions that, in case of doubt, you can go to the Atomic Energy Commission, and they will give you a questionnaire regarding your home, which company built it, etc. and may lend you a Geiger -paying a deposit, of course. Or if you are really worried, ask for a technician to check it out -free of charge.

The houses are still around. Remember the ads from Xinyi Real Estate, where they promised 3 guarantees: no "tragic" homes, no flooded, no radiation. *sigh*
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Re: Radioactive apartments in Taipei

Postby Icon » 10 Feb 2011, 10:11

For your reference:

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This is a building close to Ronxin Park. It has a sign saying: Buyers beware, civic groups have determined this is one of the radioactive rebar buildings. Don't know how true it is but the sign has been up for months. There is people living there, several businesses, and of course, a real estate office dowstairs...
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