I happened to read a story about a guy who had climbed a radio tower to attach a flag.  It was an illegal act, but I think the police were more interested in reaching him for health reasons – he was very close to some high radiation.  The police didn’t say it, but I imagine that if the guy came in for medical tests, they’d probably let him off with probation.  All part of Serve and Protect.

And then there were the comments.  One lady thought that the world was coming to an end:

wow. how does all that radiation being emmitted effect the community that lives around it? oh i can here the authorities now…” its nothing to worry about, the community is safe..the radiation only stays at the top of the tower…blah blah blah..so much for all the past assurances that these towers are “completly safe”.

Aside from the lack of caps, misspellings, wrong words (effect/affect and here/hear), and incorrect abbreviations (its/it’s), her science is wrong.  Her mock about the radiation staying close to the top of the tower is on the right track.  I commented back:

We all benefit from the inverse square law. As we move further away from the radiation source, we get less of the radiation, proportional to 1 over the square of the distance. Compared to 1 foot distance, standing at 2 feet reduces your exposure to 1/4 the original amount.

Since this is a 400-foot tower, standing on the ground at the base of the tower gives you 1/160,000 of the amount of radiation. Being a mile away gives you on the order of one part in 27 million of the one-foot radiation level.

The reason they want to help this guy is because he got a radiation dose 27 million times stronger than you get from a mile away.

(the site automatically tagged me as being from St. Louis.  Bzzzzzt!)

Anyway, she never wrote back, so I don’t know if I shared any knowledge or not.  I can hope.