Scientists: California fish harmed by Fukushima radiation? Thyroids are sensitive to iodine-131 — Radioactive marterial probably accumulated in opaleye, halfmoon and senorita

Published: March 31st, 2012 at 12:45 am ET


Title: Radioactive Iodine from Fukushima Found in California Kelp
Source: Scientific American
Author: Marla Cone
Date: March 30, 2012

[…] Scientists from California State University, Long Beach tested giant kelp collected in the ocean off Orange County and other locations after the March, 2011 accident, and detected radioactive iodine, which was released from the damaged nuclear reactor.

The largest concentration was about 250-fold higher than levels found in kelp before the accident.

“Basically we saw it in all the California kelp blades we sampled,” said Steven Manley, a Cal State Long Beach biology professor who specializes in kelp. […]

Some radioactive material probably accumulated in fish that eat the kelp – opaleye, halfmoon and senorita.

“If they were feeding on it, they definitely got dosed. We just don’t know if it was harmful. It’s probably not good for them. But no one knows,” Manley said. “In the marine environment it was significant, but probably not harmful at the levels we detected it, except it may have affected certain fish’s thyroid systems, the ones that fed on the kelp.”

There is no published research on what iodine 131 might do to fish at the levels found in the kelp.

“That is a good question and one we don’t really know the answer to as yet,” said Christopher Lowe, a biology professor and director of Cal State Long Beach’s Sharklab, which studies sharks and game fish. Lowe was co-author of the kelp study.

“Without actually measuring this, my guess is that the effects on fish thyroids from this limited exposure are probably negligible. However, that may not be the case for herbivorous fish species exposed closer to the release site” in Japan, Lowe said.

One toxicologist who works with fish said fish thyroids are sensitive to radioactive iodine but there is no data on its effects. High levels might cause thyroid tumors in the exposed fish or alter their cells’ genetic material.

h/t Enformable

Read the report here

Published: March 31st, 2012 at 12:45 am ET


Related Posts

  1. EPA: Models show “greater potential impact” to US West Coast from rainfall containing Fukushima radioactive material — California sea water with over 10 Million pCi/m3 of iodine-131 found in sample squeezed out of seaweed September 9, 2014
  2. 40,000,000 Bq of iodine-131 in a single bed of kelp off Southern California — Amount most likely larger March 30, 2012
  3. Study Author: California iodine-131 probably double or triple what we reported April 5, 2012
  4. 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 April 7, 2012
  5. Professor: “Reports of radiation in kelp just north of California” — Signs of Fukushima contamination expected to start “really arriving strongly” this year January 21, 2014

25 comments to Scientists: California fish harmed by Fukushima radiation? Thyroids are sensitive to iodine-131 — Radioactive marterial probably accumulated in opaleye, halfmoon and senorita

  • the yeoman the yeoman

    ***BREAKING NEWS*****

    Water is wet!

    • the yeoman the yeoman

      yeah I'm still wisenheimer

      now I'm going go light a candle for Nihon and my family in So-cal

  • jec jec

    EPA WHERE IS YOUR RADIATION DATA FOR WESTERN USA STATES? If California Kelp has such an increase, data from monitoring stations would show the fallout. Just replace "FISH" with HUMAN CHILDREN in the press release: "fish thyroids are sensitive to radioactive iodine but there is no data on its effects. High levels might cause thyroid tumors in the exposed fish or alter their cells’ genetic material." First of all, our children deserve the same level of study—!!

    Parents need to be aware, and an ultra sound scan of California's infants/child thyroids might be wise. If they show raised % of effects/issues or anomalys, then other states where the plume fallout occurred should do the same. Lets care for our youngest and most vunerable.Parents should request their primary care doctors for testing.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Should California kids be allowed to swim unadvised in such waters?

    • Many EPA Radnet stations were "coincidentally" taken offline for "maintenance" in many of the areas that would be expected to have highest doses — this may or may not mean that data was never collected. Other monitors were on at the time and that data should all be released. Also they should collect all the data from U.S. nuke plants and any other available sources…. but don't hold your breath.

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Hi Jec and all,

      We really can't expect the NRC, EPA, etc. to be forthcoming with information.

      What we are seeing now is scientists independent of the influence of the nuclear industry (who also have integrity and apparently some moral scruples) beginning to report real data.

      The truth will win out. It will become (or has become) inevitable the truth will come out. You can't mandate every scientist with integrity just shut up and not report data. Thankfully there is not a gag order on the scientific community!

      I'm very concerned about the lack of integrity in mainstream media, and on the part of governments.

      Recent political events are worrisome to say the least (on a global scale). But there is still some integrity (thank God) in some areas of academia and scientific publications.

      I'm encouraged to have read articles here and links from here where mainstream media is beginning to recognize nuclear energy and nuclear weapons are a "failed experiment."

      IMHO they were playing with fire and playing God with nuclear energy from the beginning. Perhaps there is still a chance for humanity and all living creatures to have a future on Earth.

      The news isn't encouraging at all. At least the cracks in the "everything is fine and there's no problem at all" facade are beginning to appear.

      I just hope it isn't too late. And Fukshima Daichi spews on ….

  • irradiatedinbako

    This is again an invitation to submit this headline link to the Los Angeles Times as a news tip or suggestion for follow up story.

    Link is:,0,5830751.customform

    Would please encourage Cali and nonCali submitters not enter into lengthy editorial debate so that the link is taken seriously for news tip. You don't have to enter any personal info and can submit anonymously.

    IMHO, better to make some quiet noise right now but follow your own heart of course.


  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    "There is no published research on what iodine 131 might do to fish at the levels found in the kelp."

    What we do know, is that iodine 131 is dangerous. And nuclear plants are the cause. Enough said.

  • goathead goathead

    The case is mounting for a law suit. The likes of which, has never been seen before!

    • jec jec

      Would be hard to sue Japan. And for California nuclear sites…you will hear..NOT ME..and Prove it. The "prove it" is the normal way any large company stops or limits any litigation.

      Now, new testing on thyroid tumors now allows the "dna" of tumor to show if caused by radiation from fallout. This will be interesting to follow in the future. Heard about this months ago, was a sudden buzz..then nothing more. Since it was a government group doing the testing..probably a sudden shutdown or media blackout was the result.

      • The U.S. nuke industrial complex would be the first barrier to a lawsuit against Tepco.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        GE, Hitachi, Westinghouse, Toshiba, NRC, IAEA, WHO, Tepco and its kairetsu, Bill Magwood and all the other Fuku Dai consultants and designers. Who all has been involved in this project from its inception? Who has been involved in the coverup? Who has suppressed information?

        There is already a LOT of information in the public domain connecting those involved in the failure of this plant. That is, we know a lot about who was involved from the time of the plant's design, all the way through the time of the accident and beyond. And there is a LOT of information in the public domain about who has been involved in the coverup, what they have said, and what they have done.

        All it would take is for some brilliant legal minds to connect the dots …. Not to hard, IMHO, to connect the cause and effect of actions and inactions, all the way back to Day 1.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Jec, what do you mean it was a government group doing the testing? To which testing do you refer? And what was the purpose of the testing? (Not a challenge, just curious.)

        Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute was doing testing offshore Japan and in the Pacific. As far as I know their data hasn't been published yet (still in study or being readied for publication).

  • markww markww

    Fish Radiated , Kelp Radiated People radiated mountains ,streams ,animals everything out west along the west coast from Alaska to Mexico radiated from Japan. While Japan sits on their hands and does nothing to stop the ongoing disaster the planet is turning into a radiated blob in space. WAKE UP WORLD no it is asleep no reports in the papers, due to Hillary Clinton telling the Government not to report radiation along with Canada.It is time for people to make a stand and do everything they can writing papers,state local and governments and keep reporting the dangers and problems till people wake up

    • jec jec

      Now that could be a legal action.."no reports in the papers, due to Hillary Clinton telling the Government not to report radiation along with Canada". Anyone submitted a FOIA request to get the actual wording as a legally recognized statement from her office?

  • Lacsap Lacsap

    My cat normally eats fish (almost three years old). I always bought this brand which had production date of march 2011. Now that these were sold out they came with new production, dated July 2011. My cat now refuses to eat the same fish. Is the fish just less tasty or is it contained with radiation which she can tell? Well i read a while back that even France had to decontaminate the sea from radiation. I would not be surprised if the whole sea is contaminated by now. No more fish for me or my cat!

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Hi Lacsap,
      "Well i read a while back that even France had to decontaminate the sea from radiation." where did you read that? Would be easier for France if they plugged their radioactive waste water pipe discharging the nasties 24/7/365 from La Hague first.
      Which they installed after dumping waste drums into the sea became illegal. Now they dump it sans the drums. Merde.

  • Nigwil

    Certainly puts tins of nice Alaska and Canadian salmon off my shopping list! Sardines too – as there's no accounting of where they are caught, in spite of their 'country of manufacture'. Awful situation.

  • Sickputer

    Another recycled pap piece of misinformation for 99% of naked apes to swill down. It was previously releashed at this site:

    No telling how old the article is because but the Cone author at SA reports the research report of the two goo-goo heads is "next week" and we know those reports came out several months ago:

    "Fisher and chemist Ken Buesseler from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution studied fish off the coast of Japan for Cesium 137 and 134, which accumulate in muscle tissues or filets. Their results are expected to be published next week."

    SP: The spin is getting fast and furious as the nukes pukes are desperately circling the wagons. Obama went down to Chile several weeks ago and worked a deal for nuclear plants in Chile despite 86% of the people opposing nuclear plants. Chile is also a hotbed of seismic activity with the world record for most powerful earthquake of recorded history which was the 9.5-magnitude Valdivia quake of 1960, whose resulting tsunami was felt as far away as Alaska, on the opposite end of the planet.

    GE's handpicked stooge is on a short leash and shills for the nuclear cabal even as Japan implodes;

    The Nuclear cabal spinmeisters even attack safe wind power with incredible lies:,8599,2106064,00.html

    SP: The "massive" bird kill theory for windmills is totally bogus:

    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Yeah, nuke plants in Chile. More absolute hubris at work, and sheer idiocy. The actions of these peoplle are beyond stupid. There is no term in English I can think of that adequately describes such idiocy.

      Right. Pick a county that has had two of the largest EQ's in the past decade, and go share your nuclear technology with that country.

      It looks like humans with IQ's below that of small, umplugged kitchen appliances are at work making policy and business deals, once again.

      It's like they have a death wish, and want to make sure they kill everyone else along with themselves and their children.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Sorry guys, I really CAN spell. My dog is on my lap and I'm having some difficulty reaching the keyboard!

    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      True. More birds get killed by cats than by windmills.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    I can't believe they would license two more nuke plants the only guy voting no was Gregory Jaczko, a least he knows better.
    'Common Dreams – Despite reports this week that the Fukushima nuclear situation may be even worse than previously thought, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has given approval for two combined licenses for two nuclear reactors in South Carolina, only the second time in the last three decades that new nuclear plants have been approved in the nation.

    The NRC's decision to approve the license passed by a 4-1 vote, with the lone dissent vote coming from NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko due to safety measures raised by the Fukushima disaster. Jaczko wrote in his dissent, "I continue to believe that we should require that all Fukushima-related safety enhancements are implemented before these new reactors begin operating.”

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks


    Do you think any of these people care about fish? They don't even care about you!

    The entire state is a cesspool and its because of rampant corruption within the utility operator's districts concerning government officials being bought off and a board that goes by the name PUCO who must be getting kickbacks along with the rest of them.

    Gee sounds just like Japan's problems.

    No worries these people control all the laws and the rate payers will pay all their corrupt generated energy bills.

    When the world lives inside a perpetual lie, then the entire population will reap what has been sown.

    Time for everybody to wake up!

    Does anyone know the current location of the ongoing Enron Investigation paperwork and files?

    The battle goes on inside California for those seeking the bright light of truth!