Thursday, March 29, 2012

18 Bq/kg of Radioactive Cesium from Canned Salmon

(Update: Checked the corporate site of Maruha Nichiro. It is "pink salmon" or "humpback salmon", in northern Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, Japan Sea, Iwate Prefecture, and Hokkaido.)


Seikatsu Club is a co-op that has been publishing the results of its own analysis of food items it sells.

In the latest results on March 30, 2012, there are several items with radioactive cesium including a can of salmon from a major seafood company (Maruha Nichiro):

30 Bq/kg from lemon
32 Bq/kg from Kiyomi tangor (hybrid of satsuma mandarin orange and regular orange)
18 Bq/kg from a can of boiled salmon

For people trying to eliminate as much radioactive cesium as possible from the food they eat everyday, it's not getting any easier after one year.


Yosaku said...

I actually think it's gotten much better over the last year. One year ago today, the MHLW reported the results of a mere 76 food samples. Of those, 25 samples exceeded the provisional limits. Examples include:

Spinach = I131 (5,900), Cs134 (17,000), Cs139 (17,000)
Broccoli = I131 (4,400), Cs134 (5,200), Cs139 (5,400)

By comparison, on March 27, 2011 (the most recent day for published results), the MHLW released 721 results, of which not a single one exceeded the provisional limits (note that some did exceed the new limits effective next week).

Add to that the fact that we have multiple independent labs now testing food and publishing results (including Greenpeace) that are in tune with those of the government, and I'm feeling much better about the food supply than I was a year ago.


Chibaguy said...

@Yosaku, you can delude yourself all you want. I have no idea what you know about quality control but the response in Japan was too late (actually no response) and contamination is spreading. Furthermore, the MHLW is joke. This would be the last ministry I would state as a source. Why do you think they have the PMDA?

Anonymous said...

You are one of the minorities, yosaku.

Anonymous said...

I am feeling good about Japan's food supply as well - but that's just because I live in Europe and I will probably not buy food from Japan for the next 15-20 years or so.

It's one thing to live there and take a necessary (if indeed very small) risk and quite another to voluntarily add to one's body burden of radioactives when there is local, cleaner and cheaper food available.

I'm not the only one who thinks this way, so expect a permanent, if small, dip in Japan's food exports.

Unknown said...

Yosaku, please be careful to make sure the measurements correspond to the same radioisotopes. The current readings from the coop are for Cesium 137 which has a radioactive half life of 30 years and remains radioactive and dangerous for over 300 years into the future. And it just doesn't dissappear. Your study from one year ago is looking primarily at Iodine 131 which has a radioactive half life of only 8 days and remains radioactive and dangerous for only 5 months into the future, and Cesium 134 which has a radioactive half of only 2 years and remains radioactive and dangerous for about 20 years. So it is predictable that those levels for those radioisotopes would be reduced. But data for Cesium 137 in many prefectures and areas of the new table is blank, totally missing. It is a common long-used trick by the nuclear industry to confuse the public with measurements involving different isotopes promoting great reductions in those with shorter radioactive half-lifes and not talking about those with longer ones, knowing that the majority of people don't know the difference and what it really means. Please make sure to compare Cesium 137 or Strontium 90 or Plutonium 239 levels very carefully in both studies.

Atomfritz said...

This is really worrying.
The Fukushima radiation spill into the sea via groundwater is far from over, possibly has not even reached its climax.

And fish are now already at approximately 1/3th of the 100Bq/kg limit.

Thinking it another way:
How many more nuclear accidents at the sea shore does it need to make seafood from a large part of the world's oceans unfit for human consumption?

One single more nuclear accident could be sufficient!

And, keep in mind the nuclear waste which is piling up and being stored in a manner that it easily can lead to a catastrophe with MUCH larger releases than in Fuku-I.

Then worlds' population has to "share the pain" by being forced to eat poisoned seafood, only for the profits of a few greedy nuclear industry's shareholders and their puppets, including the US govt.


Sebaschan said...

hmm well we know cs 137 and 134 is man-made and shouldn't be in any food we consume, but 18 bg/kg is really not much. It may be much compared to the time before the accident, but on the other hand... has food ever been tested at this quantity before the accident? There might have been Products with more than 18bg/kg for decades... I guess most products here in Germany have more than that because of Chernobyl, so I'm much more worried about untested food and food that I will consume regularly in Japan... like rice and tea hardly below the safety limit.

Chibaguy said...

@Yosaku, I think you have missed a lot of news. You might also want to understand the history of the MHLW.

Anonymous said...

Yosaku is lost

Anonymous said...

This is getting ridiculous.

Bananas contain 130 Bq/kg from entirely natural sources. And the Pacific contains a lot of cesium from nuclear tests.

20-30 Bq/kg is very little radiation. Are there any measurements for salmon from pre-Fukushima days?

Anonymous said...

Yosaku, you also forget that the governement will publish data that looks good.
For example, March 2012 Iodine fallouts are higher than June 2011 iodine fallouts.
It is convinient for the governement to publish data before the March 2012 fallouts contamination.
This way, the data looks good. But some data will show worst contamination actually. TEPCO and the Japanese governement can decide which one they pick to publish without anyone knowing they are cheating.

Anonymous said...

Food for thought...
JAEA is already using a Compton camera to take some readings on land.

How about a global co-operative effort ?
All nations with these in use flying overhead, point them at the oceans and show the results.
That might provide some valuable information in real time.

Anonymous said...

Hey folks, this is completely off topic to the thread but the Japanese embassy in Canada is trying to recruit people online, via Facebook, to write positively about Japan and giving away free trips as a prize.

I find this to be terribly immoral as they are trying only to drum up tourism dollars and not caring about the potential health consequences.

As such I had made a post voicing my disgust with their actions but they keep deleting it. Please go to this page and also voice your beliefs on this (keep it civil of course). After you post it keep checking the post using from a friend's computer to make sure it is not deleted. I continued to see it from my PC but when I checked from someone else's it would disappear after a few hours so obviously someone is manually deleting it.

Thanks folks.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

@anon at 8:49AM, thanks for the facebook link. So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started the 1 billion-yen the project to dispel "baseless rumors". Great.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed they have, if you could PLEASE bring attention to this users will post there (keeping it civil is the only effective way to post of course). Perhaps you could make a dedicated post about this?

I cannot stand to see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs attempting to lure people into Japan for their tourism dollars. This further underlines their greed ahead of safety which is the exact same problem that lead to the disaster to begin with. Thank you for your attention.

Anonymous said...

I would not buy food grown anywhere in the Tohoku or Kanto region if I could help it. I buy veggies from the west, such as AIchi or farther southwest, Shikoku or Kyushu etc.

I no longer eat seafood, period.

We should now be focussing on what is going on at the site, unit four appears to be on the precipice of collapsing (any day, week, month, year?) and would release 8 times more cesium in a radiological fire than Chernobyl. There is 1760 metric tons of high radioactive nuclear materials at the Fukushima site. The situation at the site seems to be slowing getting out of control (true or not?). Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

This site has become like a cult for people who wish to believe Fukushima has caused the collapse of life as we know it. 18 bq/kg in tinned salmon - as if this were a death sentence. And now we're back to the "#4 is going to fall over" myth. Woods Hole is right... we haven't come very far. But its not because of the science, its because human nature craves drama, and when it isn't delivered, its fabricated.

Anonymous said...

>18 bq/kg in tinned salmon - as if this were a death sentence

Yeah tell that to a mother of a baby or toddler.

I agree readily with you on Reactor 4. Where did that come from, again? Is Gundersen saying that again?

Anonymous said...

Baseless rumours that your Geiger counter will go 'CLICK' in Japan?


Anonymous said...

Actually we have developed an Equation based aupon Cs activity that allows you determine the nearest BEST estimate of the Amount of NP, Am and Pu in food.
18 Bq may seam like a small amount of radiation, however as we have demonstrated through recent electron microscope work, the Pu in the sample is enough to probably kill you over time - unless excreted. And I don't want to hear any whiny Yankee comments that Pu doesn't cross gut epithelium.
It is actively taken up and *absorbed* .... if it clicks - don't eat it!

RutherfordsGhost - "no useful power will come from nuclear fission"

Anonymous said...

Hey, to all the wannabe nuclear scientists out there....YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!

Radiation is bad fuc*ing BAD in any amount, PERIOD! You eat it in ANY amount and it accumulates, PERIOD! You breath it in and it accumulates, PERIOD! You drink it and it accumulates, PERIOD!

WTF! Everyone with a slight understanding of what we are seeing here, understands there is nothing "acceptable" or "natural" here!

Goddam-it, if food is from ASIA - especially JAPAN, ALASKA, and CALIFORNIA...leave it on the fuc*ing shelve!

Tom Dark said...

That Canada, the US and other governments where officials are bribed with nuclear industry money are paying people to write happy-sounding lies about Fukushima is NOT irrelevant. It is criminal behavior, compounding the disaster.

Yosaku probably isn't even Japanese. The slant and style of English suggests s/he/it is a propagandist. I'm glad to see many posters who know far better. There will be many more.

And there will be more cover-ups. Just the other day "science" suddenly "discovered" that "obesity" was the new cause of cancer, for instance.

Anonymous said...

Here is some Info on contamination of Fish , Sea , Land , Air .
Start Thinking !!! TAKE ACTION!/2012/02/total-fukushima-radiation-released-into.html

Anonymous said...

Anybody have any current info about radiation contamination in Alaska/N. Pacific seafood? Because of the Kuroshio current's general clockwise circulation around the N. Pacific, whatever radiation leaked into the Pacific from Fukushima would likely go right towards Alaska. Are the Canadian and U.S. governments doing any testing in those waters?

DiogenesNJ said...

Let's do some arithmetic here. The Codex Secretariat puts the annual dose from ingesting 1 Bq of Cs-137 at 1.3 times 10^-5 (.000013) milliSieverts:

Let's suppose you just love fish, and you eat 400 g every single day (almost a pound). Let's suppose all of it contains 200 Bq/kg, *ten times* the amount we're talking about here.

You would eat (.4 * 365) = 146 kg annually, times 200 Bq, times .000013 = 0.4 milliSv annual dose.

Your annual background from all sources is about 2.4 mSv, so this is about 1/6 of that -- roughly the same as spending six months of the year in Denver, CO at 5000 feet altitude.

The risk may not be absolutely zero, but it is certainly negligible compared to risks we take casually every day.

It is very sad that the anti-nuclear activists have chosen to actively engender fear in the Japanese population in the region around Fukushima to promote their viewpoint. Consider this analysis by a Certified Health Physicist from the Rennsalear Polytechnic Institute three months after the accident. In slide 25, he estimates the increased cancer risk to the general population at roughly 0.001% (one-thousandth of one percent).

For general background, with many citations to peer reviewed literature: see "A Rational Environmentalist's Guide to Nuclear Power":

In general, take your information from academic figures who specialize in radiation and health, like the Health Physics Society:

The HPS is involved in all aspects of radiation safety. There is a certified Health Physicist at every hospital monitoring X-rays, scanning technologies, and radiation cancer treatments. They are a good source for unbiased information.

Atomfritz said...

@ anon 2:42

Few physicists do own research.
Most of them just eat what DOE/AEC/NRC published of "scientific" papers which were aimed at defaming worries about radiation as baseless rumors.

If these worries are baseless, why then get practically all radiation-related data and health statistics closed away from the public by being classified?
Why then scientists who are too nuclear-critic get their funding cut off?
There is something very foul.

Anonymous said...

DiogenesNJ, are your figures here really all correct? If so, it would in fact seem that there really isn't much to worry about here. Is all this radioactivity-in-seafood concern, really all hype? If so, I actually feel a lot better.

Anonymous said...

Sure, you can trust the government of Japan to properly and thoroughly test all seafood. You can also trust huge canning companies to test all seafood. You can also trust broke, indebted fisherman not to sell questionable fish to the market. April fools.

Ken D. Webber said...

writing @DiogenesNJ, You don't know what the F you're talking about. Your figures mean nothing because you're talking about EXTERIOR exposure. Once ONE single particle gets inside you and becomes part of a muscle or bone you are screwed and death has begun. It takes ONE particle, just one to start cancer, and INTERNALLY you are getting blasted every single day until nearby cells turn cancerous. Your nose is growing fool!

Anonymous said...

Well, if bananas contain 130 Bq/kg from entirely natural sources (as posted above), and the fish in question contains only about 20 Bq/kg, then it does seem this new 'radiation-in-seafood' scare may just be all hype - right?

4Yahshua said...

Take boron capsule a day to help rid body of radiation. Cheap topical iodine on abdomine (best place for absorbtion) fights it (only a couple dollars a bottle) as does Vitamin C, D3 (no toxic amount in this form). Take food iodine drops in liquids,kelp capsules, etc.
Hope you survive this! Blessings!

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