LA Area Peaches Double Normal Background Radiation

Wednesday, July 13, 2011
By Paul Martin

Throughout each day, tallies all ionizing events over a 10-minute period then divides the total by 10 to get a really accurate count per minute or CPM. We began this testing well before any fallout from the Fukushima meltdowns could have impacted Southern California. This helped us establish a baseline background range in order to see any possible spikes in radiation should the Jet Stream finally carry the radiation to this area.
Our RadAlert Inspector Nuclear Radiation Monitor is located in‘s Santa Monica office on the West Los Angeles border. Elevation 140 feet. The unit is approximately one meter off of the ground in a wood-floored structure built over crawlspace with soil foundation.

The Inspector picks up ionizing radiation and, in the setting you are seeing, is measuring in Counts Per Minute or CPM. Many radiation readings are taken in millirems per hour, or mR/hr. The conversion for the Inspector is 1 mR/hr = 3500 cpm.

The reason it is wise to use mR/hr is because it is measured against a standard sample of Cs-137, whereas CPM varies from one type of Geiger counter to another (based on the size of the detection tube).

We have been measuring in CPM because it is easier for most people to see the difference in radiation levels. The baseline radiation background we’ve established for this location is 42 to 46 CPM which equals 0.012 to 0.013 mR/hr.

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