Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wild Mushroom in Fukushima Tested 28,000 Becquerels/kg of Radioactive Cesium

"It's not food any more, it's simply radioactive materials", as the young man at the Citizen's Radioactivity Measuring Station in Fukushima City said of the radioactive mushroom in Germany's ZDF program aired on August 9.

Wild mushroom harvested in a town in Fukushima tested highest ever radioactive cesium so far in food after the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident that I'm aware of: 28,000 becquerels per kilogram.

According to the data from Fukushima Prefecture, 13,000 becquerels/kg of cesium-134, and 15,000 becquerels/kg of cesium-137 were detected from the mushroom.

The town, Tanakura-machi, is located at about 73 kilometers southwest of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (9/3/2011):


Fukushima Prefecture announced on September 3 that 28,000 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was detected from wild mushroom, Lactarius volemus, harvested in the mountains in Tanakura-machi. The level of radioactive cesium vastly exceeds the national provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels/kg.


It is still early in the season for this particular mushroom and it is not sold in the market. The prefectural government notified the town and the distributors to voluntarily halt harvesting and shipping of wild mushrooms including Lactarius volemus.


According to the prefectural government, the mushroom was harvested on September 1. The government is going to test the mushrooms nearby for radioactive materials, and put up signs calling for voluntary halt on harvesting.


In Fukushima Prefecture, 3,200 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium has been detected from Lactarius volemus harvested in Furudono-machi. The prefectural government says, "We are surprised at the extremely high number. We will continue to investigate and identify the cause".


pat said...

they should invite these miserable creatures from the tokyo government up to Fukushima and forcefeed them these mushrooms.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Add nuclear experts who said plutonium was safe to drink, and ever-increasing number of media celebrities over there who call worried mothers "hysterical".

Anonymous said...

Did I just read that they "will continue to investigate and identify THE CAUSE"?

Anonymous said...

I wondered how low "man" could go and now I know.

Hasn't the behavior of those entrusted with our safety been sadly eye-opening?

Hasn't the behavior of those putting greed over their fellow human-being been sadly eye-opening?

Anonymous said...

huhhh...THE CAUSE...?? Lets see..what about THREE nuclear meltdowns, and uncontolled reactions ongoing..OH..and add burning all the radioactive materials.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! I though the majority of the contamination traveled to the Northwest I wonder how hot the fungus is in that direction? If this is anything like Chernobyl the Japanese can look forward to decades of this problem it also effected other wild forage like wild berries in the Chernobyl region. It also effects the wild animals that feed on them wild boars in certain parts of Europe are still too contaminated to eat. I wonder what the contamination levels are for shrooms found on the US west coast and western Canada?

"Nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl disaster is an important issue concerning mushroom picking in Europe. Due to the wide spread of their mycelium, mushrooms tend to accumulate more radioactive caesium-137 than surrounding soil and other organisms. Special state agencies (in Belarus it is Bellesrad) monitor and analyze the degree of radionuclide accumulation in various wild species of plants and animals. In particular, Bellesrad claims that свинушка (Paxillus ssp.), масленок (Suillus ssp.), моховик (Xerocomus ssp.), and горькушка (Lactarius rufus) are the worst ones in this respect. The safest one is oпёнок oсенний (Armillaria mellea). This is not only an issue in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia; the fallout also reached western Europe, and until recently the German government discouraged people gathering certain mushrooms."

Anonymous said...

Dear blogger,

I was aware that the national limit for radioactive cesium was 500Bq/kg in food. Most of the time, any contamination found lower than 500Bq/kg is "ok" for consumption.

In your personal point of view, do you think any value below the limit is reasonable for comsumption?


Anonymous said...

30-50Bq/kg is often seen as a "safe" upper limit for adults. Sorry, no reference right now.

Of course the logic that "it was on the market" or "it is below the official limit" so it must be safe is totally flawed.

Anonymous said...

hmmm... the government is only asking that the mushrooms be "voluntarily" withheld from the market. so, if someone sells them anyway, does that mean officials like the mayor of yokohama will think they are "safe," since they are on the market?

Anonymous said...

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

Atomfritz said...

As the harvest season just begun, this will be just the beginning of many shocking revelations regarding radioactive food contamination.

In Germany's more contaminated regions, autumn 1986 mushrooms had top values of more than 40,000 Bq/kg.
Eating two kilograms of these makes one millisievert of internal radiation.

Today, "top" values still exceeded 10,000 Bq/kg.
And remember, Germany is 1000 miles away from Chernobyl.

(Some sources:
Federal Office for Radiation Protection:
Der Spiegel (major german newsmagazine):
Bavarian state TV:

Anonymous said...

OK so now all the local wild animals are going to eat radioactive forage and poop most of the contamination back on to the ground where plants will once again take it back up. Of course the plant matter that isn't eaten is going to rot and fertilize the next generation of plants too. This doesn't look good for the future especially if you like collecting wild foodstuff for your table.

Anonymous said...

Philippe here, a few things to take care of.
- The Tchernobyl plume spread spiraling more or less in a wide radius (weather conditions in Europe).
- Nearer to the NNP, weird hotspots and lowerspots.
- The Fukushima plume spreads more continuously it seems.
- And spreads often to the East, but not enough to preserve Northern Japan, as far as Shizuoka as we know.
- Now (eco) decaying time : it is awfull.
Germany was hit quite bad.
Northern GB also.
East and South-East France somehow less.
- Tchernobyl was 25 years ago. We still have some "little" problems.

Anonymous said...

Who in the heck would eat mushrooms of the Paxillus family anyway? They are known to cause kidney and liver failure. Give me Lentinus ponderosus, Matsutake, various types of Cantharellus, King Boletus, Cantathelasma imperialis, Lactarius indigo, Morels, Agaricus bitorqis and Psilocybe species and I'll be quite happy. Minus the radiation of course!

Anonymous said...

"Who in the heck would eat mushrooms of the Paxillus family anyway?"

People from Eastern and Central Europe.

"Four local mushroom hunters show off their booty. Besides Leccinum and Bolete, they found Lactarius and a type of Paxillus they were planning to eat."

"Previously considered edible and eaten widely in Eastern and Central Europe, it has since been found to be dangerously poisonous, responsible for the death of German mycologist Julius Schäffer in 1944. It had been recognised as causing gastric upsets when eaten raw, but was more recently found to cause potentially fatal autoimmune hemolysis, even in those who had consumed the mushroom for years without any other ill effects."

"About edibility of this mushroom - in Russia it is considered to be conditionally edible which means that you have to cook it for a long time and change water several times before eating. It is known that this mushroom contains dangerous which is able to accumulate in our bodies. However there was no proof that it led to any fatal cases. I know some people who eat this mushroom (including my mother) and they are still alive. Though I will not consume that because I don't want any toxins in my body :)".

"Thirty-eight patients with mushroom (Paxillus involutus and Paxillus atrotomentosus) poisoning were treated. Slight poisoning (acute gastroenteritis) was diagnosed in 17 patients, medium-severe in 13, severe in 6, and extremely severe in 2 patients. Changes in the LPO-AOD system correlated with the severity of hepatorenal involvement. The treatment included hepatotropic therapy; patients with acute renal failure were treated by hemodialysis. Paxillus mushrooms induced functional evacuatory disorders in the small intestine. Eleven patients with adhesions in the abdominal cavity developed ileus. Two patients died: a man aged 26 years after eating fried (not boiled) mushrooms and a woman aged 76 years with ileus with symptoms of multiple organ dysfunction. The rest patients were discharged from hospital in satisfactory condition. Clinical course of poisoning with Paxillus mushrooms is discussed."

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