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Duct Tape Radiation Tip

The truth about duct tape and radiation...

If you live near a nuclear reactor chances are that you have done some emergency planning already. Your state and local government regulatory commissions have exercised their plans and continue to make adjustments. Nuclear plants can be vulnerable to terrorists. Terrorist events could occur through dirty bombs. A dirty bomb is a device used to spread radioactive material into food or water using explosives that scatter radioactive material.

Radiation occurs naturally and is present all around us. It is a form of energy and is measured by units called curies. The dose of radiation that someone receives is measured in rem. Depending on the type of radiation duct tape is not proven to be effective in the protection of your health.

Type of rays

Ionizing radiation consists of alpha and beta rays. They are non-penetrating and can cause localized damage such as burns to the skin. Duct tape may help in this instance but not in the case of gamma rays that are more penetrating.

On the other hand, gamma rays and neutrons are more penetrating and diffuse damage throughout the body and can cause an increased incidence of cancer and radiation sickness. Duct tape is yet to be proven that it is effective keeping gamma rays and neutrons from spreading throughout the body.

Exposure can occur from the sources that range from microwave ovens, electronic equipment, diagnostic tests or nuclear weapons testing.

  • Symptoms
  • Skin reddening
  • Cancer
  • Death


  • Communities that are near nuclear reactors have a plan in place. Check with your local emergency planning group to find out what the plan is.
  • Check with nursing home, child’s school and employer to find out what their plans are.
  • Develop an emergency plan and make sure everyone knows what to do. Involve the kids with planning.

Emergency Kit

  • Bottled water
  • Canned and packaged food
  • Portable radio with batteries or hand crank radio
  • Flashlight with extra batteries or hand crank flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medicines
  • Paper towels, garbage bags and toilet paper


  • If you are sheltering in place...
  • Close and lock all windows and doors
  • Turn off fans, forced-air heating units and air conditioners
  • Close fireplace dampers
  • Move to inner room or basement
  • Keep radio on your emergency response network or listen to your local news


  • Follow the instructions given by your local authorities.
  • Take pets only if you know where they will be accepted. Most shelters and emergency vehicles will not accept pets.

Should you take Potassium Iodide?

Potassium Iodide is only effective if a release of radioactive iodine is released. A nuclear power plant would be one incident or a nuclear bomb explosion. A dirty bomb usually doesn’t contain radioactive iodine.

Duct tape

Covering windows and doors with duct tape has not been proven to be effective in keeping radiation out.