I know this might be an old thread, but I stumbled across it anyway and just had to reply.
I indeed saw not everything you wrote was perfectly true
and yes i got your point, too. But:
you can`t run from that level of radiation we are talking about; you just can`t and what`s more there is no reason to do so.
the dead you were enumerating would be likely to be dead by now; radiation or not. and yes radiation CAN be a dangerous thing; it is said that in Los Alamos they had a piece of plutonium as a doorstop and everyone (of the scientists of course) could walk in there and be fascinated by its enourmous density and by the fact that it constantly produced heat. you could actually take it in your hands. that is, no doubt, dangerous. they didn`t know what they were doing (obviously, we could say now) and it is true that many of them died much earlier than they should
have because of that. but comparing this to the level of radiation in azomite dust or in granite rock is like comparing an avalanche to a snowflake.
I totally agree that nukes are bad. but if you start being afraid of radiation itself you will become paranoid. just like many guys do with germs, although a great part of their bodyweight is germs. people tend to be afraid of the unknown/invisible. you can`t see it but its there and it CAN potentially do harm. its out of our control so we start freaking out.
the best way to deal with this imho is to inform yourself from reputable sources only and just relax a little. don`t buy a geiger counter unless you really know what you are doing with it. there are different kinds of radiation that CAN cause different damages, different kinds of counters for them and different kinds of making their counts accessible for the user. also you have to be able to deal with the gathered data. this is VERY complicated if it should make any sense. it is not just about comparing numbers.
in general there is no danger in natural radiation. in fact background radiation is a good thing. we possibly would not exist without it and lack something without it (which will never happen, so that`s good, right?) it did not originate from nuclear tests. their effect on it is only marginal.
here is a little video that might help with visualization:
this shows a cloud chamber and it visualizes the decays that happen all around us, the background radiation. every streak you see represents a whole "decay chain" (i.e. one particle decays, radiation takes place and motivates other particles around it to decay) and therefore many, many particles. the short streaks for example are very likely to be alpha-decays from radon, which is by far the most important source of background radiation.
if you put azomite dust on your field or compost
or nothing; in any case there will be natural radiation and it does not hurt you. almost no one HAS to use a geiger counter to make their garden save.
there are only very few exceptions (for instance in nigeria there is evidence for a kind of a natural nuclear reactor. but it is long burnt out; and in some other regions there are also deposits of radioactive ores; you would probably know if that was the case in your area and even that is in most cases not exactly dangerous).
a hot water
source CAN derive from radioactivity; it is in general more likely it has other reasons.
it is also true that incorporating radioactive particles should in general be avoided. nevertheless we and all living things do it all the time without harm (see radiocarbon dating; C14 originates from the solar
wind hitting earths atmosphere and is therefore continuously produced and in an (relatively constant) equilibrium between genesis and decay).
what i mean to say and i seem to have difficulties finding the right words:
it is very very important to differentiate here (and elsewhere). radiation is a complex concept involving quite different phenomena with different reach and it comes in a HUGE scale from harmless background radiation to the one of enriched uranium in a reactor and the like. the dangers it brings are of different nature. none of them exists in natural radiation (in most places). also the different forms of radiation and radioactive materials need to be looked at separately.
I hope i could calm a few people down.
in case i opened more questions feel free
to ask. i think i have an above average knowledge of this topic and would be pleased to contribute to these fora eventually.