Cancer risk linked to radiation levels in fish species after Fukushima

Two-and-a-half years after Fukushima, many fish species still have highly elevated amounts of radioactive cesium from the stricken plant, including species that Japan exports to Canada, according to the Japanese Fisheries Agency’s tests on fish catches.

And Japanese fish and seafood exports to Canada have grown significantly since Fukushima, with $24 million in exports in 2012, up 20 percent from $20 million in 2010, according to Statistics Canada data.

In July this year, a sea bass caught in Japan had 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium—10 times Japan’s ceiling of 100 becquerels per kilo in food. It was the second-highest amount found in a sea bass since the disaster occurred.

And in February, a greenling in the harbour of the Fukushima plant had a record 740,000 becquerels per kilo of cesium—7,400 times Japan’s ceiling. Two in five fish tested in July had detectable levels of cesium 134 or cesium 137, radioactive isotopes released from Fukushima.

On average, fish in the 33,000 tests since March 2011 had 18 becquerels per kilo of cesium. In March and April 2011, fish also had 65 becquerels per kilo of iodine 131. (The Straight didn’t count in these averages any fish caught in Fukushima prefecture, where most species are banned from the market.)

Fish caught far out in the Pacific had an average of two becquerels of cesium per kilo.

The Straight used these levels to determine how much radiation the public has been exposed to in Japan and elsewhere, based on fishery data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

The average radiation levels are below Japan’s ceiling and Health Canada’s much higher ceiling of 1,000 becquerels per kilo for cesium and iodine 131.

But the radiation detected can still cause cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s cancer-risk formula, a leading international standard for forecasting cancer risks from radiation. The

What’s more, the EPA formula underestimates cancer impacts because it doesn’t fully include all research on radiation impacts, in the estimate of Daniel Hirsch, a UC Santa Cruz nuclear expert.

(Also according to Hirsch, Health Canada uses a less accepted cancer-risk formula that underestimates the dangers even more.)

Hirsch helped preside over a study of nuclear-power workers in the 1990s that found cancer rates at least six to eight times higher than predicted by official formulas.

Comments (13) Add New Comment
zach
So will the us be affected by cesium?
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Nick Thabit
Any Canadians on the western coast, feel free to join us; we're creating a human mural on October 19, at 11 am, using our bodies to spell out "FUKUSHIMA IS HERE" We need to bring planetary awareness to this awful truth. For details go to http://fukushimaishere.info
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Nick Thabit
Also, for more information on the Fukushima crisis, go to: http://fukushimaresponsebayarea.org
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MarkFornataro
In addition to the danger of leaks from nuclear plants Dr Helen Caldicott writes "each 1000 megawatt nuclear power plant manufactures 250 kilograms of plutonium a year a radioactive element with a half-life of 24,400 years and perfect for the manufacture of atomic bombs" from:
http://www.helencaldicott.com/2013/09/international-peace/#more-607
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Neil Craig
"can still cause cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s cancer-risk formula, a leading international standard for forecasting cancer"

Interesting phraseology which suggests the author is covering himself by invoking the EPA.

There is, in fact, no evidence whatsoever that such low levels of radiation are harmful. Indeed there is a quite a lot that it is beneficial. But lets not let facts get in the way of government promoted scare stories.
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Green Billy
re: Neil Craig
Please, enlighten us with all your evidence as to the health benefits of a diet rich in nutritious cesium.
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Tom Petrie
"There is, in fact, no evidence whatsoever that such low levels of radiation are harmful. Indeed there is a quite a lot that it is beneficial. But lets not let facts get in the way of government promoted scare stories."

Soeaking of "facts" where are your REFERENCES to support your claims that "quite a lot (of evidence) it is beneficial. Ok, fair enough. WHAT "QUITE A LOT." Perhaps you've not heard of the Petcau effect where SMALLER amounts of radiation are MUCH more dangerous than single large doses. Or perhaps you can explain--after 1,500 atomic bomb explosions, we now have one in four Americans getting cancer. NO proof, of course, that these are related to atomic weapons tests OR to nuclear power, BUT the increases--estimated to usually take 10 to 20 years to see, are exactly what we've seen in America. In short, I think you're exactly wrong.
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Tom Petrie
We can take non-radioactive cesium--occasionally used as an alkalizing agent in cancer treatment to COUNTER the absorption of radioactive Cesium 134 and 137, however, a diet RICH IN POTASSIUM (think fruits and vegetables), will provide more than enough potassium to restrict the uptake of the radioactive Cesium. But it's YOUR choice: Eat more fruits and vegetables OR die of cancer. That's a little simplistic, of course, but it's a stark reminder that nutrition DOES matter and I see it make all the difference in my practice at a major "holistic health" center.
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Dean
There is no exceptable limits of nuclear radiation this man and his delusional explanation is and agency P.R he should be arrested and put on trial with the rest of the C.E.OS.
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pkjn
Japan to file complaint to WTO for Korea’s fish import ban
2013-10-05 The Korea Herald
Japan is to file a complaint to the World Trade Organization on Korea for placing a partial import ban on Japanese fishery products, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK on Saturday.
Such stern responses of the Japanese administration is largely seen as a means to press Korea to take back its all-out import ban.
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20131005000067
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Leighton wensley
They are downplaying the effects of radiation and the links to cancer to protect Canadian exports of uranium. It seems the almighty dollar trumps this government's responsibility to protect its citizenry. Such a devaluation of humanity should be seen as a crime against humanity.
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Joe Villebrun
no citations to peer reviewed material. no credibility in this article.
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ljiljana stanikic

IS FISH RADIOACTIV ALSO ON AUSTRALIAN EAST COAST???
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