Radioactive Strontium Found in Hawaii Milk

Published: April 27th, 2011 at 6:26 pm ET


Radioactive Strontium Found in Hilo, Hawaii Milk, Forbes blog, April 27, 2011:

A radioactive isotope of strontium has been detected in American milk for the first time since Japan’s nuclear disaster—in a sample from Hilo, Hawaii—the Environmental Protection Agency revealed yesterday. […]

EPA found 1.4 picoCuries per liter of strontium-89 in a milk sample collected in Hilo on April 4. […]

The EPA’s Maximum Contamination Level for Sr-89 in drinking water is 20 pCi/L. …

The two man-made isotopes of strontium—Sr-89 and Sr-90—are among the most dangerous products of nuclear fission to human and animal health. Both are “bone-seekers,” chemically similar to calcium, that collect in bone and marrow, where they are known to cause cancer. They are particularly dangerous to the growing bones of fetuses and children. […]

Read the report here.

Published: April 27th, 2011 at 6:26 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Radioactive iodine found in breast milk near Tokyo — Mother of 8-month old baby has 980 pCi/kg April 20, 2011
  2. Amount of radiation in 3 gallons of milk from Hilo, Hawaii surpasses annual maximum contaminant level set by EPA April 11, 2011
  3. Cesium and iodine both at least 600% above EPA’s maximum contaminant level in Hawaii milk April 11, 2011
  4. Top Hawaii health official calls out Forbes’ journalist for reporting Hilo milk exceeds EPA radiation level… then admits he is “technically correct” April 12, 2011
  5. Almost half of Japanese women tested show radioactive iodine-131 in breast milk — Highest contamination found 150 miles from Fukushima April 21, 2011

84 comments to Radioactive Strontium Found in Hawaii Milk

  • ocifferdave

    Equal to a flight from California to New York….1 million times.

    • extra knight

      sorry wrong. please explain this idea of risks caused by an airplane flights, pretty unscientific. one more time this is pure nonsense, natural background radiation and being exposed to it, is not the same as coming into direct contact or ingesting a highly radioactive and toxic heavy metal radioactive isotope and radionuclides that are the product of fission inside a nuclear reactor.

      eat a banana, go to jail.

      • stockdude

        at least read past 9 words…he said one million times, it was sarcasm.

        • extra knight

          so you find it necessary to defend this mawkish and lunatic sarcasm, which serves no useful purpose in the realworld. interesting.

          back to reality…

          strontium in milk seems liks a pretty serious de facto issue to me.. but since i’m a veggie i don’t ingest dairy products, the health risks are just too enourmous. in other words i don’t go there.. but for the truly unenlightened omnivore, the prospects of this must be both enormous and frightening. and it’s a fair bet that there must be strontium here in the pacific northwest also and the northern hemisphere. in case you didn’t know this is a very deadly substance.

          eat a banana, go to jail.

          • Anna

            But, the veggies take up the radioactivity too. I am suspecting the raw foodies and vegetarians are going to get mega doses of radiation just like the dairy/meat eaters.

          • extra knight

            @ Anna. exactly. this was a point that i didn’t want to cover into too much detail for the moment. this is quite frustrating actually, there are no easy solutions, especially for us veggies.

          • Anna

            We are going the sprouting route and with indoor gardening among other things. Wish me luck, as I am not a gardener but I think I am going to get real smart, real fast because I don’t like eating pre-Fukushima dirt all on it’s own.

            I was just looking at the jet stream loop and it looks like below 30 degrees in Texas, it is missing the fallout. Hmmm, might be time to move…

          • extra knight

            @ Anna. yeah i guess sprouts and canned vegetables here too, my vegetable garden looks like a wash-out this year. i have no way to determine the amounts of radiation contamination on the soil, even so i will look into other options.

          • Anna

            We have a few sticks of celery left and we ate our last cabbage. I have been putting off sprouting. Been there and done that with Chernobyl for 3 years. Boring. Chernobyl was better in that it did not spew on and on and I could get things from other places, like tuna from the ocean and pineapple from Africa (still can do that). I could super control what the kids ate but now I can’t and they are eating out and, and, and. sigh weary At least, this time around, I have information at my fingertips, the internet and a language I can understand.

            I think someone could have a great business if they knew how to measure radioactivity in foodstuffs like Strahlentelex does in Germany. That bi-weekly newspaper was a godsend.

          • If it weren’t for sarcastic comments, how would you ever get to brag about how smart you are and how veggie eaters are hurting themselves all across Texas? Eat a banana, go to jail.

  • Franky

    The main stream media is a joke!

    • tony wilson

      listen fella…
      i resent you picking on da messiah
      barry hawaii 5 o’bama.

      the guy just wants you to change,can you feel the change yet it”s coming.
      let him get back to his golf.he has not got much time as he will have to go in the nuclear bunker soon.
      drink your milk eat your leafy veggies.
      watch a game have some pacific tuna and enjoy the royal wedding.

  • Cuica

    Doesn’t seem like a good trade……
    If you took all the money Tepco has made from all Of it’s reactors they couldn’t Hawaii…..but in and effort to accumulate a great deal of money they may have been able to destroy this and other wonderful places….Pacific Ocean, California…the list goes on and on…I repeat….not a good trade.

  • Noah

    Hawaii Jewel of the Pacific

    I weep for you, precious aina, will you ever be the same?

  • 67Mopar

    I eat strontium for breakfast baby!

  • Cuica

    money at any cost…..
    but you can’t eat dollars…or yen

  • Buck-0

    Arnie Gundesen from Fairewinds said Americium
    had been detected on the East Coast on his last broadcast. I got this off the EPA website:

    How can americium-241 affect people’s health?

    Americium-241 poses a significant risk if ingested (swallowed) or inhaled. It can stay in the body for decades and continue to expose the surrounding tissues to both alpha and gamma radiation, increasing the risk of developing cancer. Americium-241 also poses a cancer risk to all organs of the body from direct external exposure to its gamma radiation. One source of direct exposure would be contaminated soil. Exposure to any significant amount of Am-241 is unlikely under normal circumstances. (“Normal circumstances” do not include trying to access or remove the Am-241 source in a smoke detector!)

    What is EPA doing about americium-241?

    Americium-241 in drinking water is covered under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This law establishes Maximum Contaminant Levels, or MCLs, for radionuclides and other contaminants in drinking water. The MCL for alpha particle activity applies to Am-241. The limit is 15 pCi/l alpha particle activity in drinking water.

    EPA DATA, it just makes me feel warm all over my body. Why should we believe the EPA? On anything? I see people mulling over data and data on radiation from all types of sources. This is wonderful to see the interest. No data can be considered valid unless ALL risk factors are included. Not just what’s in a liter of this or that. One does not live in a liter. When it rains, exposure comes an almost infinite source vectors and you and the surroundings are large than a liter.

  • mothra

    I hope Hawaii organizes and sues TEPCo and every official and agency with a face or signature on this. I think we have 6 month statute of limitations for US government – it was set under recent “tort reform” law.

    • Buck-0

      I think your work is excellent. I would like to know if you have your own website with your findings on it. I believe you could be very valuable for this thing is going to last a long time.

  • xdrfox

    @ mothra
    You have a link to that revised § Statue ?
    I hadn’t heard about it !

      • xdrfox

        “suing the federal government”

        Well this will stop any possibles for neglect in the Gulf and the people there.
        All Fed. agencies have/will show culpability.
        Protecting their action and non actions !
        By the time it takes to find out that someone in the Fed. was wrong, too late to seek remedy !

        • mothra

          The real snafu is: they have to approve your ability to sue them first.

          • radegan

            You won’t be suing the US Govt. You can sue TEPCO but you’ll have to use an international or Japanese court. No US court would have jurisdiction. However, if you can document a flaw in the GE design that contributed to the problem, then you could sue GE in a US court and without the limits that would be imposed if the reactor were located in the US.

          • xdrfox

            @ radegan
            Wouldn’t this be considered the fault of the tsunami ?

          • radegan

            No, GE signed off on the location knowing the history of tsunamis. But with the flawed reactor vessel that was reworked, and the location of the emergency generators, etc. – you will never prove total liability, however shared liability is possible.

          • mothra

            You can sue the US agencies – for information and damages from incorrect advisement leading to harm. They usually settle out of court. Ask Christie Todd Whitman… Also, you’ll notice very few coming forward putting a face on safety claims these days. They know there’s liability.

          • xdrfox

            I have heard of getting permission to sue a State, so I am sure it’s not new, it’s just the time factor. God forgive if one was in a comma for that time !

      • xdrfox

        oh and thanks, it’s late, guess I should find the bed !


      • xdrfox

        I passed your Link onto
        Be most relevant in the Oil spill and on going !

        Thanks !

  • John Conway (UC Davis)

    extra knight: Imagine that in a cell in your body, and the DNA inside the nucleus of that cell. Imagine that a particular nucleotide in that DNA is struck by radiation, and the DNA strand breaks. It breaks, and then the DNA repair mechanism fails in such a way to cause a mutation, a mutation that is the first step in a sequence of biological events in that cell that leads that cell, after many generations, to become a cancer cell. It divides, and divides again, and soon a cancerous tumor forms, threatening your life. (I hope this never happens to you…)

    Now go back and ask the following: does it matter if the radiation that struck the cell was the beta ray of an internalized Sr-90 atom, a gamma ray from a Cs-137 decay daughter nucleus from an atom in rainwater on your shirt, or a cosmic ray muon passing right through you? The answer, of course is no – the DNA does not care how it got broken. All that mattered was that radiation energy was deposited somehow in that particular place in that cell.

    This is the basic physics/biology reason that “whole body dose” is a relevant measure of exposure for biological damage: the probability of such DNA breakage, and a host of other ill effects of radiation, is proportional to the amount of radiation energy deposited in your body. The more energy deposited, no matter how long it takes, the more potential for damage, both long and short term.

    So, to your question about airplane flights: at high altitude, inside an airplane, you are exposed to about a hundred times more ionizing radiation per second from cosmic rays than you are at ground level. The atmosphere absorbs a great deal of the energy from cosmic ray air showers before they reach the ground.

    On a long airplane flight, you’ll get about 100 microSv. If you are a very frequent flyer (100,000 miles a year) you will about double your radiation dose from cosmic rays, making it about 16% of your total annual exposure, rather than about 8%.

    Hope this helps understand the radiation part.

    As for the heavy metal chemical toxicity part, the vast majority of heavy metal pollution in your air, water, and food is coming from diesel exhaust from trucks. If you are worried about heavy metal toxicity, living in a rural area is better, clearly.

    Are there significant excess heavy metals like mercury and arsenic in Fukushima fallout? I need to do more reading here. (Links, anyone?)

    Then there is plutonium, of course. That will only get into you from fallout from a bomb or nuclear reactor, through the food or water chain, or from airborne particulate. Your body will eliminate most of the ingested Pu, but not all of it. Inhaled plutonium oxide can stay in your lungs, depending on the particle size. But then the main worry is the radiation rather than chemical toxicity. We don’t want to be inhaling or ingesting plutonium, in any case.

    If you are worried about plutonium in chemtrails, I have read that wrapping aluminum foil around the top of your head will stop almost all of it. 😉

    • mothra

      Boo! Did I go to sleep and wake up in Quackatoa? Tell him how many hours of medical training you’ve had and your discipline please.

      Then tell him how chronic low dose ingested radionuclides are more damaging and reside longer in the body (CEDE internal) as opposed to an effin suntan (DDE internal). Tell him how they target systems in the body and absorbtion rates because his bones think it’s calcium etc. Tell him how ICRP risk model you’re extrapolating for low dose CEDE has a 2,000 fold error rate and 160 fold error rate for DDE y’all call “low dose phenomena.” tell him about high risk group like children, women and immuno-supressed etc. Tell him how fatal cancer is a morbidly high threshold and the host of debilitating diseases and disorders if he’s lucky enough not to develop cancer already in epidemic. Tell him how many fetal deformities, developmental defects and live births are affected globally by ton loads under 200 in the past and disclose Fukushima is 1,900 ton load.

      Then go stick a banana in each of your available orifices because you’re condescending, your hubris is deafening AND harming people who should be encouraged to exercise precaution principles during the longest, largest global event in human history. Fukushima is unprecedented. Your adice is based on outmoded science not designed for this. Your time is better spent retraining for sustainable, non-lethal energy solutions instead of shilling memes that support you not changing. A lot of people will suffer and die from this you (censored). They can reduce their exposure.

      • mothra

        Correction: DDE external

      • Concerned

        I’m in love. Are you single?

      • extra knight

        thank you mothra, for all that you do. his ad hoc generalizations are both meaningless and illogical he commits a logical sin by the liberal use of specious ad hominems and flawed analogies and by his thick and absurd posturing. the points he makes are hollow and moot. and i don’t think he realizes that his aiplane/bananas/speedboat comparison is severely flawed, ie. cosmic background radiation is basically harmless to the human body, i don’t think he can do the math, he doesn’t source any of the dimestore math

        • extra knight

          this page
          NOAA Notes on the Natural Radiation Hazard at Aircraft Altitudes
          – describes the background radiation as inescapable, after all we are exposed to it every day. toxic radioactive heavy metals and radionuclides are an obvious hazard to human health. at least he has the courage to admit that heavy metals are toxic. amazing.

          • mothra

            Stewards and pilots also have a higher cancer incidence rate than non-flight personnel and civilians.

          • extra knight

            maybe a lifestyle choice, stress, could be any of a number of things., even so i’m not doubting you, i just remain unconvinced.
            the airplanes/bananas/speedboat comparison thing is for people that lack commonsense and tend to trust the Talking Heads more than anything else and believe every word and careless assertion is undeniable truth.

    • mothra

      Further, I’m drafting a letter to UC Davis in protest to your assertions here.

      • xdrfox

        Perhaps you would consider having Voice in Web Radio. I am sure you have much to share with others and you already have found a following to get a taste of your knowledge !

        Top Left side of page…

        The world needs people like you !

    • mothra

      I really feel the University and the John Muir Institute of the Environment and John Muir Foundation will be interested in your use of the UC Davis title in publically dispensing this information. Heads up – just FYI.

      • Buck-0

        Do you have your own website./

      • John Conway (UC Davis)

        If you feel I am in error on any of my facts, please correct me. Is am doing my best to relay what I have learned in my years of experience as a physicist to help us all understand the situation, the risks, and the effects. I don’t claim total expertise, especially in the realm of the risks of chronic low dose biological effects, but you’ll be hard pressed to find any reputable scientist who has unambiguous data either proving the linear no threshold model or the radiation hormesis ideas. These are really hard experiments.

        Write to UC Davis, or whoever you want, about what I have written. Disclaimer: My opinions are my own and do not represent those of UC Davis, though they ought to. I provide my institutional affiliation for your information only.

        • extra knight

          you are obviously an unresourceful boorish neer-do-well, for many reasons, not the least of which your whiny commentary is devoid of logic and hard science. and since UC Davis is a prime agricultural school, shouldn’t you be testing the soil, collecting samples, advising on the dangers of eating/growing foodstuffs, etc., instead of mindlessly and incourageously regurgitating the maximum bogus popscience spoof of airplanes/bananas/speedboats being harzardous to human health, more so than actually ingesting highly toxic radioactive substance(s) so puhleease, your dimestore commentary speaks for itself.

          tell me how does putting on a pair of rollerskates and staring at the wall everyday compare to your careless and bankrupt model, the assertion airplane flight are more dangerous than ingesting and/or coming into direct contact with a highly hazardous toxic heavy metal and radioactive material or radionuclide, is beyond redemption and comical to the extreme.

          and while we are here please do show me the increased cancer rates that your “airplane” model shows/states could occur with being exposed to slightly higher amounts of background cosmic radiation than normally.

        • extra knight

          If you are worried about plutonium in chemtrails, I have read that wrapping aluminum foil around the top of your head will stop almost all of it. 😉

          not too surprising, i must say…why thank you mister “academic” macaroon, thanks for showing proving you don’t have a clue to the specious and paperthin disinformation you are spewing here. that settles it. i guess that airplanes/bananas/speedboats thing isn’t such a fun ride after all. 🙁

    • stockdude

      Great explanation. Brings it home so to speak. Always believed that no radiation is good radiation, those who speak of background radiation as normal or even “healthy” should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, or exterminated for gross stupidity. OK that is going into a too far rant, but it felt good.

    • radegan

      Woo, aren’t you glad Mothra didn’t read the post you addressed to her?
      Folks, I still say slow down on this guy, go back and read what he said about Gunderson’s work and the local monitoring projects he’s starting with his students, and the outrage that comes thru regarding the stupidity of TEPCO and the Japanese government.

      As to the attitude – well, I live with a professor and have been part of a college environment for a long time, so it’s nothing new and easily pushed past.

      • mothra

        What post – I’m interested in reading that.

        • radegan

          I found it, here it is….

          John Conway (UC Davis)
          April 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm · Reply

          mothra: Here is a hypothetical question for you. You say that “Chronic low doses of radiation are bad for you”. Then someone comes along and says “The total doses we are getting and expect to get from Fukushima fallout are low enough that the increase in the level over background levels is 5% on average, and nowhere more than 15% over background levels.” In such a case, should you really worry about the increase in radiation you are receiving?

          I think the rational response is “there is far more variation in the background radiation that I might receive due to medical procedures or flying, for example, than due to the increased dose from Fukushima fallout, therefore it’s just not worth worrying about”.

          The irrational response is “any increased radiation is bad, no matter how small”.

          I guess I am trying to help people who are willing to take the rational approach to put the numbers we’ve gotten so far in their proper perspective, while urging vigilance in the measurements and monitoring. And I am trying to convert at least some of the people responding irrationally to this crisis to really think rationally about what a tiny increased risk we have here in the US so far…

          • extra knight

            this is getting ridikelous, really silly.. nothing but buzzwords there, no hard science at all, looks like a Talking Head script to me, and a poor one at that. even so, you can’t be serious, anyone can see through this academic fraud. too bad you can’t. geeze.

            eat a banana, go to jail.

      • mothra

        I considered your opinion and request, but decided “no.” I thank you for your suggestion and perspective though. I feel it’s important.

      • extra knight

        Folks, I still say slow down on this guy, go back and read what he said about Gunderson’s work…yeah i have, and i noticed he takes the opportunity to challenge gundersons conclusions, even though he is a world recognized expert on the safety and design of nuclear reactors.

        eat a banana, go to jail.

        • extra knight

          folks, I still say slow down on this guy, go back and read what he said about Gunderson’s work…

          yeah i have, and i noticed he takes the opportunity to challenge gundersons conclusions, even though he is a world recognized expert on the safety and design of nuclear reactors. he also spends alot of time hiding behind his credentials and bad mouthing others. OTOH doesn’t surprise me he is a college level teacher here in California, i’ve see phd candidates that could barely pull of solving a simple algebra problem. ta ta.

          eat a banana, go to jail.

    • Moco

      Just because you know a little about radiation makes you an expert?
      Go fix this clusterfuck then.
      Chemtrails use barium and aluminum oxide or geo eng or cloud seeding, whatever boneheads who think they know anything.

  • The Hanford List

    No such thing as natural background radiation; just bananas: about 3000 nuclear bombs have been detonated above ground & space still circulating, with ‘undergraound bombs, total is maybe 12.000. (But. How much is total total?) …says:


    Who detonated & Why? Now this gets interesting… the enemies preparing …for… special oOps. And the enemies had leaders. Yes Leaders.

    Who did/do belong to this s_tanic Club. 0f. R0me? Which has published its desire to reduce all xtra mouths, you and me, 90% of population. Do ye hear? They have said it via multiple speakers, multiple times, not me.

    Of course these je §uit groups have many names, media outlets to hide under; CFR, Bilderbergers etcetc – but one controller.

    Now I know u wont believe, however, above none is my invention. Thus listen again for all the separate Fukushima Plutonium reactor 3. detonations.

  • The Hanford List

    List of facts – c e n s o r e d –

    Maybe this is allowed?

    Listen again for all the separate Fukushima Plutonium reactor 3. detonations and what the list of facts did contain.

  • Hey Mothra & Noah, I could use a second set of eyes on a deconstruction of absorbed dose units (sieverts in particular).

    the wiki site is here: pass fukushima

  • The Hanford List

    Atmospheric Nuke Tests by the hillaryous band of Brothers:

    USSR…………375 /1818*
    USA………….218 /1015*
    France……….355 /2015*
    Queen of E……184
    N Korea…………./2055*
    India some

    Tot. 2690………../8985

    – *Underground tests
    – Space tests? –>See Fukushima specs. … note that the texts speak of “2000 tests”. Above numbers counted by hand from the illustration (forgive me if there is errors, its my test-radiated shaky hand).

    Can you believe the ctbto-numbers above?

  • mikael

    You see, the progresess that is ocuring regarding fallout and its components.
    You may talk about thos whateverstrontium its the, sum total, that matters.
    When we are expoced to a widre range of dangerous shitt, coming from everywhere, that should be the focat point, everything else is a divertion.
    And 2mondts have pased, think about the nexst 2 mondths, and realise, that this accumulates in almoust everything.

    And for people that is living in the falloutsone, start to educate your self, and start to implement action, regarding children and the risk, now.

  • Cyclops2

    Why is there a rapid rise in the number of infants being born with cancer & Lukemia ?

    • mothra

      Perhaps this, or Dr. Epstein will explain to you the already present epidemic BEFORE Fukushima (which is in addition)? My hat isn’t tin foil, it’s a platinum helmet against industry fallacies known for over a decade and my heart is gold, but nearly breaking with concern over all the important things not being disclosed to the public. Still, they meme these myths having inadequate medical training. As if saying it enough times makes it empirical truth? I’m telling you repetition of an error rate doesn’t diminish the error rate – it only produces more errors. We are the error aggregate population. We’re talking about life and death, or quality of life and financial medical burdens, deformities and suffering so… The jerk jokes really are malfeasance and hubris-laden Dr. Strangelove mockery in order to discredit the opposition to their culture, paychecks and funding against the public interest. It props up some uninformed, medically untrained egos for their own sake AND at your risk or expense. It assumes you’re just “misinformed” if you don’t agree to their outmoded beliefs against evidence to the contrary – evidence like measurable infant tragedy and mortality. It’s like a dogma, or religion for some. There was a time when the sciences were less strapped -clawing each other for funding, corporate grants and able to question base assumptions in disproven theories without bias. That era has been eroded, but some try. Change is scary for some others – especially when ego and peer cult culture is involved like “I know, even though it’s ongoing and never happened before!” Humanity aspects, real impact and cross-discipline integrated POV is too hard for some. Their atom splitting pride and assumptions of ” control” only look good on paper – not on biological systems in the real world – safety is unincentivized, eroded to “tolerance” theories that don’t apply to Fukushima. I’d call that outlook unethical and premature:

      “There’s a huge other story that’s not being told here. Dr. Sam Epstein, professor of Occupational & Environmental Medicine at the School of Public Health, University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago, is an internationally recognized authority on the toxic and carcinogenic effects of environmental pollutants in the air, the water and the workplace. His work shows that since the 1950s, in North America, there has been a 55% increase in cancer, when the statistics are standardized for the fact that people are living longer. Childhood cancer of the brain and nervous system – 40% increase since 1975; male colon cancer – 60% increase; breast cancer – 60% increase; brain cancer in adults – 80% increase; prostate cancer – 100% increase; testicular cancer – 100% increase; estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer -135% increase; non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma – 200% increase; testicular cancer among men aged 28-35 – 300% increase. In 1950, 1 in 20 women had breast cancer. Now it’s 1 in 8.”

      • mothra

        Even if you’re totally ignoring CEDE mortalities and wide range of debilitating diseases it presents, and downplaying known DDE epidemic cancers from external sources and comparisons – you’re still wrong:
        1. Non-cancer effects
        The Committee considered another paper on non-cancer effects from external radiation including effects on the developing human brain, cataracts of the eye lens, and late deterministic effects in children, ie effects other than mortality. The doses for these effects were high (>1 Gy) although a recent Swedish paper reported adverse effects on intellectual development at doses down to 100 mSv. The Committee estimated that, in terms of absolute risk, the lifetime risk due to radiation may be around 10% at 1 Sv for non-cancer mortality for those exposed as children, i.e. roughly half the corresponding value for solid cancer mortality. For people exposed at age 50, the lifetime risks for non-cancer and for solid cancer mortality may be similar (i.e. around 3% to 4% at 1 Sv). UNSCEAR (2000) had not reported clear evidence of these effects from internal radiation, however a number of reports did exist according to a Committee member and these were circulated.

  • Rica E

    Thankyou everyone for a small slice of sanity , to get me through this! I wish we could gather in person. Life has become surreal to say the least!

    • Bluetek 25

      I too wish we could all get together in person – an island of sanity and concern and awareness and intelligence and vigilance in an otherwise bleak, silent, frozen landscape.
      Thank you all.

    • xdrfox

      I agree, that would be fun !

    • Anna

      Yes, that would be great! We could all bring some pre-Fukushima vittles and wine and forget about it for a while…although we would probably be talking about Fukushima the whole time. : )

  • psky

    Greenpeace marine radiation monitoring blocked by Japanese government – Tokyo, Japan, 28 April 2011

    The Japanese Government has refused to grant Greenpeace permission to carry out independent radiation monitoring within the country’s 12 mile territorial waters, approving only a much more limited programme further out to sea.

  • John Conway (UC Davis)

    mothra, extra knight, please! All this acrimony puzzles me, because, as I said earlier, I really am on your side here, and I am trying to help. And I am not calling you names, am I? That’s a waste of time…and we may not have much time to waste.

    I actually think, if we can get past the rhetoric, that we are on the same page here. There is a lot we can agree on I think:

    1. Radiation causes biological harm, and for a given tissue type, the level of that harm is as far as we know proportional to the total amount of radiation energy absorbed by that tissue over time.

    2. There is a lot of radioactive material coming from Fukushima, on par with Chernobyl, and maybe for a long time to come, or if the worst happens, in another explosive event. So far, though, a great deal of the release has been into the ocean, though there are continuing releases into the atmosphere. We are being kept in the dark by the Japanese authorities both deliberately and by ineptitude. We need to mount a stronger campaign of monitoring in the US, fast.

    3. Ecosystems tend to concentrate certain radioisotopes like I-131, Sr-90, and Cs-134 and 137 up the food chain, meaning that (since we are at the top of the food chain) we are vulnerable. Rain can wash microparticulate radiotoxins out of the atmosphere, and into our ground water and grazing land, and/or the radiotoxins can fall out. We are vulnerable from land, sea, and air, and all must be monitored.

    4. Internalized radiotoxins are the greatest threat since they can build up over time, with continued exposure, and continue to cause damage in our bodies for many years. The most well known examples are that Sr and Cs can migrate to the bones, where they can cause blood cancers and other tumors, and I-131, which collects in the thyroid and causes thyroid cancer. The exact relationship between ingested/inhaled quantity of radiotoxins and the effective level of biological hazard is not perfectly known, but many studies clearly show a proportional dose/risk relationship.

    I agree with all these things, which are implicit in many if not all of your comments.

    The main question/idea I have been trying to get across is this: when we are confronted with an observation such as “1.4 pCi per liter of Sr-89 has been detected in milk in Hawaii”, how do I determine if that is a worrisome level or not, both for Hawaiians and for us in the US? The way I have been arguing we should go about answering the “should I worry” question is to ask “does this represent a significant increase in the amount of radiation to my bones, or thyroid, or whole body compared with what I would have gotten if Fukushima had never happened”, and “is this going to increase or decrease with time?”

    And, as I have indicated in previous comments, I am troubled by the levels of I-131 detected in milk in the Bay Area in early April. Yes, the total dose from 1 liter of milk is such that it would take 1900 liters to equal the whole body dose from a transcontinental airplane flight. But, I agree completely with you that this is a false comparison since the relevant comparison is “assuming all the I-131 goes to the thyroid, what is the total dose to the thyroid?” The answer is simple if you use the ideas I have stated elsewhere, that we can scale from the whole body dose to particular tissues. For example, if your thyroid represents 0.1% of your body mass, then there is a factor of 1000 involved. So suddenly, drinking just two liters of milk equals an airplane flight, and my 2.5-year old drinks about 100 liters a year at this point. So, yes, I *am* worried about levels like that, and fortunately they have gone down, though, alarmingly, Cs-137 levels are rising. And I have written to Prof. Kai Vetter at Berkeley, who oversees the post-311 environmental radiation monitoring project there, regarding the conversion factor of 1900 liters.

    So, now, the the article above, we have detected Sr-89 in Hawaiian milk. That almost certainly means there is Sr-90, and probably a number of other radioisotopes in milk. Should we worry about a few pCi per liter? Absolutely, particularly if these levels persist in the weeks and months to come. (I hope they don’t.)

    But how much should we worry so far? This is where the comparisons do come in. Clearly, my young son could be getting several pCi per week of long-lived radioisotopes from milk alone, now. After a year of this, that represents 150 nanoCi, or about 6 Bq (decays per second) total, just from milk. Of course, there are presumably radioisotopes in all other foods. For my son, that would be another factor of 10 or so. So we are at the 60 Bq level.

    Typical dose conversion factors are on the order of 5 x10^-8 Sv/Bq for these internalized isotopes like I-131. So, putting it all together, we get that after a year of Fuku-milk at these levels, plus a factor of 10 for other foods, it is still at the level of a few microSv. It’s just at the threshold of where I personally begin to worry, since it is not a whole body dose, it’s thyroid/bones, and it is starting to be comparable to background levels.

    So, I hope these levels do not persist, but, like you, I fear the worst. The most important thing we can do is to demand more monitoring.

    I don’t think I’ll post more comments here, but I’ll come back from time to time for a dose of your poetry, extra knight!

    At some point I will wite something for the main blog I contribute to, Cosmicvariance,com (hosted by Discover magazine).

  • informed

    It’a a shame your 2.5-year old will be part of the youth in this experiment!
    Maybe cut the long turm risk for him now for this will be going on for a long time and it is accumulating!

  • majia

    I spoke today at length to someone who handles radiation emergencies for my state. He said that no discussion of cummulative dose / exposure has occurred and the state will NOT take any action unless levels reach USDA levels (for milk and meat) and EPA levels for air (e.g., set at 1000 beta).

    The lack of any discussion about cummulative exposure effects is DISTURBING!

    • tony wilson

      disturbing in what way..
      barry hawaii 5 o’bama is showing himself to be an even bigger liar and a stooge than the bush.

      his boss rokerfella wants population reduction..he has to do what he is told.

  • Tricky Dick

    Oh,so there is something else besides I-131 being reported. Good start. Next give the listing for the rest of the “hot stuff” spewing out of the ruptured reactors you bunch of lying scumbags.

  • Oh this must surely be a different Hawaii, since it was only a week or so ago that Hawaiian Health Dept assured everyone that the magical jet stream completely by passed Hawaii.

    Best Natural Iodine Source

    Chlorella, Bladderwrack, sea vegetables, Kelp Dulse
    * blueberries, bananas, prunes, watermelon
    * asparagus, garlic, onions, eggplant, oats
    * papayas, pineapples, mangoes
    * eggs, liver, raw goat milk, yogurt, salmon
    * green peppers, Cilantro Swiss chard, 14 Organic Greens, tomatoes, watermelon

    While I’ve been detoxing & increasing various natural remedies since March 14, I continue to drink raw goat milk. The goats are detoxed first with Bentonite clay or Zeolite in their water, thus further ensuring a highly nutritional & decontaminated food source.

    Raw milk is legally available in 33 states.

    There is much that can be done to ensure we stay as healthy as possible.