As the radiation nightmare continues at the Fukushima plant in Japan and Americans are hoarding preventative drugs in hopes to avoid possible effects, Cal State Fullerton students do not seem to be as paranoid as recent news reports claim.
A surprising disregard to the dismay of the radiation’s impact was commonplace as many students acknowledged the fact that radiation was locally detected but denied any form of panic or reason to purchase counteracting drugs.
â€œAmericans want to make sure they stay safe, which is fine as a precautionary,â€ said Ryan Carpenter, a kinesiology major. â€œUnless the plant has major leaks, I am personally not worried about the radiation and will not be buying preventative drugs.â€
Potassium iodide is one of the many drugs Americans are stocking up on in fear of possible damage from recent exposure to radiation. The demand of radiation pills is at an all-time high as panicked consumers are stockpiling in reaction to the nuclear releases an ocean away.
Adriana Sierra, a graduate student in the Master of Education program, believes a lot of the local frenzy is directly correlated with the overwhelming publicity the media is placing on radiation detection in California.
There have been many recent reports and stories outlining the fear of potential damage to our bodies, and the coverage has become extensive, yet scientists, doctors and health agencies in California are assuring the public that the local radiation discovered is minuscule and not large or potent enough to pose any ramifications.
â€œEveryone is entitled to their own opinion and their own personal anxiety level,â€ said Sierra. â€œI am not worried about it. I can see why people would be concerned, but I donâ€™t think they should be scared.â€
Jneil Bone, a sociology major, agreed that the media is to blame for a lot of the frenzy that many Americans are experiencing.
Boneâ€™s family lives in Tenri, Japan and although it is not close to the nuclear plant in crisis, she is confident that if they are not affected, let alone worried about the harmful radiation, then Americans should not be so frantic about radiation that has flown 5,000 miles to the West Coast.
â€œI watch CNN, and they assure that what has been detected in California is very little. There is radiation everywhere we turn: in microwaves, X-rays, cell phones, everything. People are being way too paranoid,â€ said Bone.
Ricardo Espino, a criminal justice major, said he was worried when he first saw reports of the radiation surface. It initially did create a scare in him, but he said as days went by he became less worried.
â€œOur body consumes unsafe levels of radiation daily. Japan being so far away has little effect compared to the other forms of radiation we are constantly in contact with,â€ said Espino.
Espino said he will not contribute to the buying of preventative pills because he believes if the radiation were to have an effect, we would have seen it already.
â€œUntil we start seeing things happening, I am not going to worry,â€ Espino said.
Similar to many others, Espino is not concerned about the impact of nuclear radiation, and all the students interviewed admitted it was because no threatening symptoms of the radiation contact are evident.
One thing is certain, CSUF students are not carrying potassium iodide pills in their backpacks and until they witness or hear of any local effects, they do not plan on doing so anytime soon.