Seafood safety from radiation relases
Here is what I got today:
Easterly winds across Japan have blown most of the low-level radiation from reactors at Fukushima Daiichi across the Pacific Ocean, where it should rapidly dissolve in seawater and pose little risk to marine life or commercial seafood fisheries, scientists and federal officials said Friday.
Even if radiation levels in the immediate vicinity of the plant increase, there is likely to be no significant hazard off the coast of Japan or out to sea, according to researchers who studied the marine effects of fallout from nuclear weapons tests in the Pacific and the Chernobyl nuclear accident, which spewed a radioactive plume over the Black Sea.
A swift deep current along the coast of Japan is expected to pull the low concentration of radioactive particles from the Fukushima plant to a depth of about 300 feet and dilute it all by a factor of 50 to 100, researchers said.
The prevailing currents then carry the material out to sea, away from beaches and inhabited coasts.
Swept out to sea, depending on the material, many radioactive isotopes such as cesium-137 and strontium-90 usually sink and then remain suspended at depth in the ocean water, sometimes for decades, but have little direct effect on salt-water fish, scientists said.
So far, there is little information about the specific radioactive particles in the steam and smoke coming from the damaged reactors, but scientists have said the radiation likely includes materials such as cesium, strontium and radioactive iodine.
'We released significantly more of these elements when we tested nuclear weapons on a global scale and they haven't caused much of a problem,' said marine geochemist Timothy Kenna who studies radiation and the ocean at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York.
'We can see them in ocean water 50 or 60 years after they were released,' he said. 'And they have not been that detrimental to food supplies and other things.'
Nevertheless, there have been fears about food from Japan, including fish, and several countries have begun testing imports.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is working with the Japanese government and other agencies 'to ensure that imported food remains safe.' The agency' said it will be examining both raw ingredients and food products labeled as having originated in Japan or having passed through the country in transit.
The agency said it could measure radionuclide levels in food and can also utilize the Food Emergency Response Network, which includes food-testing laboratories across the country.
'The great quantity of water in the Pacific Ocean rapidly and effectively dilutes radioactive material, so fish and seafood are likely to be unaffected,' an FDA
No use being tough unless you show it sometimes!