Sunday, March 18, 2018

No Adverse Effects?



The results from a recent study addressing Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 levels in soil and salmon in British Columbia are reported by a Canadian news agency as indicating no adverse effects from Fukushima fallout:
Smart, Amy (2018, March 11). No adverse effects from 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster on B.C. coast: researchers. CTV News. Available, https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/no-adverse-effects-from-2011-fukushima-nuclear-disaster-on-b-c-coast-researchers-1.3838186
Seven years after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan released radioactive elements into the environment, researchers say those elements pose minimal risk to human or salmon health along British Columbia's coast.  A team of researchers at Simon Fraser University's nuclear science lab collected soil and salmon samples from the Quesnel and Harrison rivers and used a high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy to search for signs of radioactive isotopes.
Although the headline states "no adverse effects," and the first line of the story says "minimal risk to human or salmon health," careful reading of the actual study confirmed my concerns about long-term environmental impacts (through bio-accumulation/bio-magnification), rather than abating them.

Here is the study:
Thomas Domingo, Krzysztof Starosta, Aaron Chester, Jonathan Williams, Sarah J. Lehnert, Nikolaus Gantner, and Juan José Alava. (2018). Fukushima-derived radioactivity measurements in Pacific salmon and soil samples collected in British Columbia, Canada. The Canadian Journal of Chemistry 96: 124–131 (2018) dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjc-2017-0272 Available http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/pdf/10.1139/cjc-2017-0272
What the research shows is that soil and salmon in Canada were contaminated by cesium-134 and 137 from the Fukushima Daiichi fallout and site-based ocean contamination.

The levels of contamination are very low, its true, but that doesn't mean they are not harmful and, even more importantly, they are but two of the 1,000 radioactive isotopes released during the first 6 weeks of the crisis.

SAMPLE SIZE AND PREPARATION OF SOIL AND SALMON

SALMON Samples included 3 chum and 3 Chinook salmon drawn Nov 2013 and 4 Chinook Oct 2014. Measuring traces of radioactive isotopes is not easy and requires removing water from samples. The researchers freeze-dried and "homogenized" their salmon samples into shape of containment vessel.

SOIL samples (quoted directly from p. 125):
  • "Two topsoil samples were collected on 21 March 2014 from Queen’s Park, New Westminster, BC. 
  • "Four topsoil samples were collected on 12 April 2014 from the riparian forest by Harrison River in Kilby Provincial Park, BC. 
  • "A single topsoil sample was collected on 12 April 2014 from a residential area in Mission, BC. 
  • "A final roof-debris sample composed of pine needles and various plant debris was collected on 5 June 2014."
The soil samples were baked in an oven at 400C.

RADIOACTIVE ACTIVITY LEVEL IN SOIL SAMPLES

Cesium-134 has a half-life of 2.06 years and the first soil sample was not taken until March 2014. So, the researchers detected very low levels of this isotope - in 6 of the 8 samples, with a range of  0.075 to 0.456 Bq/kg fw.

Cesium-137 has a 30 year approximate half life. Levels of Cesium-137 were higher and were detected in all 8 samples, with activity levels ranging from 1.60 to 13.80 Bq/kg fw, with the highest level detected in the rooftop debris.

RADIOACTIVE ACTIVITY LEVEL IN SALMON SAMPLES

The researchers could not detected any Cesium-134 in their samples from 2013 and 2014.

However, they were able to detect Cesium-137 in both 2013 and 2014 samples.

In 2013, 9 salmon were sampled with 3 having detectable activity levels of Cesium-137 ranging from 0.10 to 0.36 Bq/kg fw.

Since the Chinook salmon were the ones with detectable levels, the researchers focused on their 2014 collection on that species alone.

All of the 2014 Chinook salmon samples had detectable activity levels of Cesium-137, from 0.16 to 0.23 Bq/kg fw

The fw stands for fresh weight. The salmon were freeze-dried and homogenized before testing. They were not fully dehydrated.

My chemist friend who specializes in aquatic effects from toxins told me that sampling should ideally be dry-weight not fresh weight because the water makes it difficult to detect radioactivity.

IMPLICATIONS

Although the methodology has limitations because of the small sample sizes and challenges associated with detecting radionuclides in "wet weight," the study does provide empirical evidence of lasting Fukushima contamination.

The levels of reported radiocesium are quite low, especially as compared to the levels of naturally occurring radioactive elements such as Potassium-40 (Wikipedia), as noted repeatedly and reassuringly in the article.

But this simple equation between naturally occurring and artificially generated radioisotopes such as Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 is facile, ignoring chemical toxicity and invoking a flawed model of biological effect, as was argued quite persuasively by CodeShutdown (discussion re-posted at my blog here http://majiasblog.blogspot.com/2017/10/why-is-enenews-down.html).

A friend has demonstrated in his research that the entire model for measuring biological effect - as represented in the sievert - falsely presumes that irradiation is homogenous and thereby significantly under-estimates capacity for biological damage. Hopefully his study will be published soon.

So, the upshot of these concerns is that low levels of radioisotopes don't necessary mean little-to-no effect.

Bio-accumulation and bio-magnification processes over time may increase contamination levels in biological life. I would like to see more samples from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and forward.

Even more significantly, the problem with construing no effects from this study is that it measured only 2 radioisotopes.

TEPCO reported that Fukushima Daiichi produced over a 1,000 radioisotopes.

Some of those isotopes decayed into other isotopes, such as Strontium-89. Other isotopes, such as Strontium-90, have a mid-range half-life of 30 years or so, Plutonium-238 has a half-life of approximately 87 years. When radioactive element decay, they produce other radioactive elements that decay as well. Each decay sheds varying forms of alpha, beta, or gamma radiation.

So, really, cesium-134 and cesium-137 are but 2 of 1,000 radioactive elements, many of which are chemically toxic as well as radioactive, that Fukushima added to our collective ecological dose from atmospheric testing and radioactive waste dumping.






6 comments:

  1. Kaltofen analyzes samples from Japan and publishes them. They are quite contaminated with cesium 137 150 miles from Fukushima

    There is not much access here to contamination data or studies, except from the usual suspects.

    Such limiting sampling , sampling types, and areas the study you refer to in this post, Majia, is very narrow.

    There were some startling findings in terrestrial animals contaminated, done by biologists in alaska in 2012.

    Bioccumulation of animals higher up on the food chain is startling. Polar Bears and brown bears, were found to be contaminated with plutonium.
    There was a high school gal, who in Canada, who found dehydrated food was contaminated by radionuclides in 2013. It seems that, this is all that our government, scietific communities, and media want to allow us to see.

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  2. Plutonium, uranium, lead, americium, radium, are prevalent radionuclides in our environment now. They act the same as other heavy metals lead, mercury, and arsenic do in our brain and bodies. They poison essential biochemical processes, kill neurons,  astrocytes, and glial cells in our brains.  They can cause long-term, irreversible brain damage and neuropsychiatric illness.  

    I have treated many heavy metal poisonings. It takes months of chelation therapy, and those who have gotten, so bad as to require treatment, as with mad hatters syndrome, seldom fully recover. 

    Cesium 137 lodges in heart muscle, and the tissue that creates electrical potentials for the pacemaker functions of the heart. The longterm damage from cesium 137 in the heart can cause dysrythmias, that can cause small strokes and mild dementia. 

    The damage to heart valves from cesium 137, can lead to balooned atria, where blood pools and small blood clots called tias are constantly going to the brain. This is another prevalent cause of dementia in this society.

    The thyroid axis is responsinsible for metabolism. I131 can cause hypothyroidism through thyroid gland damage and thyroid tumors, which can lead  to metabolic disorders in the axis whic includes the adrenal gland. Adrenal gland malfunctions that can precipitate dementia, and pancreas dysfunction. 

    Plutonium has high affinity for brain, liver, and pancreatic tissue. Uranium, thorium, americium, radium are prevalent heavy metal radionuclides in americans, water food, and soil. They act like lead, mercury and even arsenic in biochemical and physiological processes in our bodies they typically cause more tissue damage than their non-radioactive cousins. They maybe partially responsible for the loss  of insulin sensitivity in secondary diabetis, when they attack sensitive tissue in the liver and pancreas.

    Type 2 diabetes can definitely cause neuropathies and, chronically leads to decreases in cognitive function as it progresses. It can begin manifesting itself neuropsychtrically as depression. 

    Strontium 90 effects the immune system by attacking sensitive bone marrow. Imbalances in the immune system, can lead to increases in vulnerability to infectious agents, that people are not normally vulnerable too. It can also contribute to autoimmune disease. 

    Uranium, americium, radium, plutonium, thorium  attack iron rich organs like the liver, spleen, lymph systems. Metabolic disease from  liver dysfunction is known to be a primary cause of increases of c-reactive protein inflammation markers, that indicate increases in  dementia from arteriosleurosis.
    Polonium is from cigarette smoke and any other inhaled source, is known to cause pituitary adenomas.


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    Replies
    1. Small error using lead in the first sentence.Lead is not a radionuclide, although there is probably a small amount of radioactive lead in this radioactive pea soup and sewer, we call murica. There is an abundance of tritium here in the water here and other nucleoape countries. God knows what it is doing to us. It can be measured, environmental scientists have, i have measured it in several american cities. Tritium effeects every chemical and physiological process in our bodies, though it is insidious and slow. If there is one or more fuel pool fires here, and or a reactor meltdown/exposion, we will be inundated with the worse radionuclides, as well as the large amounts of the ones we already have, as japan, ukraine and belarus are. The acute poisoning from radionuclides, will be more apparent as the chronic poisoning, becomes more prevalent and pronounced.

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  3. Jeffrey St. Clair
    @JSCCounterPunch
    ·
    4h
    I'm waiting on someone to come up with a Rothschild Conspiracy Theory that explains the courage & genius of Pannonica Rothschild, the Baroness of BeBop, who became patron to both Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.
    (link: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/19/arts/music/19sing.html) nytimes.com/2008/10/19/art…
    Sue Stone
    @knittingknots
    D.C. lawmaker says recent snowfall caused by ‘Rothschilds controlling the climate’ (link: http://wapo.st/2IyH3jx?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.1face7c6c39d) wapo.st/2IyH3jx?tid=ss…

    ReplyDelete
  4. Building the iron wall

    https://www.opednews.com/articles/Building-the-Iron-Wall-by-Chris-Hedges-Censorship_Facebook_Google_Israel-180319-350.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/03/18/iraq-15-years-toxic-us-legacy?amp&__twitter_impression=true

    Depleted Uranium


    Iraq, 15 Years On: A Toxic US Legacy

    Fifteen years ago this month, the United States spearheaded a fantastically bloody war on Iraq as part of its ongoing effort to ensure the Iraqi nation's perpetual misery.

    6 billion Bullets and the other munitions

    "To be sure, as one of the top polluters on the entire planet, the US military has never been thrilled about acknowledging what would appear to be obvious: that saturating the environment with toxic materials will have repercussions on both environmental and human health, including the health of the United States’ own warriors, as underlined by the afflictions affecting veterans of the Vietnam War and first Gulf War, among other imperial escapades."

    ReplyDelete