top of page

Episode 59 S2-24

Chemical Contamination


Special Guest:

Without Land Ch 24

Dr. Joe Alton

For the first time in nine years, Erika and her family get a view of the world outside the climate refugee camp. The story of Without Land describes contamination from nuclear power plants and chemical refinery factories that has caused massive dead areas throughout the country. Here to discuss the risk of contamination and the possible ramifications for your survival is Dr. Joe Alton a.k.a. Dr. Bones, author of The Survival Medicine Handbook.

Play the Podcast

Audio Drama Slide end a (YouTube Display Ad) (1800 x 720 px) (2600 x 720 px)(3).png

Download Day After Disaster for FREE!

One week commercial-free access to the audio drama, access to the Changing Earth Archives, behind-the-scenes clips, and more!

There will be a lot of people at risk of chemical contamination following a global catastrophe. Anyone who lives near a chemical refinery factory or nuclear site will be in danger. An EMP (electric magnetic pulse) would be a big problem for both nuclear and chemical plants. This would cause their safety systems to fail. A nuclear meltdown or core melt accident happens when the coolant systems in a nuclear plant fail and there is nuclear breakdown. Earthquakes, floods, human error are all possible causes of a nuclear meltdown. As infrastructure breaks down the chance for human error will increase. Damaged systems in both nuclear and chemical plants are going to be a big problem.

Children are most at risk to chemical and nuclear contamination because their little bodies are more sensitive. Thyroid cancer in these children will be a major threat to their futures. Nuclear fallout will travel on the dust and debris downwind of the event. Potassium Iodide, available commercially as Thyrosafe, is an important item to have on hand if you will be in a nuclear danger zone. Dr. Alton recommends 130 mg daily for adults for as long and they are exposed and seven to ten days after exposure. Children will require about 65 mg daily and infants should receive less than that. An alternative to potassium iodide is betadine. You can paint betadine on an exposed individual's chest and abdomen to protect them. Use 8 ml in adults, 4 ml for a child and 1 ml for a baby. Betadine will also protect your animals. Iodized salt will not work to protect you from radiation. You would need about 250 teaspoons per day, which would destroy your body.

Chemical plants are often found in common areas where you might not expect them. A chemical plant will be built and a town may develop around it. You need to know what's around you. You need to be aware if it will affect your water supply. If a disaster occurs and maintenance lacks there will be spillage and leaks in their systems.

The biggest threat to your survival is anything that will contaminate the water supply. It is hard to narrow down which chemicals will be the most threatening because there are so many potential chemical contaminates existing in our world today. Water is very easy to contaminate and without our water treatment facilities any water supply might be in jeopardy. Waste treatment plants will turn from a blessing to a threat as they pour over with untreated waste contaminating the water they used to clean. Ammonia or any other chemicals that increase certain metals in the water will also become a major threat. Lifestraws and water filters will not be up to the task of cleaning the water of these industrial contaminates. They only get rid of microbes and organic threats. Even M95 or surgical masks will not filter the air enough for you to survive. You would have to have an actual gas mask intended for this purpose. Boiling water will not remove the contaminates either. Boiling does the same thing as a filter and only removes organic threats. You have to get a lay of the land and know where your water is coming from before you drink it.

Radiation poisoning from nuclear accidents has some very identifiable signs. Normally we are exposed to .6 rads yearly. This is considered safe but when your exposure increases to an amount over 30 rads you are at risk of radiation poisoning. An individual will experience headache and nausea. Vomiting signifies advanced exposure. To protect an individual you need to limit unprotected exposure. Leave the area where high levels are detected. Twenty four house after a nuclear event the level of radiation will be about 1/10 of the original level. The most effective way to protect someone is to shield them from exposure. Nuclear shelters are lined thickly with lead. About 1/2 cm of lead drops the exposure level by half. You will want "10 halving thicknesses." One inch of concrete will reduce the exposure level to 1/1000. 36 inches of soil is effective as well.

There are some steps you can take to prepare for a chemical or nuclear contamination event. 

  1. Find out what risks exist near you: Search topographical maps, google, etc. about what potential threats exist in your area. Make sure you check up river if you are near a river system. 

  2. Stay away from contaminated areas: Because you know what exists around you, you will have a firm understanding of the local threats and which ways to travel in a bug out situation. Do not go near any contaminated areas unless you absolutely have to. When you have to, make sure you have a personal supply of clean drinking water.

  3. Have a gas mask and hazmat suits on hand: These suits are hard to be in for a long period of time and each suite must be discarded after use. Ensure you have many of them on hand and be prepared to take frequent shifts with other group members to limit time in the suit.

  4. Make sure you have a sick room setup ready to deploy: For directions on how to set that up head on over to Dr. Alton's website and read all about it.

Sharing is Caring!

Please Subscribe, Like and Share

Follow us on social media to discuss the novels, audio drama, and latest podcast takeaways.

  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
Without Land Ch 24

Dr. Joe Alton

Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, is an M.D.  and fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American College of OB/GYN. Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., aka Nurse Amy, is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner.  Together, they’re the authors of the #1 Amazon bestseller in Survival Skills and Safety/First Aid “The Survival Medicine Handbook”, well known speakers, podcasters, and YouTubers, as well as contributors to leading survival/homesteading magazines. You will find over 700 posts on medical preparedness on their website.


Their mission:  To put a medically prepared person in every family for disaster situations.

bottom of page