Hot spots at 1,400% baseline radiation levels on San Francisco-area coast — State: It’s “naturally occurring materials not radioactivity associated with Fukushima” — Expert: Don’t let babies or kids inhale or eat the sand

Published: January 8th, 2014 at 12:20 am ET
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Half Moon Bay Review, Jan. 7, 2014: [...] Fukushima Daiichi [...] is not the cause of abnormally high radiation levels discovered recently along Surfer’s Beach, according to an analysis by independent experts. But exactly why a swath of the local coastline is showing about 14 times the baseline radiation level remains a curious mystery. [...] El Granada electrical engineer Steven Weiss grabbed his own radiation measurement equipment [...] He tested various spots: the side of the bluffs and the white sand closest to the waterline, both registering levels that were high [...] a line of black silt along the back of the beach [...] registered about 415 counts per minute. A cpm of 30 is considered the baseline for radioactivity typically found in the air. [...] he took a sample of the dark sediment and sent it to his company’s main offices in Sebastopol for analysis [which found] radium and thorium [...] The radiation scare followed a constellation of other alarming news [like sea stars] mysteriously disintegrating along the West Coast [...] simulations had indicated that radioactive cesium-137 from the Fukushima reactors could begin appearing on West Coast shores by early 2014.

California Department of Public Health spokeswoman Wendy Hopkins, Patch, Jan. 7, 2014:  “Recent tests show that elevated levels of radiation at Half Moon Bay are due to naturally occurring materials and not radioactivity associated with the Fukushima incident” [...] CDPH has collected and will be analyzing sand samples from Half Moon Bay. Results of the analysis will be released as soon as the analysis is completed possibly sometime this week [...]

Dan Sythe, CEO of Geiger counter maker International Medcom, Patch, Jan. 7, 2014: “The levels detected are about five to 10 times what you would normally expect to find on a beach” [...] Whether this material is naturally occurring at this beach or not remains a question [...] “There are reports that a pipeline was once at this location and oil pipelines can collect heavy radioactive minerals” [...] err on the side of caution with young children and babies “to make sure they don’t inhale or eat the sand” [...] [Sythe] hopes the state will do further testing to determine the origin and full nature of the hot spots [...]

See also: Official detects radiation spike on California beach, now at 500% normal levels -- 'Befuddled' as to why it's so high, claims there's no 'immediate' health concern -- Public's interest in Fukushima nuclear waste rising (VIDEO)

Published: January 8th, 2014 at 12:20 am ET
By

177 comments

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