Stony Brook's SoMAS Scientists Find That Fukushima-Derived Radioactivity in Seafood Poses Minimal Poses Minimal Health Risk
Research results published in June 3 issue of PNAS
Now, Fisher, Baumann and colleagues at Stanford and the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) report in a paper entitled " Evaluation of Radiation Doses and Associated Risk from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident to Marine Biota and Human Consumers of Seafood,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US, that the likely doses of radioactivity ingested by humans consuming the contaminated fish, even in large quantities, is comparable to, or less than, the radiological dosages associated with other commonly consumed foods, many medical treatments, air travel and other background sources. The authors also conclude that contamination of Pacific bluefin tuna and other marine animals from Fukushima poses little risk to these animals.
In the original paper, the authors presented data on the radionuclide concentrations in the tissues of the bluefin, but did not estimate doses or health risks to marine biota or human seafood consumers that these concentrations might represent. The new works takes this next step.
The levels of Fukushima-derived radionuclides in marine biota, including Pacific bluefin tuna, were compared with the radiation doses from naturally-occurring radionuclides in the same organisms. The principal radionuclide found in all samples is polonium (specifically the isotope 210Po), a naturally-occurring isotope that is an alpha-emitter, which causes greater biological damage.
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