Expert: “Ban all fish from Japan” — Cesium-137 absorbed by human body has 30 year half-life

Published: September 9th, 2013 at 6:16 pm ET


Title: Ban all fish from Japan to ease fears, says food expert
Source: South China Morning Post
Author: Candy Chan, Amy Nip
Date: September 10, 2013

Ban all fish from Japan to ease fears, says food expert

Hong Kong should ban fish products from all of Japan in response to public fears of contamination from ongoing leaks at the Fukushima nuclear plant, a food expert said.

Leung Ka-sing, an associate professor at Polytechnic University’s department of applied biology and chemical technology, said it would act as a preventive measure and address fears over radiation.

“If the government imposed a ban, the city would still have enough supplies of fish. So why not?” […]

Professor Stephen Tsui Kwok-wing from Chinese University’s School of Biomedical Sciences […] said the half-life of caesium absorbed by the human body was about 30 years.

In general, bigger fish tend to have a higher risk of accumulating radioactive materials, he added. […]

See also:

Published: September 9th, 2013 at 6:16 pm ET


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60 comments to Expert: “Ban all fish from Japan” — Cesium-137 absorbed by human body has 30 year half-life

  • norbu norbu

    Sure ban am all, over 2 years late, but ok good job.
    "The two main elements of concern are iodine and caesium, said Professor Stephen Tsui Kwok-wing from Chinese University's School of Biomedical Sciences."
    What about plutonium? What about all the other nasty elements of this disaster?

    • Strontium…..every wants to avoid the Bogeyman

      and talk of iodine is such a joke…its a limited hangout so they can then state that "it went away, so dont worry about the main problem"

      • Stock, I'm no scientist but Iodine 129 is produced by nuclear fission and has a half life of 15.7 million years. Are you thinking of Iodine 131 which has a half life of 8 days?

        • We Not They Finally

          But I understand that there is NEW I-131 showing up now. NEW fissioning. Which is probably unlikely to stop.

          • vital1 vital1

            I just posted this report on a significant detection of Iodine I-129, that appears to have bio-accummulated in roof gutter moss here, in Australia. It has a half life 15.7 million years, and is release at the same time as I-131.

            This detection is very significant development!


            The media tends to focus on Cesium, and conveniently forgets to mention the thousands of other dangerous radioactive contaminants coming out of the Fukushima disaster site.

            This scientific report on Fukushima Iodine releases, indicates that the amount of long lived radioactive Iodine I-129, released during the early stages of the Fukushima Nuclear disaster, was 31 times greater than the short lived radioactive Iodine I-131. This study does not take into account any radioactive Iodine releases since then.



            Get the message out there on how serious the Fukushima nuclear disaster is quickly, and efficiently. You don’t need to explain anything just distribute the lifesaver.pdf or create your own, hand it out, mailbox it, twitter, facebook it, or email it.


            • razzz razzz

              The longer the radioisotope's half life, technically, the less dangerous it is because its rate of decay is so slow.

              Should be worried more if you found I-131 because it has a shorter half life and is more actively decaying like tritium-H30 or strontium-90, etc., with their shorter half lives.

              That is why the incubation period for cancers for radioactivity is anywhere from 5-70 years, the shorter lived radioisotopes (ex. radioactive Iodine-131) will cause damage sooner but the longer lived radioisotopes like plutonium or uranium will decay at slower rates but eventually do their damage to cells and DNA.

              Of course, if you get hit with massive doses by inhaling or ingesting then the chances are greater you get at worse, a cancer or at least a general attack on your immune system trying to deal with all the poisons.

              • vital1 vital1

                As I understand it, 0.10 Bg/kg is the safe limit for I-129, (USA EPA old standard). Obviously this is if you ingested it in liquids, or food.

                They call these safety standards, but they are actually risk standards.

                Example only.

                It means at a particular isotope contamination level the government is willing to accept say 10,000 fatalities in a million, over a ten to twenty year period of time.

                The more the so called safety (risk) radiation levels are raised, the more fatalities government officials are willing to accept, as long as its not their family.

        • Mark, I did a spreadsheet and analysis on the i131 i129 issue, please take a look.

  • Fukushima Harbor Fish Measured With 740,000 Bq/Kg Cesium; via @AGreenRoad

    It is going from really bad, to MUCH WORSE!

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    I won't eat any fish or mushrooms (radiation sponges). I also won't eat or drink anything with carageenan in it – it's made from seaweed, 80% from the PI alone.

    A lot of makeup has fish products in it. Just imagine smearing radiation on your face.

    On old – and wise – man asked me why I bother, that everything is contaminated anyway. I told him it's the principle of the thing.

    He's right, though. I guess we all draw our 'red lines' in the sand, but at the end of the day all our food is contaminated. Can't stop drinking water or breathing, either. Maybe I just don't want to hurry it up.

    • Songie Songie

      TIS: "just don't want to hurry it up"

      seems a practical approach…we all make choices, and if we can minimize in any way known contaminants…then why not? My approach as well… no seafood, no dairy, no mushrooms, upping the Vitc C, trying to stay out of the rain…perhaps it is all futile, but it makes me feel as though I have a small amount of control….

      • We Not They Finally

        That's correct. And apparently it is helpful to reverse-osmosis the water, and to take hot baths with a pound each of baking soda and sea salt. (Is sea salt safe? At least from far away? Who knows?) The name of the game is to reduce the load of radiation on your body. Obviously it's a loaded minefield we're getting.

        • HoTaters HoTaters

          Hi We Not They Finally, thought I'd read it's helpful to use baking soda (preferably verified free of Aluminum, along with Epsom salts. Hadn't read sea salt was helpful. And Epsom salts are a lot less expensive. They contain magnesium, one of the minerals needed by the body to avoid uptake of one of the radioactive elements (forget which one).

          Also — using clay like Bentonite or Montmorillonite clay is helpful. See archives at Forum on methods of protecting against radiation. Marc Sircus, OMD, has discussed this subject at length. I think Dr. Mercola has many suggestions on his site, too. You'll find lots of things here in the archives, especially those for the first year after 3/11.

          Basically, you want to use the bath to pull radioactive isotopes out of the body, and prevent uptake, especially for the ones resembling minerals the body needs (potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc.)

          More at the Forum area ….

          • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

            I usually put a pinch of baking soda in every pot of coffee I make..anti fungal.

            But then what on Planet Earth is not radioactive these days?

            Sea salt might be glowing! Iodized salt might be better.

            We are "all" throwing the Radiation Contamination "dice" on a daily basis!

            Invisible, odorless and tasteless and now its everywhere. Yummy!

            • bsgcic bsgcic

              Red Wine

              On Saturday (I think it was Saturday), March 12, 2011, after I had just heard a couple hours earlier of the nuclear catastrophy unfolding at Fukushima, I tried to take my mind off of it by watching a movie on Star channel which just happened to be K-19 with Harrison Ford.

              Near the beginning of the movie, all the officers on the nuclear sub were drinking red wine at dinner and it was stated that red wine helps protect the body from radiation that enters the body.

              Sure enough after searching the web, I found it was true. The reservatol within red wine protects cells from ionizing radiation.

              Between March 13, 2011 and when I was finally able to get my family out of Japan on March 28, 2011, I drank the most red wine than I have ever drank in my life (and I basically had never been any kind of alcohol drinker before that). For example, since March 28, 2011, after moving my family back to Massachusetts, I have not had even a sip of alcohol – I prefer the "taste" of water.

    • We Not They Finally

      Time is short we should probably get lists of uneatables out to the general public..when its time to do that.Obviously we must see some responsibility from various groups in our govt who are suppose to care about public safety..If no responsibilty then its very hard to educate anyone.By the time things start to really go bad then what??Remember ene news is very responsible but how many people do we reach?What will it take for the citizens of the USA to wakeup?This is called denial and its very bad.It leads to all kinds of diversions of the citizens of the USA and world.Like WW111 Plague and any other diversion that will let us panic in peace.Who knows maybe our Congress will do nothing to divert the massive asteroid coming our way in 20 yrs or so?

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      This will be a good test of this evolution theory. Those that pay attention and avoid radiation will survive. Maybe people will develop a third eye on a long stalk that darts and weaves about their heads and can see radioactive particles. Until then, just make do. I will have to add mushrooms and carageenan to my no-fly zone, along with seafood.

  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    "Ban all fish from Japan" is something we've all heard or said here since 2011(?)!! That notion is not "breaking news"!! When will the headline (properly)read "Ban all seafoods from the Pacific Ocean"??!! Some of the biggest eateries featuring high-end seafood have been advertising some of the cheapest deals I've ever seen them offer! In February of 2011 I would've trucked on over to Red Lobster,etc.,stuffed my face & waddled my ass back home!-now they couldn't pay me enough to shove something in my already unintentionally(on my part)irradiated pie-hole that I just KNOW contains even higher levels of FUKU crap than I've been bio-accumulating from foods produced on (possily)less-contaminated land & (heavy)water! Maybe when the reality of what's been unleashed & covered up by TPTB starts bankrupting the now (more)tainted food industries the corporate pressure and lost revenues including that of those who die early will be the tipping point?!! IMHO I don't think "dont buy/eat fish from Japan" quite covers the dangers or potential losses at every level via the 311 ELE TEPCO/GE & TPTB have unleashed even on themselves! 😐 F%#king idiots!! 🙁

    • We Not They Finally

      Johny blade dont blame red lobster theres plenty of deadly radiation to go around for all of us..The fact is there is really no way short of leaving the planet to save yourselves…If you can find away to protect yourself from the air oceans and rain and almost all kinds of food stuffs…Soon we will have no more bees honey fruit and vegetables…Along time ago with Eisenhower there was a huge campaign to push safe nuclear energy.I think thats when Einstein flipped his lid.He knew and we all know now there is no safe nuclear energy.

  • Lacsap Lacsap

    30 year half life that means after 300 years 0,09% of total is remaining.

    30 years 50%
    60 years 25%
    90 years 12,5%
    120 years 6,25%
    150 years 3,125%
    180 years 1,5625%
    210 years 0,78125%
    240 years 0,390625%
    270 years 0,1953125%
    300 years 0,09765625%
    330 years 0,048828125%
    360 years 0,024414063%
    390 years 0,012207031%
    420 years 0,006103516%

    • Jebus Jebus

      For more perspective, that's one atom of cesium 137.
      Now multiply that times beeeleeeions of atoms released everywhere.
      Realize that caesium is soluable and travels through the guts fairly well because of the bodies natural potassium regulation. It's a fifo regulation or first in first out. This fact is why it is erroniously compared to a banana's potassium. Caesium 137 has a much greater energy level of radioactivity and is a manmade toxin. The massive amounts of caesium in nuclear fuel is the issue. Even if you eat some and it passes through you, it's half life is long enough to actually travel up through the food chain again and enter you a second and third time… Maybe that third time you are a bit potassium deficient. Ouch, straight to the soft tissue it goes to be expelled some other day. Don't let anyone fool you about internal ingestion of radionuclides.

      Caesium-137 , cesium-137, or radiocaesium, is a radioactive isotope of caesium which is formed as one of the more common fission products by the nuclear fission of uranium-235 and other fissionable isotopes in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. It is among the most problematic of the short-to-medium-lifetime fission products because it easily moves and spreads in nature due to the high water solubility of caesium's most common chemical compounds, which are salts.

      • unincredulous unincredulous

        Lowering salt intake helps lower blood pressure. I haven't been adding salt to the food I eat. I know I need some salt to survive. Sea salt is supposed to be healthier. I think it is because of mineral content, but not sure. Now with these cesium salts your talking about, how would they be avoided? Soon, children will have to spend their whole day studying nutrition and trying to avoid getting radiation poisoning. No time for art or music or anything else for that matter. If it gets bad enough, our ability to study and protect ourselves will be lost. If you haven't seen the video,"Children of Chernobyl" you might not get what I am getting at. Kind of hard to read about radiation on your computer when your body is misshapen from genetic defects and you can barely lap water from a dog bowl while lying on the floor trying to understand why other people can actually walk and talk…

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Unfortunately, many other radioactive isotopes to deal with, harmful to the human body (and other living things).

    • RichardPerry

      Lacsap, Half life is 30 years but as long as you are eating and breathing radioactive substance it cumulates and increases faster then it decays so half life is only relevant to the harm it causes to the body, typically the shorter the half life the more harm it causes because of the increase in the number of decays per second and daughter products in the mix.

  • SusanS

    ☢ Fukushima Petitions to Sign & Share! ☢
    ☢ Japan Needs Worldwide Help NOW! ☢

    ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢ ☢

  • larry-andrew-nils

    it's not just japan, it's canadian and american fish too… to only ban japanese fish is racist.

    • We Not They Finally

      Fish doesn't have a race. It's just more or less radioactive. (Or were you joking? The subject is so gruesome as a whole, it's sometimes hard to tell. People get horrified enough and they get really sardonic.) Though fish off the coasts of the western U.S. and Canada has gotten to be bad news.

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Good one! 🙂

  • Jebus Jebus

    Seems they can only extropolate the Strontium 90 from the Cesium 137 deposition.
    Seems that it is about a ten to one ratio on average?
    How much Cesium was released?
    Strontium is better at mimicking calcium than Cesium is at mimicking potassium.

    Here's a pre-fuku? study on Strontium. Bias is unknown…

    Long-term Availability of Sr-90 in Foodstuff after Nuclear Fallout

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    I stopped eating seafood March 2011, thanks to nuclear. It'd be crazy not to.

  • rockyourworld

    ban fish? what about air traffic coming from japan? tankers coming from japan? people coming from japan? electronics from japan? cmon now

  • razzz razzz

    Not that it matters much around here, radioactive elements finding their way into the human body have different half lives than when outside of the body…

    "…The main problem with cesium-137, which is present in the form of salts, is its high water solubility. Cesium-137 ions are readily distributed in the body, and especially in the muscle tissues. The biological half-life is 70 days. This means that half of the cesium-137 has been excreted again after 70 days…"
    From Also discusses strontium-90 and iodine-131 in the human body.

    Still can do damage while decaying inside the body a total of 700 days if you use the 10x (multiplier) 70 days. A whole body counter scan can find current activity.

    In Euroland due to Chernobyl, I think I read that the cesium-137 was not dissipating as fast as they thought it would. Could be they have to use the 20x (multiplier) times 30 years which gets you a 600 year total life span because the decay rate breakdown is more complex. The EPA would have you believe fallout from bomb tests is decaying away to nothing but haven't consider Daiichi, Fuk-us adding to the total amount of (new) fallout to consider. You know they raised the allowable exposure rates here in the US after re-surveying radioactivity esp. on the West Coast a year or so after 3/11.

    • Jebus Jebus

      Biological half lives vary widely, with so many biological variables, it is an error to think that Freds retention of potassium or calcium is equal to Johnnys and can be calculated on average.

      Thats why hormesis is a lie. No two individual specimens of a species are the same. Size, weight, and especially age, are big variables when radionuclides attack.

      The only sure thing is that radioactive decay and subsequent damage happens coming, going, and on to the next carbon based life form, till the decay chain is over…

    • razzz razzz

      What are the properties of cesium-137?

      Cesium, as well as cesium-137, is a soft, malleable, silvery white metal. Cesium is one of only three metals that is a liquid near room temperature (83 °F). The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years. It decays by emission of a beta particle and gamma rays to barium-137m.

      How does cesium-137 change in the environment?

      Cesium-137 undergoes radioactive decay with the emission of beta particles and relatively strong gamma radiation. Cesium-137 decays to barium-137m, a short-lived decay product, which in turn decays to a nonradioactive form of barium. The major dose from cesium-137 is from the barium-137. The half-life of cesium-137 is 30.17 years. Because of the chemical nature of cesium, it moves easily through the environment. This makes the cleanup of cesium-137 difficult.

      From the EPA link and post above.

      Anyway my point being, you could survive a fallout cloud pretty much unscathed if you knew it was coming and could prepare (take supplements, stay indoors, tape around doors, wear special masks, etc.). It is the constant exposures that runs the greatest risks and being in the vicinity of any new radioactive releases.

      Here's Dr. Caldicott discussing some fallout complications…

      • Unscathed? Don't think so.. there is also the xenon gas that everyone gets to inhale and the nano particles of plutonium, the buckyballs, and then the fallout settles in the water, on the ground, floats around as dust stirred up by wind.

        Everyone can hide in their holes and caves for awhile, but they have to come back up eventually, and eat/drink/bathe.

        That is when you get 'it', even if you were 10,000 feet underground breathing from an oxygen tank.

        There is no HIDING or ESCAPE from nuclear radiation, for anyone.

        There are counter strategies, preventative strategies and chelation methods, but nothing is 100% and there are no guarantees.

        • We Not They Finally

          Thanks for the truth Dr Goodheart.We must not get trapped in denial.Thats what keeps us sane.Be aware of what has happened and if you wish how it happened. It happened because a bunch of billionaire corporatists allowed greed and stupidity to take us all down the corporate drain

          • unincredulous unincredulous

            Once those billionaires realize that all the profits they make can't buy them a safe place to vacation, they will change their ways. The whole world will be a radiation danger to them, then. Unfortunately, all us serfs will suffer for their greedy ways, too. They will still stick their noses up in the air at us, but hot particles they will inhale, and the experience will be a bit less sweet for them. Just the idea a person with three noses feeling superior to anyone gives me the creeps. EEEuuuuuwwww. Count the boogers.

      • RichardPerry

        Just jumping in, a big problem I have with most pro-nuke studies is that they assume that the mix of radioactive particles are the same as there study of Hiroshima (the study was bent and shaped to come up with a high dose acceptable risk), but bomb blows up violently using up much of the fuel, NPP run for many months getting more and more toxic with the mix of isotopes in the fuel(the mix is different depending on how long ago fuel was changed, TMI was only 2 or 3 months), then it had a run away for a short time changing the mix.

  • rockyourworld

    oh and vehicles from japan

    • many moons

      I worry about the electronics…the laptops…the parts made in Japan and shipped to international computer manufacturers.

      • Jebus Jebus

        Unless those items are emitting gama rays and from being contaminated next to a source of loose radionuclides, it isn't anything that can cause a great harm externally. Just all the handling, washing, and such would remove most of any particles. But if any of those loose particles do enter your body, the game changes. Don't lick your laptop?
        Seriously, Japan is more radionuclide contaminated than at any time in it's history, those people will suffer, but the greatest threat to all within the sphere of the Pacific Ocean, centered on Fukushima, is ingestion from the food supply. We have all been sucking it into our lungs since Marie Curie died…
        Whats your maximum level of hormesis?

  • rockyourworld

    watching radiation spike in just a few spread out states makes me think our nukes are leaking. why not? hanford is

    • We Not They Finally

      rock your world….No its radiation coming from Rain,Ocean and
      of course nuclear energy…We cant avoid contamination from Fukeshima. How they can use all that money on the Olympics????Japan is nowhere for any sane person to be…That means contamination of the plants that rain falls on.That means everything that lives in the ocean.That means being very careful when you fly.

  • We Not They Finally

    Good for Hong Kong! Let them do it and then let everyone else follow their lead.

  • Japan Radioactive Iodine 131 In Sewage Sludge Levels RISING Since March 2011 To 2013 – Why? via @AGreenRoad

    Is the Floating Japanese Tsunami Debris Radioactive Or Hazardous? via @AGreenRoad

  • ftlt

    How will they ever enforce sea food bans???

    Meaningful testing will never happen as the legal limits will be continually raised on ocean products..

    One never knows where it comes from anymore… Very little fresh unfrozen fish is consumed today…

    The straight line risks of radiation releases are so scary…

  • We Not They Finally

    if you have absorbed cesium please check the potassium levels in your blood, Cesium mimics potassium and eats muscles like heart muscles….Also absolutely be aware of fish and our contaminated Ocans.please use common sense…Good luck to all…

    • unincredulous unincredulous

      Use common sense. If the package says "fish" don't buy it. Eventually the fishermen will be so upset, that they will be the worst enemy nuclear people have ever encountered.

      • bo bo

        The radioactive fish rejected by people will go straight to cows and chickens in the form of fishmeal, and become concentrated.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    There's no safe levels, so everyone's on their own.

  • isogoodhumans

    This article is misleading. The Cesium also has a half life absorption rate by the body. Generally, in adults, 10% of the Cesium ingested is gone in 2 days. Of the remaining 90%, half again is gone in 110 days. In 3 years, effectively all the cesium you consumed today is gone.

    The half life absorption rate for children is about 50 days, so excreted even faster.

    • Jebus Jebus

      And your post is misleading in that your figures assume a one time consumption. When it is in the food supply, you are consuming the cesium daily along with the other radionuclides. So, in essence, it never leaves your body, as long as you are consuming it…

      The result, always, equals the sum of the parts…

  • isogoodhumans

    Jebus, "your figures assume a one time consumption."
    Correct. Because thats what the article assumes. With daily consumption, the half life isnt 30 years either. Math isn't your forte otherwise you would post the formula, but by now I tire of you.

    • Jebus Jebus

      Well isogoodhumans, your reading comprehension is not very good when you are so tired. The professor did not say that the caesium would stay in the body for 30 years. He merly stated that the half life of caesium is 30 years. It may be purged from the body in a shorter period, it may not. There is no magic formula, as every human is different in the way they metabolize. Every life form is different in that respect. But the cesium still has it's cancer causing energy available, for 30 years x 10, for the next carbon based life form to take it up after that. Get some rest.

    • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

      Jebus is correct and isogoodhumans is wrong and are you iso related to Red Pill since he has never been right about anything.

      Blue pills are not recommended to be ingested anywhere near this site or before you make any comment here since every comment is scrutinized for accuracy.

      Nice to have you back Red Pill!

  • RichardPerry

    Just jumping in, a big problem I have with most pro-nuke studies is that they assume that the mix of radioactive particles are the same as their study of Hiroshima (the study was bent and shaped to come up with a high dose acceptable risk), but bombs blow up violently using up much of the fuel, NPP run for many months getting more and more toxic with the mix of isotopes in the fuel(the mix is different depending on how long ago fuel was changed, TMI was only 2 or 3 months), then it had a run away for a short time during melt down changing the mix even more. The bomb starts out with a known mix, NPP are a guess at what the mix is and with Fuku.. its still changing. The NPP have a high daughter mix at the start from a controlled run away condition and 7 to 10% plutonium breaking down in a small area with larger bits then a bomb blast have. The bomb blast mixes the particles well compared to a NPP(Fuku.. had large pieces of Plutonium more then a mile away). So the problem is each melt down has its own mix and is a study in its self, it will take several more melt downs to get a good knowledge of the effects but this time we have the internet. Note, I seen some say Plutonium will not travel far as it is a heavy element but Uranium and isotopes are close to the same weight and in water are carried farther, that is why the radiation in the ocean will hang around for along time in a tight pattern not dispersing much. I am guessing that in deep water, particles will not touch bottom