Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Mar. 12, 2014: Ocean currents are driving those nuclear particles [...] from Japan to our coastline, and more radiation is likely to be dumped into the ocean [...] there is concern that the accumulation, especially of the long-lasting cesium-137, will eventually be harmful to sea life and us. [...] certain models “suggest that in 30 years, Cesium 137 levels in (killer) whales will exceed the Canadian guideline of 1,000 becquerels per kilogram for consumption of seafood by humans — 10 times the Japanese guideline.” Scientists focus on whales because, like us, they are at the top of the food chain and eat a lot of fish. So, radiation levels in them is something like a “canary in a coal mine” for radiation pollution.
Canada.com, Mar. 12, 2014: Researchers developed a model based on the diet of fish-eating killer whales [...] The models suggest that in 30 years, Cesium 137 levels in the whales will exceed the Canadian guideline of 1,000 becquerels per kilogram for consumption of seafood by humans – 10 times the Japanese guideline. [...] [Juan Jose Alava of Simon Fraser University said,] “The Canadian government is the one that should be doing something, should be taking action to keep monitoring to see how these contaminants are behaving, what are the levels, and what is next.” [...] While the additional impact of Cesium 137 is unknown, it may negatively affect the immune system or endocrine system, Alava said. “The impact on the animal needs to be studied. This is part of a cumulative impact on the marine environment.” The results raise concerns for aboriginal people who maintain a diet heavy in fish. “We might expect similar results because the diet of First Nation communities is based on seafood,” Alava said. “Humans at the top of the food web can perhaps see increasing levels in the future.”
See also: "Radioactive metal from Fukushima" detected in Pacific Northwest -- Professor: "That was a surprise, it means there are still emissions ... and trans-Pacific air pollution... It’s a concern to us, this is an international issue"
Published: March 18th, 2014 at 4:14 pm ET