Tag Archive: radioactive


Finally scientists have confirmed what we saw coming from 6,000 miles away: pacific bluefin tuna are now contaminated with significant amounts of radioactive cesium and who-knows-what other isotopes.  

Testing of bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California revealed that every one tested contained radiocesium in concentrations as much as 10bq/kq.  To put that number in perspective, 100bq/kg would be considered low-level radioactive waste under U.S. environmental law and require special disposal.  So, it’s only 10% as bad as officially radioactive waste.  Yum!  

And to get a little more perspective, here are some of the numbers coming back in fish in Japan, found at Jan Hemmer’s blog: http://tekknorg.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/latest-food-measurements-japan/

No.109, 111: Fukushima Prefecture greenling (Cs: 160,910 Bq / kg)

No.112, 113: stone flounder in Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 140,210 Bq / kg)

No.116, 175: Ezoainame Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 240, 110Bq/kg)

No.121, 179: Fukushima Prefecture fox rockfish (Cs: 210,590 Bq / kg)

Rockfish Fukushima Prefecture: No.124 (Cs: 110 Bq / kg)

No.126, 181: Komonkasube Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 330,110 Bq / kg)

No.129, 130,185,186: Shiromebaru Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 220 ~ 1000 Bq / kg)

Croaker, Fukushima Prefecture: No.132 (Cs: 130 Bq / kg)

No.133, 134: slime flounder in Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 270,470 Bq / kg)

Flounder in Fukushima Prefecture: No.138 (Cs: 120 Bq / kg)

Chelidonichthys Fukushima Prefecture: No.139 (Cs: 120 Bq / kg)

Spotted halibut Fukushima Prefecture: No.140 (Cs: 110 Bq / kg)

Marbled sole Fukushima Prefecture: No.145 (Cs: 310 Bq / kg)

No.151, 152: Murasoi Fukushima Prefecture (Cs: 140,310 Bq / kg)

Strongylocentrotus nudus Fukushima Prefecture: No.161 (Cs: 120 Bq / kg)

Usumebaru Fukushima Prefecture: No.174 (Cs: 270 Bq / kg)

The numbers are truly shocking.  Some of the higher ones would qualify as high-level radioactive waste.   

These tuna almost certainly were born off the coast of Japan and recently migrated to the U.S. west coast.  The really bad news is that scientists expect the levels to get worse over the next year as tuna that have spent longer in Japanese waters continue to migrate across the pacific.  

The glowing sushi jokes that have been circulating for over a year weren’t funny when they started and still aren’t – not because they are inappropriate (they are inappropriate), I just haven’t heard a good one yet.  Maybe the radiation has rotted our sense of humor…

At this point, unfortunately it isn’t just the jokes that stink.  

It appears that 200 metric tons of sardines have washed up on the shore in Chiba Prefecture, and the odor can be smelled quite a distance from the port.  Strange fish kills have been on the rise for years due to the havoc humans have been wreaking on the environment, but the proximity to the largest industrial accident in the history of the world is definitely suggestive of a cause.  

Here is a picture of the port, that’s not sand, those are dead fish and that is blood in the water:

Less than a week after that, Mochizuki at Fukushima Diary reports about a similar occurrence – quite a ways away from Chiba in Kanagwa prefecture, along with this photo: 

10 thousand sardines found dead in South Kanagawa

10 thousand sardines found dead in South Kanagawa

While Fukushima has certainly brought the issue of radioactive fish to the forefront, such contaminated fish have been a fact of life for some time.In August, 2011 Reuters reported that Strontium 90 was found in fish caught in the Connecticut River downstream from the aging Vermont Yankee nuclear waste generating station.
Radioactivity continues to be a significant problem in the Baltic Sea nearly 30 years after the Chernobyl accident.  In addition to the Chernobyl legacy, a number of nuclear plants continue to release radioactivity into the Baltic.  
The Irish Sea has it’s own problem with radioactivity.  The Sellafield site has two retired reactors but still functions as a used fuel reprocessing plant and nuclear waste storage site.  Sellafield has been continuously leaking radiation into the Irish Sea since 1952.  The following chart, from NoNuclear.SE shows Cesium in fish almost twice as radioactive as the Bluefin Tuna caught off the coast of San Diego:

News media both in Japan and worldwide have parroted the line that the ocean will dilute the radionuclides to insignificant numbers.  But history clearly shows that radionuclides persist in the marine environment and accumulate in food chains to a significant degree for a very, very long time.  Dilution isn’t a very assuring idea, when there are 439 nuclear reactors around the world, all of them releasing radioactivity in the environment!

What You Can Do:

This blog is loaded with info on how to protect yourself from radiation.  If you haven’t already, I highly suggest reading my posts on Probiotics, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Pectin, and check out the archives as well.  

In addition, I encourage you to limit your intake of seafood, especially from the Pacific.  Avoid larger predatory fish, such as tuna or shark that tend to bioaccumulate toxic elements.  This list describes which fish to avoid in order to decrease mercury exposure, and similar principles should apply with radionuclides.   

I also encourage you to practice anti-nuclear activism and make personal choices that decrease our dependency on nuclear power.

Excerpt from a guest post over at ex-skf, one of my favorite sources for the latest on the Japanese situation:

 

I live in Osaka and sourcing clean food for our toddler son has become the biggest concern of ours, after monitoring the fallout plumes and contamination in our vicinity (which thankfully, seems to be quite limited compared to California, my home state). We have always been interested in buying healthy food and have belonged to COOP for many years.

…..

Basically, the story is this: the further north and east you go, the less likely the COOPs are to disclose testing results as this might well embarrass their long-standing farming/food sources, while to the south and west, this is less likely to happen as their food sources are generally less suspect.

Often, when I read your blog, which I admire and recommend widely, the reports of contaminated food are then commented on by the readers as proof that sourcing food is dangerous and tricky, when actually, if one knows the resources, it is not the case. COOP generally charges 10-20% more than your typical retail supermarkets, but the more radical of the COOPs (like Shizenha) go further by indicating exactly who is tested and what is found. If those who are really concerned about finding safe food for their families are aware of this, they can also benefit from membership to the more transparent COOPs (others probably do exist which I’m not aware of). As of this week, Shizenha will allow shipping to the northern parts of Japan (for a bigger, refundable membership deposit of 20,000 yen vs. the regular 10,000), in an effort to obviously shame the other COOPs who are more hesitant to state reality as it really is, into being more forthcoming with the testing results.

via (Guest Post) How to Source Radioactive Material-Free Food in Japan: Food Co-Op | EX-SKF.

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