Newspaper: Orange County coastal fish possibly affected by radioactivity — “I would assume it’s there” in the plants and animals off California’s coast says researcher

Published: April 7th, 2012 at 6:50 pm ET
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Title: STUDY: Orange County coastal fish possibly affected by radioactivity from Japan disaster
Source: Press-Telegram (Long Beach)
Date: 04/07/2012 01:58:28 PM PDT

Fish along the Orange County coast may have been affected by radioactivity that fell on California in the days after Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster, local researchers say. [...] 

The study poses the possibility that small amounts of Fukushima radioactivity entered the California coast’s food web. The radioactive forms of cesium and iodine detected in the kelp “get dispersed over a variety of organisms” Manley said. “I would assume it’s there” in the biomass of plants and animals off California’s coast. [...]

Cesium 137 has a half life of 30 years, as opposed to iodine 131′s half life of below 10 days, so it may be present in California kelp to this day, said Manley.

“We were limited in what our instrumentation allows us to do,” he said. “The big question was, ‘is another major isotope that came over in the cloud, cesium 137, present in the kelp, too?’” [...]

Radioactive rainfall was absorbed by the seaweed before the seawater had a chance to dilute it, the scientists said in their article. [...]

Manley noted that future research into cesium accumulation in kelp is needed, but the graduate programs that support such efforts are in jeopardy due to state budget cutbacks.

Read the report here

Published: April 7th, 2012 at 6:50 pm ET
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