Skip to main content

I've noticed a significant number of breathless reports of the threat that radionuclides leaking from the damaged Fukushima reactors present to organisms (including humans) resident on the west coast of North America.  This brief post is to point out that the risk to humans from the radioactivity added to the Pacific Ocean because of this disaster is very small indeed according to the latest peer reviewed science.

"Fears regarding environmental radioactivity, often a legacy of Cold War activities and distrust of governmental and scientific authorities, have resulted in perception of risks by the public that are not commensurate with actual risks" - Fisher et al. (2013) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Radioactivity (e.g. Cesium 134 and Cesium 137) from the compromised Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have been detected in bluefin tuna that migrate between Japan and California. Despite the fact that levels of reactor bred isotopes were still well below national food safety limits there was widespread alarm broadcast through various media outlets. There are many outlandish claims being made as to the environmental damage being caused on the west coast or predicted to result from radiation leaking from Fukushima.  Some or the more fringe theories are debunked by biologist Andrew Thaler here.

A recently published paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by a colleague, Nick Fisher of Stony Brook University, investigated the risk of Fukushima derived radiation to those consuming Pacific bluefin tuna. Their findings indicate that the bulk of radiation dose to human consumers results from naturally occurring Polonium-210 which was roughly 600-fold greater than Fukushima dervied radiocesium isotopes. Indeed, the estimated dose of radioactivity from consuming tuna carrying Fukushima derived isotopes for a year is similar to or less than our annual doses from air travel, terrestrially derived foods, medical treatment and other background sources.

So, despite the local impact of the disaster which is real and should not be downplayed, the amount of radiation likely to be dispersed in ocean currents and distributed in the marine food web will pose little risk or threat to humans.  

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I hope you are correct. (5+ / 0-)

    There is no way I can evaluate this risk.

    •  Yes there is a way to evaluate risk. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, erratic


      They know the amount of radioactive waste (take the worst case scenario of leakage).  They know the amount of water in the ocean (approximately).  They know for a fact that the leakage from Fukishima is completely insignificant.

      Eating fish near Fukishima isn't recommended, but for everywhere else... eat up and stop the needless worrying and the leaks.

      "So what if a guy threw a shoe at me!"

      by FoodChillinMFr on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 02:05:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What's to prevent fish harvested from those water (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S F Hippie, splashy, jeanette0605, Sandino

        from showing up in US markets?

      •  Your math has a couple of problems (9+ / 0-)

        You assume an equal distribution of radionuclides throughout the ocean and that fish remain in a local area.

        One extreme is as bad as the other. Neither the Pollyanna attitude or the fear mongering represent reality.

        I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

        by Just Bob on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 02:21:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Fake science uses wrong math like that (0+ / 0-)

        It is simplistic and dishonest. The releases from fukushima stay concentrated in well-studied ocean currents forming plumes, rather than dispersing evenly into the entire ocean as the shills and dupes claim. Furthermore, organisms concentrate these radioisotopes through another well-studied process known as bioaccumulation. Finally, the article completely neglects Strontium 90, a calcium mimic that is even more dangerous than Cesium.

        •  You get me some tasty radioactive FU Dolphin... (0+ / 0-)

          err, Tuna, I'll show you a tasty sammitch.

          Seriously.  I'm not scared of radiation less than that of a banana.  I've got a wife, kids, and a dog, and I'd allow each of them to eat up.

          I've got the science and the math on my side.  The alarmists have 'OMG radiation is going to eat your children' on theirs.  

          Fukushima is a massive, dangerous, worrisome dilemna, but fantasy such as this diary should be stuffed in a plastic drum and soaked in HFl...ala Br Ba.

          "So what if a guy threw a shoe at me!"

          by FoodChillinMFr on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 07:37:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Hopefully the paper helps. (5+ / 0-)

      (OK, this is where being a scientist helps...) It's not my field, but the paper looks sound. The chief author has done work in the field and appears to have a pretty good record.

      The message is that there is little (negligible) risk. For us, half a planet away. That it not to minimize the localized plight of those on the site.

      The paper cited measured 137 Cs levels in Pacific Bluefin Tuna (PBFT) that had migrated past Japan.

      Here, we consider additional cancer risk to humans due to the consumption of PBFT contaminated with radiocesium. These fish acquired radioactive cesium in waters off Japan following the Fukushima accident and migrated across the Pacific Ocean to coastal waters off California (2)
      and the result
      Dose to Humans.
      Consumption of 200 g (a typical restaurant-sized serving) of PBFT contaminated with 4.0 Bq-kg-1 dry weight of 134-Cs and 6.3 Bq-kg-1 dry weight of 137-Cs (mean values for PBFT caught off San Diego in August 2011) resulted in committed effective doses of 3.7 and 4.0 nSv, respectively (Table 1). To put this into perspective, the combined dose of 7.7 nSv from these two Cs isotopes is only about 5% of the dose acquired from eating one uncontaminated banana (assuming 200 g weight) and absorbing its naturally occurring 40-K (28), and only about 7% of the dose attributable to the 40-K in the PBFT(Table1)
  •  Let them eat fish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am sure the fish are at least as safe as ground zero was when declared to be so by Christine Todd Whitman.  At least, I hope lots of people think so, because someone has to eat all those fish, and what with all the mercury and whatnot in them, all we needed was a little radioactivity to panic everyone into eating cows instead.

    And since I eat cows, I don’t want the cost to be run up by a bunch of panicked fish-eaters.

  •  nobody knows jack sh*t unless they test (5+ / 0-)

    each fish and you know it.  When will the truth be admitted, that how contamination will manifest is a mystery...freakin' math be damned

    by Portia Elm on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 02:33:19 PM PST

  •  Publish, Exaggerate, Hyperventilate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HiKa, David54, northsylvania

    Any injury to humans consuming bluefin tuna caught of the west coast of the USA is highly unlikely however please do not let the incovenient size of the Pacific compared to the likely amount of radioactivity released into it stop food scares. The bluefin tuna is an at risk species so the more people are put off eating them the better.

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 02:47:53 PM PST

  •  SPEEDI gives real-time radiation levels (5+ / 0-)

    all across Japan. There are monitor sites at all the major cities and points of interest.

    Except for the immediate area around the plant, the water flow area, and the 40 miles downwind south and east of Fukushima, readings did not go to abnormal levels for any appreciable period of time after the disaster.

    That contrasts with what happened back in the 40s and 50s before the Test Ban Treaty. Japan took heavy doses of radiation and fallout materials from Russian and Chinese test.

    In fact, tests show that hundreds of previously undetected fallout basins have been created by rainfall carrying that 40s and 50s fallout down hills. Those same areas collect smoothed-off rocks, which had been picked up and taken home by hikers for display in rock gardens.

    Not a great idea, but nobody knew they were radioactive. Without Fukushima, it seems unlikely that anyone would have discovered the problem.

  •  your fancy science-ing is not fair! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David54, notrouble

    It's ruining the narrative that radiation is omg bad, ok?


  •  I forgot, what is the proven safe dose again? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, Jim P, Joieau, splashy, Sandino

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 03:49:31 PM PST

    •  Easy to figure out. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice

      If the radioactivity (due to Fukushima) in a serving of tuna is 5% of that you get (naturally occurring) from eating a banana, then it should be safe. Unless you're worried about the banana.

      It's about evaluating risk.

      •  Why didn't you address my question instead (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of spouting irrelevant crap?

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 04:58:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Japan limits the amount of Cs in fish to 100 Bq/kg (0+ / 0-)

          by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:20:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What was the 'limit' before Fukushima? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, splashy, Sandino

            20x less. It was a week after Fukushima that Japanese suddenly discovered that kids can take the same maximum dose that German nuclear plant workers can take.


            Children can now be exposed to 20 times more radiation than was previously permissible. The new regulations have prompted outcry. A senior adviser resigned and the prime minister, Naoto Kan, was criticised by politicians from his own party.

            Ministers have defended the increase in the acceptable safety level from 1 to 20 millisieverts per year as a necessary measure to guarantee the education of hundreds of thousands of children in Fukushima prefecture, location of the nuclear plant that suffered a partial meltdown and several explosions after the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March.

            It is estimated that 75% of Fukushima's schools may have radiation levels above the old safety level of 1 millisievert. The local authorities in Koriyama have tried to ease the problem by digging up the top layer of soil in school and day centre playgrounds, but residents near the proposed dump site have objected.

            The new standard of 20 millisieverts a year – equivalent to the annual maximum dose for German nuclear workers – will mean those schools remain open, but parents and nuclear opponents are angry that safety concerns are being ignored.

            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:57:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's quite relevant. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike Kahlow

          If a kilo of tuna emits fewer beta particles than those you would get from eating a banana, then it's not worth worrying about.  Or have you excised bananas from your diet?  They're quite radioactive compared to most foods.

          •  So you're still ducking the question entirely, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, Sandino

            because you know the answer - there is no known proven safe dose, per day, hour, week, year of lifetime.

            So, since you wouldn't address that, I guess you'll stick to that garbage about the amount of radioactive material of all types ingested by a marine top predator over a sustained period of time, since, again, truth be told, you have no clue whatsoever, except that it is less than the entire body mass, or the total release from Fukushima, etc.

            When you do pollyana bullshit, as somebody else pointed out, it is as harmful and misinformative as when you do the opposite, and equally unscientific.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:39:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am not sure what the confusion is here... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mike Kahlow

              In defence of Praxical, this study estimated the dose of radiation you would receive if you consumed an average N. American diet of tuna in a year. The increase in dose given measured amounts of radioactivity is very small and similar to taking a flight on a commercial airline for example.  We are constantly exposed to radiation from natural and anthropogenic sources.  This study tells you the risk of radiation exposure of eating tuna over the course of year and you can weigh that risk and make a decision.


              by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:48:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except that it is false. A tune eats other fish. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                It swims in water and performs oxygen exchange with the water. No two tuna are identical, have identical lives diets, or histories. Fukushima was not a one time release, but is still ongoing. We have no reliable information as to the size of any of the releases. I, unlike you, am sure what the confusion is, because it appears that it is intentional. That is why we still hear the bullshit about airplane travel and yadayadayada echoing here.

                Hey. What is the safe dose? How much thorium should I go ingest on the theory that it is simply yet another fucking increase over the background radiation? How many just another increases are dangerous?

                You guys are making a case that there is no need, under any conditions, ever, for a dosimeter, so are they a big con?

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 06:30:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  There's something you don't seem to understand. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wonmug, Mike Kahlow

                  ...The units of radiation that are being used to discuss this are -tiny-.  IIRC the most radioactive tuna they caught in a study post-fukishima had an activity attributable to fukishima-sourced radioactive elements of about 10 Bequerels per kilo of fish -- an additional ten atoms per second are decaying compared to normal tuna.  A single banana has an activity of about 15 Bq.  If you're eating a can of tuna at a time -- which is what, six ounces? -- you're getting an extra 1.7ish Bq of beta radiation.

                  In a 70-kg human, there's about 175g of K-40; this element alone is responsible for some 5400 Bq of radioactivity -- that is, ever second, 5400 of your potassium atoms lose their shit and spew forth beta radiation, not to mention transmuting to another element.

                  •  What you don't seem to understand is that (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    your whole point is fallacious. You can eat a certain amount of arsenic every day and live a very long time. As long as you don't eat too much, you can eat more, but should you?

                    With arsenic, however, we have a pretty good idea what is a safe dose. THERE IS NO KNOWN SAFE DOSE FOR RADIATION. That is why you keep dodging around that question and throwing out endless non sequiturs.

                    Also, your information on fish is already ancient history. You're talking about what was, and other people are talking about the future - Fukushima was not a one time release, it is ongoing and could get worse, which is what others are talking about and which you do not address at all.

                    Should we dump radiium all over every shipment of bananas, because it is simply a bit more, and who cares? That is not medically sound, because, the safe dose, as you well know, is unknown and hence presumed to be none. Any increase is bad, any increase, so trying to pretend that it isn't is as valid as saying "go eat radium".

                    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                    by enhydra lutris on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:43:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your arguments are ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)

                      Also, the definition of 'non sequitur' that your using seems to be wrong.

                      That is not medically sound, because, the safe dose, as you well know, is unknown and hence presumed to be none.
                      So have you moved into your undersea habitat constructed of the salvaged remains of pre-Hiroshima subs yet?  (Water's a fantastic shield against radiation, and metal from pre-Hiroshima subs is valuable for those building instruments that require extremely low self-generated radioactivity, for reasons that I'll leave it to you to research.)
                      Any increase is bad, any increase, so trying to pretend that it isn't is as valid as saying "go eat radium".
                      So you've stopped eating bananas, then?  Or anything else with potassium in it?

                      PS -- Arsenic is actually necessary for humans, in trace amounts.

                      •  You clearly have nothing substantive to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        contribute at this point. Let me know when you learn something about:

                        1) How radiation interacts with human tissue
                        2) What dosimeters are and why they are used
                        3) What "cumulative dose" and "Cumulative exposure" mean
                        4) What it means and why it matters that there is no safe dosage
                        5) What a non-sequitur is (hint - if the question is "What is the safe dosage" anything not directed at answering that specific question, with a number, is a non-sequitur)
                        6) Why it is not wise to play Russian roulette over and over and over.

                        Then we can maybe start to discuss this rationally.

                        Also, when you decide to put your money where your mouth is and start putting radium and radioactive isotopes on your morning Wheaties, please post a video, it will be interesting to watch

                        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                        by enhydra lutris on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:19:39 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  We don't know that "there is no safe dose" for (0+ / 0-)

                      radioactivity. Our NRC uses a no threshold model for radiation exposure, because it is the most conservative model, but biologically we have literally no evidence that it is true.

                      Most biologically effective agents follow a threshold model, where exposure below some level have no effect because the random fluctuations of the medium wipe out any transient effect. There is even some evidence for hormesis, a model in which low levels of radiation stimulate the DNA repair machinery and lead to a better outcome overall. I'm not going to assert that hormesis is the best model but it is worth knowing that there is some evidence out there for it, which pretty much ensures that the "no threshold" is not in fact the biologically appropriate one. Using the "no threshold" model is conservative, though, in terms of human exposure so it can be justified on policy grounds.

                      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                      by Wee Mama on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 07:51:33 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
                        We don't know that "there is no safe dose" for radioactivity.
                        No, we have not proven a negative, but we also know of no safe dose, which is operationally the same thing as their not being one. For any given does, the question "Do we know this to be a safe dose?" is answered negatively, hence, for practical purposes, there is none..

                        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                        by enhydra lutris on Thu Nov 07, 2013 at 09:00:36 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

              •  No, an interior dose of ingested (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                splashy, Sandino

                (or inhaled) isotopes is NOT the same thing as excess gamma exposure from an airline flight. It's just not, you may as well accept it.

                But who eats tuna anyway? Mercury isn't exactly good for you.

            •  The idea of 'no safe dose' is both ridiculous (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              claude, notrouble, wonmug, Mike Kahlow

              and irrelevant, frankly, because there's no way to get NO dose.  It's impossible to study.  EVERYTHING is radioactive, to some degree or another.  YOU are radioactive.  Potassium-40 is present in every animal and plant, along with Carbon-14 and a host of other isotopes of practically every element.  Living at a high altitude gets you a higher daily dose simply because there's less atmosphere shielding you from cosmic rays.  

              So we have to look at the problem another way -- harm mitigation.  If your choices don't significantly elevate your dose, then it can be considered normal and safe.  Many people eat a banana a day.  Bananas are high in potassium, which means that they're high in K-40, too, a radioactive beta emitter.  (Shipments of bananas have been known to set off radiation detectors meant to detect nuclear material at border checkpoints.)  

              Tuna, even the 'contaminated' tuna from Fukishima, is vastly less radioactive (in beta particles emitted per second) than a banana, by weight.  I looked at the most radioactive fish caught in a study on how fukishima has affected that particular fish; you'd need to eat 1.6 kilos of the meat in order to consume enough radioactive material to equal the dose you would expose yourself to by eating a single banana.

              The dose is so tiny it's lost in the noise of daily living, particularly when you aren't consuming large amounts of said fish daily.

              •  So who cares if your cancer risk increases (0+ / 0-)

                as long as the nuclear power plant owners stay profitable. Oh and lets ignore bioaccumulation and the biological differences between potassium and cesium or strontium. The thing about this new bit of 'science' you've discovered is that it is actually cliched disinformation presented to gull the scientifically literate but casual observer.

      •  Sure, because everybody knows (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashy, Sandino

        bananas are chock full of meltdown isotopes! Mmmm... and strontium makes for strong bones and teeth. And gamma from air travel (plus the nudie-scope) is exactly the same thing as alpha from plutonium in your lungs. See?

  •  Hopefully (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, suspiciousmind

    I hope this diary takes into the account particulate radiation.  Cesium is either an alpha or a beta emitter which makes it highly damaging to DNA and carcinogenic.  Cesium mimics Potassium in the body so it becomes concentrated in many organs.  The cesium has a half life of about 600 years i it's in your body forever emitting particulate radiation and possibly damaging your DNA.  It only takes one damaged cell to become cancerous and begin dividing uncontrollably.
    We're conducting a huge scientific experiment since the nuclear age began by putting all of these new radioactive elements at high levels into the environment.  
    One thing I've noticed is that "experts" discuss the damage from Gamma radiation (pure energy), but they don't discuss the problems of particulate radiation...which over the long term can be just as dangerous if you inhale/ingest these particles into your body.  

    •  Hi Victor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      134 is a beta emitter with a half-life of 2 years while 137 emits beta and gamma with a half-life of about 30 years.  Most damage to living tissue and genetic material from radiation is through the production of free radicals (reactive oxygen species) given that the energy absorbed ionizes water. The point of this article is that most of the radiation associated with a large predatory commercially harvested fish is not due to Fukushima spawned isotopes. The article does not concern itself with material released to the atmosphere or local environment that humans might be exposed to by breathing in or accidentally ingesting material. Is that what you mean by particulate material?  Particles that are radioactive are just large groups of atoms that have subsets of atoms that can decay and release mass and energy to the environment.  Hope this helps.

      by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:17:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Can the fish ingest particles (0+ / 0-)

        Which migrate and become lodged in their bodies, to be ingested by humans?

        Women create the entire labor force.
        Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:28:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hi MarineChemist (0+ / 0-)

        What i was discussing is the lack of discussion about the dangers of inhaling or ingesting radioactive elements that emit alpha or beta particles.  (particulate radiation) Elements emitting Beta particles can be extremely mutagenic to DNA.  Also, the alpha particle is very large and can damage cells and DNA.  Plutonium, Cesium, Strontium and Iodine are all beta or alpha emitters and if you inhale or ingest these elements into your body they can become lodged in the body because they mimic other elements such as potassium or calcium or iron.   Those elements emit alpha and beta particles that can cause cancer by damaging the DNA in the cell.  This is a greater danger over time than the gamma (pure energy) that might hit you from the environment from a nuclear accident.  These particulate radioactive elements can spread out all over the environment and get into the food chain.  I meant to say 30 years for Cesium 137 and that means it will take about 600 years before it totally decays away.

  •  The 'equal too' fallacy appears again. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau, splashy, Sandino
    air travel, terrestrially derived foods, medical treatment and other background sources
    Well, yes, but if you eat a banana while getting an x-ray in an airplane, you've got additive effects. Breathe in a bit of strontium-90 or plutonium, eat some, and prospects are worse.

    There was no cesium background radiation, as well as the many other isotopes unique to our messing with uranium, before we started nuclear atmospheric tests; the 'background' of today is not the 'background' of 70 years ago and before. To speak of it as 'normal' is a bit misleading.

    We also know that cancer has had a massive increase since we started with nuke testing and plants. It's physically impossible to know what role radioactivity has in it -- what with all the thousands of new compounds which are okayed without studying their effects, and effects in combination with other elements. But a role for radioactivity in this increase can't be ruled out either.

    As to

    national food safety limits
    Those limits are arbitrary. You'll not find a peer-reviewed study which says there's no risk for exposure to radioactivity. It's just they had to pretend there's a 'safe' limit or otherwise they couldn't do business.

    I forget how high Japan raised the 'safe limit' for exposure and food immediately following Fukushima, but it was on the order of 20 to 100 times. Overnight, without any study whatsoever.

    Shall we pretend 'safe limit' has any relation to what might be safe in the real world because interested parties feel a need to pacify the public?

    You might have read of the recent wild collapse of sea life off the coasts of Canada and Washington and Oregon. What role Fukushima plays in this, if any, is not known.

    What is known is that more and more and more radioactive isotopes will appear in more and more species in higher and higher concentrations for the next decades while Fukushima runs out of control.

    That you'd base the whole thing on the National Academy of Sciences is not the route to credibility. The NAS has a history of close ties with the nuclear industry.

    One might wonder why the EPA decided to discontinue their radioactivity monitoring off the West Coast in the months after the melt-downs when something like 80% of the monitors showed very high levels. Which was explained away as a massive coincidental failure of the equipment.

    They've not fixed those darned things yet, nor do they seem to be monitoring since.

    Russia and S Korea, I think too China, meanwhile have banned Japanese fish.

    A final note: of course, cancer is not the only negative effect of r-exposure. Children can have heart and muscle damage, as can elderly which won't permit them to live long enough to develop cancers. Same for immune system damage.

    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:51:19 PM PST

    •  Hi Jim, lots to think about here... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P

      1) What massive die offs along the northwest coast are you talking about? I live in BC.  Are you referring to low oxygen events that happen seasonally in response to wind driven upwelling?
      2) The study is not by the NAS. It appears in a peer reviewed journal that is published by the NAS.  The original research comes from the authors out of Stony Brook, IRSNS in France and Stanford
      3) Radioactive isotopes that have a 2 year half-life will not bioaccumulate in marine food webs...I don't think your statement about knowing that we will see widespread contamination of food webs is sound

      Again this article points out that most of the radioactivity that would impact a human consumer in bluefin tuna is naturally occurring polonium. If you are the sort of person who makes travel plans based on radiation exposure perhaps you will choose not eat tuna caught off of California.


      by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 06:02:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, in the middle of work, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashy, jeanette0605, Sandino

        the main news for you might be:

        Sardine population plummets along U.S. West Coast — AP: Collapse of species feared — “Canadian Pacific fishermen catch no sardines in 2013″ from a news aggregator (one fiercely anti-nuke, but they mainly like to generally accepted news outlets). There are four links to that there.

        Wasting disease devastating starfish along Sonoma Coast

        Five other stories on the starfish from the same aggregator:

        Sea-lion pups grounding themselves at double the normal rate

        In late January, scientists surveying Channel Island sea lion rookeries reported something worrying: Pups out there were in bad shape. [...] Now, hundreds of these little animals have been admitted to rescue centers between Santa Barbara and San Diego. For a non-El Niño year, the numbers are much too high, too early. Something is going badly wrong offshore, and no one knows what it is yet.
        Sea lion pups die-off earlier in the year 'so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.” That will allow more scientists to join the search for the cause, Melin said. ...   Even the pups that are making it are markedly underweight ...


        A Vancouver Aquarium whale researcher is sounding the alarm over what he calls “puzzling” changes observed in the resident killer whale pods that live off the northern coast of B.C. and Alaska. ... “the changes we’ve seen over the last two years are striking and beg an explanation,” says [Dr. Lance] Barrett-Lennard.
        You can read about seals and polar bears with 'mysterious lesions' and hair loss, mostly from 2012, here

        Anyway, don't have time now to even vet most of what I've quoted here, but there are tons of stories about various sea life undergoing something really ugly in the Pacific, if you look around a bit.

        As to polonium: well, it's cesium-134 and cesium-137 which have been found in the fish off the California coast as well. And, apparently, in every single one sampled.

        And again, what study is complete without checking for Americium-241, Cerium-144, Ruthenium-106, Iodine-125, etc? There's four or five dozen isotopes generated by a nuclear plant, though not all of them have a half life which matters.

        Any assertion of certain knowledge when there's a lack of previous data -- and the Fukushima malfeasance, and its interaction with the Ocean and the life in it is completely unprecedented in scale  -- well, it can be a best guess, but it sure as hell ain't science (latin: knowing)

        Will try to come back later if I can. Must to work now.

        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 07:07:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jim (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P, wonmug

          All of these stories you post being with "Is Fukishima radioactivity responsible for X or Y?" and the purpose of my post is to answer a resounding...likely not.  The behaviour of radionuclides in the ocean and its organisms is well studied.  If you don't like peer reviewed science then read Ken Buesseler's (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) take on things in National Geographic here. Radioisotopes in the environment are a concern but the sort of claims you cite have little to do with Fukushima.  Read the study I posted about.  There are lots of pressures on the marine environment that require immediate attention.  I think that looking to Fukushima to explain what ails our oceans is a diversion from the work we need to get done.


          by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 08:39:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My original comment said I don't know that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            this is connected to Fukushima. And I suspect if F. plays a role at all, it's in conjunction with myriad other factors, including waste and climate change.

            I'm don't see that anyone could either prove or disprove a Fukushima connection. I just posted the previous comment because you said it's where you live.

            Thought you'd be interested in what appears to be, at the very least, an extremely rare concurrence of events. And perhaps an indicator of something much worse and more permanent.

            Of course I like peer-reviewed science but you must be aware of the various experiments done in the last years where people sent out deliberate preposterous 'research results' and they were accepted by 20 or 30% of the publications they were submitted too.

            Moreover I've seen instances of people citing WHO and IAEA studies on Chernobyl to the effect that there's been little to no health damage to children. As if that was the final authoritative word on the topic (as recently as yesterday in fact). But then, years ago, iirc, it was the British publication Nature which revealed the author had in his hand studies from Belorus and Ukraine, by scientists, doctors, and hospital chiefs and staff, that showed massive health effects. On the order of 700% to 2000% more than any time before the accident.

            Anyone claiming to be interested in science must recognize that the field has become as corrupt as all the rest of our civic life.

            My first question these days is: show me the author's employment history. Show me who gives them grants. Then what they have might be valuable. After their assumptions have been checked.

            It still remains that nothing like Fukushima, Fukushima into the Pacific, has ever happened before. It's all best guesses, and not knowledge, for a least another few years.

            Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

            by Jim P on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 10:02:01 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It seems likely that radiation from Fukushima (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            which has continued to flood into the pacific since 3/11 is one of many environmental stressors, including other junk washed from Japan by the Tsunami, and the acidification of the ocean from CO2 increases in the air.  How many terabequerels of tritium were released again?

      •  An isotope with a 2 year half-life (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jeanette0605, Emmy, Sandino

        can definitely accumulate up the food chain, at least the shorter-lived food chain (plankton, krill, seaweeds, etc.). But most of the cesium coming from Fukushima is cesium-137, which has a 30 year half-life. Isotopes with a 30 year half-life remain present in the environment for 300 years, and very definitely concentrate up the food chain. Strontium now too, with an almost equivalent half-life. Not to mention much worse things known to be going into the Pacific from Fukushima.

        But if you really wish to pooh-pooh internal exposures to dangerous radioactive isotopes, you should stay away from polonium and stick with K40. Which occurs in nature at 0.0117% of all potassium. The amount of potassium in our bodies remains stable through our lives no matter how many bananas you eat.  Cesium is uptaken as if it were potassium, and is far more dangerous because it replaces potassium atoms and is far more radioactive than potassium. Strontium is uptaken as if it were calcium and is well documented to cause bone cancer. Don't pretend these isotopes aren't dangerous just because a hundredth part of natural potassium is radioactive too. That's... dishonest.

        Polonium is very rare in nature due to all its isotopes having [relatively] short half-lives. Usually present in uranium ores at 1 part in 10^10, but last I checked I couldn't find anybody mining uranium ores in the Pacific Ocean off California. Or Fukushima, for that matter. Polonium has no biological role and is a dangerous alpha-emitter.

        If there's more polonium than cesium in the tuna, no one should be eating tuna.

        •  But Joieau (0+ / 0-)

          The bulk of exposure from consuming tuna comes from Po and not from any isotope of Cs. We must be concerned about radioactivity in the environment but that concern must scale with risk.  There is very little risk from these isotopes to human consumers as per the study I cite.  Humans are very ill equipped to gauge probability and risk.  The Fukushima disaster is a good example of why this is.


          by MarineChemist on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 08:43:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, I'd need to see some (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            support for that assertion, along with a full-scan breakdown for radioactive isotopes - and current average levels - for Pacific tuna. Maybe some data of where the tuna are picking up the polonium, where in their bodies it is being concentrated, what necessary biological structures/molecules it substitutes for, etc. Surely you are prepared to provide that much, given how rare polonium is in reality.

            Come to think of it, I'd like to see a full assay on heavy metals and mercury in tuna as well. Given that there are health warnings about consuming tuna just because of mercury. Apparently people eat it anyway. I don't know why, except that mercury makes people stupid.

            You are correct that humans don't do a good job gaging risks. Why, you now have to show up at the airport hours ahead of time to be stripped and x-rayed and groped and get all your personal effects x-rayed and searched, just to catch that commuter hop to the city you could have driven to in an hour and a half. Of course, you are at more risk from driving to and from the airport, and every single moment you are inside the airport, than you are on the plane. Unless it crashes, in which case you don't stand a chance in hell. Go figure...

            •  Joieau...start here with Ken Buesseler of Woods (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Hole Oceanographic Institution.  He has been studying the problem since the disaster began.  link


              by MarineChemist on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 09:26:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks for the reference. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I understand scientists are arbitrarily limited in a great many of what could have been useful researches by the fact that the data they're using is bogus, but knowing the data is bogus does nothing to bolster the credibility of said researches.

                For instance, the second illustration from the top on the right of the page is labeled, "Human Sources of Cesium -137 Compared to Natural Radionuclides in the Ocean." The figures are completely bogus.

                The diagram lists 36 million curies of Cs-137 from all global nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and '60s, 1-3 million curies of Cs-137 from Chernobyl, and 10 curies of Cs-137 from TMI2 [LOL!]. Add 'em up and it's less than 40 million curies. Add all other human sources of Cs-137 (more recent bomb testing, obscure meltdowns we weren't told about, the true level of releases from Chernobyl and TMI2, various weapons facility accidents worldwide, etc.) and you could still come in at less than 65 million curies.

                But the U.S. NCRP [National Council on Radiation Protection] estimates all Cs-137 released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and world-wide nuclear oopses to be ~270 million curies. That figure is of course also low, but none of us can tell by how much because we aren't privy to the actual release figures. So we'll take it as at least more believable for the "Human Sources" baseline. None of these sources include Fukushima, which has dumped a bunch to atmosphere already and still has more than 130 million curies of Cs-137 just in the spent fuel pools that it could dump (to air and/or water). Oh. And notice this Institution's defense of natural radiation in the oceans doesn't even mention Fukushima's releases of Cs-137 (or 134, or strontium, or americium, or uranium, or plutonium, or any other fuel, daughter or fission product isotopes from three multi-ton corium flows underwater and releasing straight to sea). Just atmospheric releases, and those are garbage.

                The illustration also does NOT list polonium 210 at all in its presentation of "Most Abundant Natural Radionuclides in the Oceans." That is because Po-210 is not one of the most abundant natural radionuclides in the oceans. In fact, it's about as rare in seawater as it is on land. So when your propagandist of moment - Ken Buesseler - says right there in the first sentence of the second paragraph that...

                Seawater everywhere contains many naturally occurring radionuclides, the most common being polonium-210
                ...he's being downright dishonest. As I mentioned, Po-210 is rare in nature. That is known, doesn't change just because some apologist wants it to.

                Then there is Radioactivity in Nature, a nice educational resource from Idaho State University that lists the most common primordial, cosmogenic and human produced radionuclides. It also offers the "top five" of natural radionuclides in soil and oceans. Thorium is one of the most common in soils, and while the thorium-232 decay chain includes polonium-216 and 212, it doesn't include polonium-210.

                In the oceans, the top five are uranium, potassium-40, tritium, carbon-14, and rubidium-87. Polonium doesn't appear on that list at all. Of the natural radionuclides in human bodies, polonium amounts to all of 37 Bq, or 0.2 petagram total mass. If a tuna fish in the Pacific weighed 110 pounds (same as me), it would likely have about the same amount of polonium (whatever isotope): about 37 Bq total in-body, or less than 1 Becquerel per kilogram.

                Polonium-210 is a radon decay product [from bismuth-210] and is - as I mentioned - an intense alpha-emitter. It's also a heavy metal - decays to stable lead. We know lead isn't any more desirable in our food supply than mercury. As little as 0.03 microcuries (6.8 trillionths of a gram) of polonium-210 is carcinogenic in humans.

                The source of Po-210 in the human diet comes overwhelmingly from grains, vegetables and meat grown in/fed grains grown in radioactive phosphate fertilizers. Oh... and fluoridated water, and tobacco smoke. It does not (or never did before) come primarily from eating seafood. Because there's just not that much 'natural' polonium in seawater.

                Reuters reported in May of 2012 that just 4 months after the Fukushima disaster cesium-137 and 134 were being detected in tuna caught off California at 5 Bq/kg, which is already more than 5 times the 'normal' level of 'natural' polonium. Estimated by the PNAS published study to have resulted from just 1 month's exposure to the waters off Japan.

                [...] Based on the age of the fish caught they grew considerably during their migration, adding to the ability to lower their cesium contamination. This is discussed as "growth dilution" that took place over the 4 months the fish migrated. The fish were back calculated to confirm they originally had cesium concentrations that matched those of bluefin tuna off Japan that had a rate of 61-168 Bq/kg.
                Fukushima has been steadily releasing cesium by the hundreds of curies a day into the Pacific Ocean for two years and eight months now. And the levels are increasing steadily over the last 3 months. Yes, we may presume the concentration in tuna and other migratory predators has gone up likewise, as the levels in their preferred foods - anchovies, squid, sardine, mackerel, sand dab and other small fish - have gone up. And will continue to go up until the sea life just starts dying, as there are no plans to stop the escaping radioactive releases in the foreseeable future.

                You are of course welcome to eat all the Pacific tuna (including bluefin), salmon, sardines, anchovies, whatever you like. You need pay no attention at all to the levels of radioactive isotopes. But to try and pretend - as you have - that everything's hunky-dory for everybody else on the planet by pushing deceptions about what's out there and how dangerous it might be, is pretty low.

                You probably just believe your sources, and they probably just believe their sources, and so on and so forth. This is how scientific fairy tales get created, and it's most certainly not designed to impart confidence in the methodology or its actors. Nukes are by far the MOST dishonest and deceptive of all scientific-like disciplines in this world, and are literally immune from ever being entirely truthful about anything related to their 'godly' technology and its ugly effects. Now you know too. That should help folks in other scientific disciplines - like yours - to avoid being badly used by nefarious actors spreading lies.

                And for everyone... I do NOT recommend the tuna.

              •  Oh, and just a by the way... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Polonium, like strontium, is uptaken as calcium and concentrates in bones and liver. At the 'natural' concentration of less than 1 Bq/kg, if you aren't eating tuna bones or tuna livers, you aren't likely to be getting any polonium internal dose at all from the fish.

                I'm still reeling on this one. It's... even more dishonest than usual for nukes. Wow.

                •  Buesseler is the authority of Fukushima and (0+ / 0-)

                  radionuclides in the ocean. The numbers in his responses are measurements...not conjecture from a website. Po-210 is one of the most abundant radionuclides in seawater.  There is substantial amounts of radioactivty in the ocean that does not result from human activities. The average activity (both natural and anthropogenic)  is ~14 Bq/kg seawater. About 90% of this activity is due to the naturally occurring potassium isotope 40K. Less than 10% of the remainder is due to fallout from atmospheric nuclear tests, (the largest source of the global dispersion of anthropogenic radionuclides).

                  Buesseler's group makes measurements.  


                  by MarineChemist on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 05:22:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "The authority of Fukushima" eh? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Now I have to wonder why no source I could find from two different search engines ever mentioned polonium-210 as "one of the most abundant radionuclides in seawater." Care to explain that for us? Thanks in advance.

                    In the meantime, I have attempted to communicate to you the level of gross dishonesty that is SOP - Standard Operating Procedure - with nukes. You don't have to buy it, of course, but I am somewhat of an "authority" on that. In my experience, 'experts' from other scientific disciplines who are recruited (and sometimes paid well) to help the nukes with their perpetual PR campaigns are fed perhaps the most insidious lies of all. Insidious because they are believed, even when you know the person should know better by virtue of his/her own discipline. Look up polonium-210 in seawater/seafood for yourself, for goodness' sake! You can Google as well as I can.

                    Polonium-210 is not 'naturally' abundant in seawater or anywhere else on this planet outside of its creation by humans via neutron/proton bombardment of bismuth. Which is a good thing, because that stuff is seriously deadly (just ask Alexander Litvenenko... oops, can't. He's dead). Hell, it's not even abundant in uranium ores where radon is itself somewhat abundant. Its 'natural' level in life forms that don't generally eat diets high in grains and vegetables grown in man-made potassium fertilizers or drink fluoridated water is barely detectable. You'd need a really expensive body scanner to find it in a fish at all.

                    If indeed polonium-210 is suddenly 'abundant' in seafood that spends time in the waters off Japan - to the point that it's overshadowing cesium-137 and 134 from Fukushima - that's an explosive revelation that means the situation's far, far worse than we've been led to believe - and we do already know heavy metal fuel isotopes are escaping in great amounts. In all things nuclear, big bad alpha-emitters released to the environment are the strictest no-no of all.

                    Is that what your "authority of Fukushima" means to communicate here?

                    •  Joieau (0+ / 0-)

                      Po-210 is an abundant radionuclide (although the concentration of radionuclides is very small they are not immeasurable) is naturally present from the decay of Pb-210 which is part of the U/Th decay series (U238 is the parent here).

                      Here are the relative abundances of these radionuclides in seawater:

                      U238 ~37 mBq/L or 2.2 dpm/L
                      Pb210 ~2.5 mBq/L or 0.15 dpm/L
                      Po210 ~2.5 mBq/L or 0.15 dpm/L

                      Po210=Pb210 because Po is the daughter of Pb and normally in secular equilibrium.  Po-210 is not created by is the natural result of U238 decay and most of what you find in the ocean is the result of naturally occurring dissolved U238 in seawater.


                      by MarineChemist on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 07:38:29 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  And it's got a half-life (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        of 138 days. When it decays to plain old lead. 138 days isn't very long in radioisotope terms. If indeed polonium-210 is THE (or even one of the) most abundant naturally occurring radioisotopes present in the oceans of this planet, humans should never have been eating seafood in our entire history. We'd have figured out at some point it was poisonous, or gone extinct.

                        Honestly. See this link from the Water Encyclopedia, "Radionuclides in the Ocean." Scroll halfway down to get the details. Both uranium and thorium sift to the bottom, daughters are low level stuff. Polonium isn't mentioned anywhere as a significant radionuclide by volume, much less THE most abundant radionuclide in the ocean. Because it's not. Never has been.

                        I can't emphasize this enough. Polonium-210 is a very dangerous isotope, absolutely deadly in miniscule amounts. No more than a few milligrams of it is made on purpose anywhere in the world (and all put together) in a year's time. While it is a decay product of the uranium/radon chain, here you've elevated it above BOTH of those elements in supposedly 'natural' concentration in seawater. That's just plain bullshit.

                        And 1 Becquerel per kilogram is not equal to or greater than 5 or more Becquerels per kilogram. Not. That's as factual as anything you're ever likely to encounter in your lifetime. Simple arithmetic, stop arguing the stupid non-point.

                        I'm done with you. This is the absolutely most ridiculous lying garbage I've ever seen from nukes in my whole life. And that's really saying something, just so you know. I won't bother guessing what your motive might be.


                        •  I can't argue this point more plainly...this is (0+ / 0-)

                          what is measured by oceanographers in the ocean.  These are facts reported by those who make the measurements...they did not look up numbers using a search engine.  My own expertise is measuring trace (parts per trillion to parts per quadrillion) concentrations of metals in seawater.  I am sorry I have failed to communicate what we do to you.  I am afraid that you might be biased in ways I don't understand.  Good luck to you. Time will tell.


                          by MarineChemist on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:25:05 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Post Script (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            You know, this sub-thread started because you denied that any isotope with just a 2 year half-life could bioaccumulate up the ocean food chain.

                            That turned into this amazing exchange of lies for truths about an isotope with a half-life of just 138 days - about 4.5 months.  The very fact that you'd go from one extreme to the other, all the while defending the blatant lie that polonium-210 is "the most" abundant radionuclide in seawater, exposes you.

                            Just so you know.

                          •  No, this is what your hero (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Buesseler says he measured off Fukushima. I have no idea why (or if) he's lying. I do know that polonium-210 isn't the most abundant radioisotope in the ocean, or even among the top 10. If he's measuring more polonium than cesium off Fukushima, we're fucked.

                          •  Late note. (0+ / 0-)

                            I would hate to think Buesseler sold out in exchange for access. You say he's "T-H-E" go-to guy on how not dangerous Fukushima's constant and ever-increasing releases of radionuclides are, though he hasn't been there lately. That appears to be true.

                            But you're an oceanographer too. I understand hero-worship, but not this kind of stubbornness. It's not difficult to call up a list of the most common 'natural' radionuclides in seawater, and see for yourself where Po-210 falls on that list. Hint: #10 of 10, certifiably 'rare'. Not #1.

                            An honest scientific researcher would do that fact-check and correct the error. With thanks, or maybe not if his ego were big enough. Mostly because it's too obvious an error to escape notice for very long.

                            What an honest scientific researcher would NOT do (no matter how big his ego) is get into a public fight about it with a nuclear health physicist.


                        •  Your "Water Encyclopedia" gives the same (0+ / 0-)

                          activity for U238 that I gave to you 34 mBq/L and others on that list are less than Po-210 activity. You make no sense? Again good luck.  My numbers are sound.


                          by MarineChemist on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 08:31:10 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yo. The abundance of U-238 (0+ / 0-)

                            has nil correlation to the abundance of Po-210. Precisely because there are some hefty half-times in that decay chain, and polonium-210 (next to last) does not. I realize that this probably won't dent your made-up mind, just telling you - once again - that you're wrong.

      •  So you admit that 90Sr and 137Cs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        bioaccumulate? That is indeed progress. With half lives of 30 and 50 years, they most certainly will concentrate, Strontium is particularly nasty, since it takes up residence in bone next to the marrow cells, critical to the immune system. Potassium 40, OTOH is in equilibrium concentration in organisms and the environment and has a much longer half life which means it is much less radioactive. The article rehashes the standard canards and makes misleading comparisons in an attempt to placate consumers. Those first few tuna were the least contaminated we can expect to see for 500 years.

        •  Based on its chemistry Cs dose not bioaccumulate (0+ / 0-)

          it is more like a salt.  Bioaccumulation depends on how the element is stored inside organisms.  But again this misses the point. Your perception of risk is not in line with the actual risk.


          by MarineChemist on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 07:27:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I would never consume human seafood. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 02:58:42 AM PST

  •  I remember when they said DDT was harmless. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site