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It is the beginning of Sockeye Salmon season.  This is a delicious healthy fish loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids.  But is it also loaded with radioactive Cesium?  Eat at your own risk.  Nobody is testing it.

Last August fifteen tuna fish contaminated with radioactive Cesium were caught off the coast of California.  These fish all measured at least 10 Bq/Kg Cesium 134/137.  The FDA's intervention level is 1200 Bq/Kg radioactive Cesium so all our mass media compared these two numbers and assumed that this level of contamination was safe.  There is little, if any, scientific basis for the FDA's 1200 Bq/Kg number.  Presently, Japan does not allow more than 100 radioactive cesium Bq/Kg for food.

Keeping in mind that the EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level is 3.0 pCi/l, for all gamma emitters (I131, Cs134, Cs137, etc.),

The tuna fish were loaded with radioactive Cesium 90 times the level allowed by the EPA for drinking water(please check my math here).  

Our mass media was filled with stories such as the following claiming that these Cesium 134/137 levels were safe:

The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that's still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments.

Read more:

After the Chernobyl disaster, heart disease in the effected region went way above normal.  The obvious culprit was radiation.  Bandazhevsky published a study showing that levels as low as 30 Bq/KG radioactive cesium were highly correlated with cardiac abnormalities.

Degree of expression of pathologic alterations is in direct
dependence from the amount of radioactive caesium in the organism and
cardiac muscle. Prolonged incorporation of radioisotope in the organism
more than 30 Bq/kg is very undesirable, because could lead to the
serious consequences.
Those that claim these levels of radioactive Cesium are safe point to potassium 40 in the body as a rational.  The potassium 40 load in humans is between 60 and 80 Bq/KG.  But this does not mean that comparable levels of radioactive Cesium are benign.

Previously, Japanese regulations required nuclear waste with 100 or more bq/kg of Cesium to be monitored and disposed of in specialized containers. But the new limit for debris in the "wide area incineration" program is 240 to 480 bq/kg.

I love Sockeye salmon, but I am off all pacific seafood until we start testing it.  My guess is that the 10 Bq/Kg radioactive Cesium in contaminated fish would be sucked up like a sponge by whatever organism eats the fish.  Doesn't sound very healthy to me.

10:55 AM PT: As pointed out by a comment below, Sockeye are less likely to be contaminated than other species of salmon.

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