220 days later: Radiation levels in San Francisco-area milk remain above EPA’s Max Contaminant Level — Cesium-137 continues steady increase that began in August

Published: October 20th, 2011 at 6:18 pm ET


BERKELEY, Oct. 18 — The Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley has posted new test results for store-bought milk from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The total amount of radioactive cesium increased slightly since the last test, and has risen steadily since the minimum detectable amount was lowered in August.


Bay Area store-bought milk sample with best buy date of October 10, 2011

  • Cs-134 @ 0.056 Becquerel per kilogram (Bq/kg)
  • Cs-137 @ 0.088 Bq/kg

SOURCE: UC Berkeley

Conversion: 27.1 picocuries (pCi) in a Becquerel

The sample has 3.888 pCi/l of radioactive cesium, compared with the EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level of 3.0 pCi/l.

“EPA lumps these gamma and beta emitters together under one collective MCL [Maximum Contaminant Level], so if you’re seeing cesium-137 in your milk or water, the MCL is 3.0 picocuries per liter; if you’re seeing iodine-131, the MCL is 3.0; if you’re seeing cesium-137 and iodine-131, the MCL is still 3.0.” –Forbes.com

Read More: UCB Milk Sampling Results

Published: October 20th, 2011 at 6:18 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Radioactive cesium in San Francisco Bay Area milk close to exceeding EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level August 29, 2011
  2. San Francisco Bay Area milk sample has highest amount of Cesium-137 since last June — Almost double EPA’s maximum contaminant level April 10, 2012
  3. Both cesium-134 and cesium-137 increase in latest San Francisco Bay Area milk sample (CHART) September 15, 2011
  4. Highest level of radioactive cesium in San Francisco-area milk since September 2011 — Now at 150% of EPA’s maximum contaminant limit (CHART) February 7, 2012
  5. Cesium nearly doubles over past month in Bay Area milk — Now well above EPA’s maximum contaminant level September 29, 2011

63 comments to 220 days later: Radiation levels in San Francisco-area milk remain above EPA’s Max Contaminant Level — Cesium-137 continues steady increase that began in August

  • Kevin Kevin

    It is beyond comprehension that the West Coast of North America has chosen damage control of these issues as the highgest priority when so many human beings are in danger to exposure levels that are unacceptable.

    This slow trickle of extremely late information is worse than chinese water torture as the realization sinks in that although people could have made arrangements to reduce their exposure the industry’s “dont worry be happy” rhetoric was a higher priority than the welfare of huge swaths of the human population.

    This is a fine example of what has become of humanity and a real reason to join forces with those of us now occupying communities around the world to demand change and a restructuring of our priorities.

    • Toadmac

      Off topic sorry- Did my windscreen samples when rains arrived from the north west (Melbourne Australia) – 0.61 uSv/hr ten hours later the sample is reading 0.26? Is this radon? I have been assured the really high readings I posted on youtube are radon? The samples seem to be staying radioactive for longer even though they are lower readings? Who lives around me so I can share the cost of a lab test?


      • pure water

        Possible explanation – short lived isotopes. I have found a video of the early days of the Fukushima disaster, claiming the existence of a lot of them in the USA. You can measure the samples yourself every next hour after the first measurement, if it is possible for you. Then put them in a graph and you can see the speed of decline. As a matter of fact you measure a mixture of isotopes, but if you make a longer curve of decreasing radioactivity, there is a chance to figure out the main components. Just a guess, friend.

      • alasanon

        Even the Australian EPA admits that you are receiving Radon fallout from the beginning with a half-life of only 3.8 days… Apparently, it is one of the meltdown isotopes that really spreads out and can go very high in the atmosphere–even over the equatorial cross-current that protects the southern hemisphere?
        Are officials measuring whatever is coming by Australia in the Pacific currents?? I think some of it may pass by the Brisbane and Sydney coasts.
        I truly hope it doesn’t get any worse Down Under!!!

        • alasanon

          i.e. while places like Australia/Oceania are blessed with substantial air protection from the disaster due to natural atmospheric patterns, some Pacific currents from Japan are still fair game. From what I’ve researched, the deep ocean currents from Japan run very slowly past N. Australia, S. Africa, and around S., Central and E. Americas and N. and W. Europe. The entire ocean conveyor belt cycle that moves the big, bad stuff takes about 1000 years…

          The more shallow surface currents move faster and rise from the Japanese Pacific to circle down the U.S. West Coast and then back to Japan for more! There goes our gorgeous Pacific?… :'(

          • alasanon

            Articles online indicate that all of these cycles are subject to some change though due to global warming… faster, slower? But, per the maps, the Aussie Gold Coast still looks great to me!! E. Coast of U.S. is not getting a direct current anytime soon either…

          • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

            Dear Alas: The ocean currents you may be talking about are at great ocean depth–toward the bottom and take many hundreds or thousands of years to circulate, which is very unlike surface currents and I don’t yet know their time line of radionuclide contamination communication. I also agree that the atmospheric patterns, the Hadley Cells and particularly valuable for protecting Australia and other Southern Hemisphere locations in the short run, is the Intertropical Convergance Zone (ICZ), are very useful for creating a short-term barrier to the worst contamination.

          • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

            Dear Alas: I’m not certain of the changes in Haline currents with thermal maximum, which is what period we are entering thanks to the activities of humans. However, from what I have read the geologic and paleo-pollen evidence seems to indicate that these “deep-ocean” currents cease and that stagnation and de-oxygenation is what occurs at the deeper ocean levels; but this may not be true. I haven’t had any “aha” intuition where the data I’ve reviewed seems logical and complete enough to know.

          • alasanon

            Thanks for the input. I feel like a sci-fi warrior trying to keep up with this important phenomena!

  • CB CB

    I hope enenews backs up this site and archives it’s pages.

    • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

      Very good point CB.

      I would hate the thought of all the information on this site disappearing for some reason.

      Is it technically possible to download the whole site onto your own computer? I’d like that.

      • arclight arclight

        cool idea ….enenews zip!!! ready for download please donate to enenews!! sounds good and might generate a bit of revenue?? eh admin!! you could even consider charging for it?? but not everyone has a card maybe in these economical times…your decision….some could pay and it might appear on torrent or something anyway!! so charge!! i will gladly pay!!

    • Pallas89juno Pallas89juno

      Dear CB: Well, the content is probably backed up but very unlikely that it would be available to users. I am certain that the posts, like all information shared on the web, will be used against us all who post as world martial law in specific circumstances expands and intensifies.

  • TheWorldIsBlind

    when will the rallies of pissed of americans start?


    Not one god damn mention of this in the mainstream. All they fucking talkin about is the stupid shit that people seem to care more about – like stupid politics and the economy.

    Theres more shit goin on in the world than that America lets fuckin goooooo!

    • bmurr bmurr

      I think a spontaneous rally would be an excellent way to get peoples attention. People have no idea what is going on. Reason being that nuclear power is such a complicated subject, and the effects of radiation are so easily hidden from the public. It is very difficult to organize via this web site because no one shares their information. I do not hide behind my internet identity.
      I have posted my e-mail address on here, my age, where I live, and my avatar is a picture of me getting ready to go into the OR when my son was born last month.
      I am not afraid of “them” knowing who I am. I would be willing to travel, within reason, to organize. I wish more people would join Emmy’s web site, it’s a much better forum if we plan to organize.
      I was hoping that the WSP/Occupy wall street protest in my area would result in some networking, but it was mostly bone heads… So if anyone wants to share ideas, please let me know.

      • Anthony Anthony

        Hmmmm… like a informational handout pointing people back to this website community would be effective in making the masses aware. I think once people got to talking about this amongst themselves there’d be a great pressure on the governments to respond or lose control of the situation. I like it.

        • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


          Those in the know (enenewsers) should take a handout of even half a page of information to be given to OWS protesters. Begin with them first.

      • westcoastgirl westcoastgirl

        Thanks for mentioning Emmy’s site, and organizing…I will check her site out again soon.

        Still moving, still a lot to do, but I want to do something that makes a difference.

        • westcoastgirl westcoastgirl

          Bmurr, where are you located? I can really only organize with someone in the Bay area, I’m just too busy for anything else.

      • dharmasyd dharmasyd

        Bmurr — Since you have a new baby, it is easy to understand your desire to hurry. At 78, I’ve been involved in anti-nuclear protests since the late 1950s, early 1960s with the tests in the Pacific and at the Nevada Test Site.

        I was strongly involved as a major organizer with the Southern California Alliance for Survival in the 1980s, fighting Reagan’s Star Wars, and nuclear escalations like the multi-warhead MX missile. I played a major role in organizing the 40th Anniversary tour (1985) of the Hibakusha from Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the US.

        I’m an old war horse on this, and I’m still trying. I know too well how good TPTB are at hijacking and destroying movements. It is for this reason that I must say our only hope is to join forces with the OWS. Only in numbers so massive that we can create regime change will we ever be able to accomplish our goals for a nuke free planet.

        I could write hundreds of pages of examples on this subject. But alas, there’s the word limit.

        I can only hope and pray you will hear me.

        • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


          “I know too well how good TPTB are at hijacking and destroying movements. It is for this reason that I must say our only hope is to join forces with the OWS. Only in numbers so massive that we can create regime change will we ever be able to accomplish our goals for a nuke free planet.”

          Well said and TRUE!

          • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

            I gave it my best shot again today..at OWS..
            They just moderated someone for saying..End the Federal Reserve.
            They will not address the government..yet resistance is all over there demands.
            Fukushima…radiation…all conspiracy.
            I don’t have time to wrestle with them in their chat rooms..
            What can we do?

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      I feel your pain TWIB.
      LIFE goes on for me however.
      I haven’t stopped.
      But yes, I feel your anger so much TODAY esp.

  • theworldisblind…..

    Give it up….just party like its 1999 friend.

    its too late to fix anything.

    ….my wife has turned luminescent green, but my thingy is still working…any female out there looking for a good time?

    red red wine

  • jackassrig

    Years ago, I worked on a project that had hydrogen as a by-product. I learned that the hydrogen atom is very small and is able to migrate through steel and gaskets. Hydrogen is very difficult to contain. I wonder how these nuclear wizkids ever expected to contain particles that are much smaller than hydrogen. I wonder if these containment vessels are containing this crap.

  • I just got back from getting my hair cut. My hairdresser is Japanese and said she’s going back for another visit this winter. When I expressed concern she waved it away merrily and said, “Oh no! Everything is FINE there now.” I was like… “Um… ok.”

  • bmurr bmurr

    I know i already shared this, but i sent this e-mail to my milk company on 9/14/2011. I just wanted to demonstrate why I lack trust in our EPA. I didn’t include the company the first time, but this time I will.

    My e-mail :
    Dear Farmers,
    I have been drinking your milk for 2 – 3 years now, and my family will only drink a different brand when our local Stop & Shop is out of stock. Recently, I was reading online that the EPA does not test organic milk for contaminants, and I’m not sure whether this is valid information or not. With the events in Fukushima Japan, I have a concerns about consuming products that could potentially be contaminated with pollutants that may be raining out onto our communities. I live in New Haven Connecticut, and I have not heard of any local reports of contamination, but I would like to know what Farmer’s Cow has done to ensure the safety of their products. Having looked into the subject, I have found that the most commonly contaminated food products are dairy. My family’s primary source of dairy is your milk.

    Thanks you for your great products, and your time today.

    Their response:

    Hello Brian,

    We received a response from our Quality Control manager regarding your inquiry.

    His response:

    The Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) required by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) applies to all milk (organic & conventional). Radiological assessments are routinely conducted on raw milk in all regions of the country. The testing was increased after the Fukajima incident as a proactive measure. The results are that no changes have been noted.

    I appreciate you sending the information on the stores that run short on The Farmer’s Cow milk. We will certainly encourage the Stop & Shop in East Haven and WalMart in Wallingford to keep an adequate inventory.

    Thanks for your confidence in The Farmer’s Cow products.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      They all have a FORM LETTER they send out. Yours is no exception. I’m sorry. Proud you sent the letter though. My advice is to keep sending it over and over. I’m sure they’re getting TONS of mail these days.

      • bmurr bmurr

        How can they say that no changes were noted. I mean, do they really think people are THAT stupid? I’m amazed that they can sleep at night. It’s all in the name of money. I feel like they handed out crazy pills, and I’m the only person that didn’t get them.

        • StillJill StillJill

          Not quite the ONLY person,…but I know exactly what you’re saying bmurr.
          Congrats BTW on your son coming into the world safely last month! 🙂

        • ReactorHalfEmpty

          NRC: “your business, no changes!”
          Willy nilly producer: “noted.”

  • “This slow trickle of extremely late information is worse than chinese water torture…” – Kevin (well said and true)

    So… if it’s in the MILK, then, it only goes to reason, it’s elsewhere. It’s obvious, even to a casual observer, that there is other ‘stuff’ in other places.

    It is either accumulating or the situation is accelerating or both.

    Expect ‘safe limits’ to trickle upwards again soon. They don’t want to stop distributing and selling you contaminated items. That might have a negative affect on the economy. 😉

    If people had the knowledge they might panic or get angry or both so no data or lack of data just keeps the ball rolling.

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      You said it. I expect a full blown “it’s SAFE!” from all corners of the world real soon here. Doesn’t mean we’ll believe it, far from it. They should know that WE (every concerned person who has watched this since 3/11) KNOW THE TRUTH. And our numbers are growing. Everyday we see people joining in, with the same concerns WE have over this radiation. So everyday, we’ll see a DOUBLEDOWN of saying it’s SAFE. At least that’s how I see it.

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    BTW I got an reply from a MIKE at Mothers in Nuclear.
    He spouts the same shit as the Japanese Gov.
    I have not replied YET as I’m thinking it over exactly WHAT I will say CALMLY AND RATIONALLY. Grrr…

    • Mack Mack

      @Whoopie – Saw a good comment from hopeful here:


      Maybe model your letter similarly.

      • Whoopie Whoopie

        Thanks Mack! I’ll check it out!!
        My reply TO Mike @ SITE above. Keep in mind, I wear my heart on my sleeve and don’t have any ‘writing talent’. We’ll see if it EVER shows:
        “Mike, thank you for your reply. I’ve been watching the news from Japan with a very close eye and have seen first hand how the Government and TEPCO have handled this. There have been so many lies since 3/11, I have chosen to get my info from other sources.
        The Japanese people no longer have a trust in their Government so they have taken to taking their own radiation readings and what they are finding is quite disturbing. Children and the unborn are especially susceptible to radiation because of their rapid cell division during physical growth. DNA will be effected as radiation permanently mutates the gene pool and genetically weakens it. So again, it boils down to THE JAPANESE CHILDREN and what should be done to help them. It truly breaks my heart to sit by and watch all of this happening.
        As long as Fukushima remains critical, so does the radiation issue. So the evacuation of the children, whose lives will be changed forever, will remain a major concern to me until something is done to help them. They are innocent and need our help more than ever NOW.
        Thanks again.

        • Whoopie Whoopie

          See you guys/gals tomorrow. Off to finish “The Jungle”.
          Old book but so relevant today. Nite.

        • beamofthewave

          We have got to get Anonymous involved, he/she knows how to organize. They got the whole wall street occupy movement going and they are some smart people.

          • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

            Adbusters from Canada started OWS. Anonymous announced to join in ca. 09/01. Haven’t heard / seen much of them since, have we?

          • dharmasyd dharmasyd

            They know. From reading their First Mission Statement (Sorry, too late to find it now), but these OWSers know what is going on.

            When the OWS movement wins, then the nuke industry will be Kaput!

    • ion jean ion jean

      I checked out that blog…it shocked me to my core and I had to leave a scathing comment!

  • StillJill StillJill

    Yeah,…I’m still waiting for ‘calm and rational’ Whoopie.
    Let me know when you’re done with him, K?

  • HighLonesome

    Hello all.

    Recommended reading –


    Please note this is the actual EPA doc calling out an MCL for cesium isotopes at 200 pci/l of drinking water. The current levels found in the California milk are about 3.9 pci/l.

    I do now know where Forbes got the 3pci/l number, but it sure has been paraded around.

    Also of interest may be this FDA paper –


    Have a good evening everyone.

    • ion jean ion jean

      Boy, this just shows what a complex subject this really is for some journalists like at Forbes…3 pci/l is the MCL for Radioiodine 131 in drinking water

      How does this .gov charade arrives at different isotope quantities as having the same drinking water value…is it maybe gamma vs. beta? Alot of the time, the EPA works in achievable levels, not necessarily levels that protect human health adequately

      Our nation is already so contaminated with Cesium 137, the soil and grass can’t take much more

      And the presence of Cs 134 shows clearly the “freshness” of the cesium as that one half=lifes in a couple of years

      And let’s not get too cozy with the notion that 137 is a 30 year half life, as some recent studies push that out to about 80 to 120 years or more!!!

      All i know is i love milk! and this is totally unacceptable! Living in a dairy state out East, I can tell you that the biggest hush hush of my state’s health dept is the secret traces of cesium in milk that have been around for decades since the atomic boys’ party days of the 50s and 60s

      But do you think any farmer is aware of this? None that I’ve met…and can I tell them? Do they have a chalkboard and two weeks for me to teach the basics of nuclear science first?

      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

        Since acceptable levels appear to be so confusing to the average consumer, then we must regulate it to be simpler… other additives have had similar fates..

        I say how about zero as the new MCL for everything?…

        We do know with certainty that we should not be swallowing radioactive anything right?

        Oh wait, what are the chances nothing would be ok to eat or drink anymore if we did that? 🙁

  • Dr. McCoy

    The doctor says cancer is the new black.

  • Tanuki San

    I noticed at the store today that Tillamook (Oregon) cheese was on sale for amazingly cheap. One of the packages said “aged 100 days.” The sharp cheddar (aged 9 months) and the extra sharp cheddar (aged even longer) were at least double the price of everything else. I can’t remember if they have sales this good normally on Tillamook cheese, but it seemed too good to be true. I’m also wondering if they’re just testing for cesium in the milk, or if they test for strontium and other things too. Even in Japan the test results for cesium in milk were relatively low compared to other foods or ND, so maybe there are other elements that get into milk worse than cesium does.

    • ion jean ion jean

      Iodine 131 and Strontiums 89 and 90 really concentrate in dairy…mimicking the high levels of iodine and calcium respectively

      You can bet your ice cream cone that many other isotopes are in there too (SEE THE DATA AT NUCLEARCRIMES.ORG ON PHS STUDIES IN THE 1960S) WHETHER THEY’RE TESTING FOR THEM OR NOT

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      When you view the historical detection data in milk on radnet, it becomes very clear that levels rise after wars, accidents etc.. and the pattern of ND is very clearly there too.. you must ask yourself why?

      It is very easy to be super suspicious of the data, and lack of data… look at your local health department historical data too.. similar, but you can tell that the ND is much more a thing of the present than the past…which I find odd as our technologies have grown more reliable and more sophisticated in detecting such things..

      • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

        oh, and Tillamook cheese does do great sales now and then… only now might not be such a good buy.. will go down to 5.99 for 2 lb often..sometimes 4.99 and the shredded 8oz will blow out of fred meyers for a buck a bag..

  • Hemisfear311 Hemisfear311

    Radionuclides, the complete list

    I never imagined there were so many different radionuclides.

    Check out this list:

  • ion jean ion jean

    Arnie Gundersen confirming the prompt nuclear criticality in unit 3 means we can make data assumptions comparable to the isotope ratios from any other nuclear weapons explosion test conducted by the U.S. that is not US.

    So there could even be plutonium, uranium, radioactive chlorine in the milk too, right? Someone help me out here with this theory….

  • ion jean ion jean

    I just checked the Berkeley data this article is based on and I read at the bottom of the chart

    “**The number in parentheses is the number of liters of milk that one would need to consume to equal the radiation exposure of a single round trip flight from San Francisco to Washington D.C. (0.05 mSv)…”

    Are we really gonna rely on ANYTHING this department says that screws around with the ANS? When any educated person reads this, IT MAKES NO MEDICAL SENSE, the internal vs. external propaganda

    Everyone, please spread the word…you can go to Youtube and check out “nuclearvault” channel.. There, all the old fallout and atomic films from the 50s/60s at least give a good basic explanation from the government’s more honest? days

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      Isn’t it sad that we don’t have more info? This is the direct result of not having the government(which is the people) paying for the University. When the industry pays, the University walks a fine line… if they say too much, said industry just quits giving them money, and goes and finds a University that will shut it’s mouth.

      I remember how shocked I was when a friend of mine in the 80s told me how the Nuclear Industry recruits intelligence more vigorously, with less regulation that sports. His roommate at UC Davis being the perfect example.. super ANTI-NUKE for years.. then as he was fixing to graduate top of his class..he was approached by the industry,that got his name and academic achievements from the teachers/school, who also received graft, and the next thing you know.. he was working for them, had no student loans, new luxury car, new mansion and ungodly salary.. they made him an offer he could not refuse.

      Shocked, and appalled.

      Imagine that intelligence having been put toward less damaging technology… as a society, we have not been able to further our cause as a species, because profit companies can pay more than us.

      We are held back from higher understanding and evolution.

      For example; We have been the USA of EXXon for decades..we put a man on the moon in the 60s and we have only gotten this far? Just think about it.. we should have been further along. Think about the country (Germany) that was denied the industry of war. Look at their radiation detection network.. far superior..

      Nuclear power was and is a product of the war industry. Industry stands in the way of evolution..
      Sadly, it now stands to destroy it’s creator. hmm sound familiar?