Radiation levels in Kuala Lumpur
Radiation in Malaysia is disturbing – in Kuala Lumpur at the Geo Hotel. That is where we stayed for a over a week, because the hotel was brand new and not yet worn down and dirty, like most hotels in Kuala Lumpur. I am being fair. We visited an enormous amount of hotels in Kuala Lumpur, from low to top end, and in the end, we were happy to spent more than 50 Euros per night for a clean room, without moldy walls, noisy aircon, gross carpets, crap furniture, no windows, aged and smelly interiors… Geo Hotel also offers superb location, close to the Central Market. Okay, let’s not sidetrack. Here is to radioactivity.
After check in, we found radiation levels to be really high. Because internet wasn’t working at the first floor and a major bus station right underneath our balcony caused major pollution and noise (Malaysian bus drivers never turn off the engines), we moved higher up to another room. Didn’t help to solve the pollution nor noise issues, the radiation levels were also the same up here, but Wifi was working. However, it seems that there was a slight difference in radioactivity, whether we measured outside the balcony or inside our room, where radioactivity was higher.
29th June 2012. Geo Hotel, balcony. Very increased values.
2nd July 2012. Geo Hotel, balcony. Very scary values.
3rd July 2012. Geo Hotel, at the desk inside our room. Veeeeeeery unhealthy values. That is way beyond the 0.100-0.200 micro sievert/hour norms.
9th July 2012. Geo Hotel, again at the desk inside our room. Still very disturbing but it’s departure day – Yay!
I suppose Geo Hotel used radioactive building materials. This is the outside façade of the hotel. I do not know what building material that is, or where else the unusual high radioactivity might come from.
When walking around other touristy parts of town, I remember radioactivity levels sometimes to be around 0.300 micro sievert/hour, which is not good. If you like to know the exact definition of ‘good radioactivity’, I wrote about norms and the Geiger counter here.
Apparently, I must have not taken matters of radioactivity too serious,
knowing I would leave soon because I do not have a lot of pictures. I do recall though, that in Melaka (charming city in Malaysia and a UNESCO world heritage site), the values were back to normal again. I do not have any pictures of the Geiger in Melaka, sorry.
I took one picture of ‘good levels’ in Kuala Lumpur, at the sky-bridge of the Petronas Towers. 4th July 2012.
Finally, I took a last picture of the Geiger in Malaysia, at Kuala Lumpur airport, while waiting for our flights.
14th July 2012. Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (formerly Subang International Airport). Location: the Big Apple Donuts & Coffee place.
Because Kuala Lumpur showed rather increased values, we tried to find something on the net, to explain the measurements, but didn’t find anything useful. Instead, we came across another interesting and tragic case of increased radioactivity in Malaysia. In Bukit Kledang, the permanent depository of radioactive waste showed increased radioactivity levels in the surrounding human habitat of Malaysian farmers, which causes major health concerns amongst the population and led to increased protests.
(Dasza gives the issue a think. Her synapses light up.) And suddenly, it all makes sense: Geo Hotel used that radioactive waste from Bukit Kledang, to cut down building costs. It’s so obvious ;)
Here is more useful stuff on radioactivity around Bukit Kledang and why Malaysians oppose the Lynas rare earth refinery:
Let’s not finish on a distressing radioactive tune. Here is a super yummy Malaysian treat from the airport, from Big Apple Donuts & Coffee, for you. Just a picture, so no worries about radioactive contamination ;)