Update On Radioactive Elements Contaminating The Environment - Oct 2012
Elevated levels of cesium still detected in fish off the Fukushima coast of Japan suggest that radioactive particles from last year’s nuclear disaster have accumulated on the seafloor and could contaminate sea life for decades, according to new research.
36 species of fish caught off Fukushima coast now banned
“The fact that many fish are just as contaminated today with cesium 134 and cesium 137 as they were more than one year ago implies that cesium is still being released into the food chain."
Nature.com Reports On Scientific Evidence That Radiation Effects Have Been Observed In Butterflies
More fragile than the canary in the coal mine and reproducing more quickly, these creatures reportedly have changed to such an extent that no doubt or question lingers. We must be concerned with the rapidity of the mutations and increasing number of insects affected. Humans also have fragile endocrine systems and we will see metabolic changes, destruction of hormonal glands and much more.
. . . the accident caused physiological and genetic damage to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common lycaenid butterfly in Japan. The researchers collected the first-voltine adults in the Fukushima area in May 2011, some of which showed relatively mild abnormalities.
The F1 offspring from the first-voltine females showed more severe abnormalities, which were inherited by the F2 generation. Adult butterflies collected in September 2011 showed more severe abnormalities than those collected in May.
Similar abnormalities were experimentally reproduced in individuals from a non-contaminated area by external and internal low-dose exposures.
They concluded that artificial radionuclides from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant caused physiological and genetic damage to this species.
Wiki; Lepidoptera ( /ˌlɛpɪˈdɒptərə/ le-pi-dop-tə-rə) is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies (called lepidopterans). It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world,encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies. The term was coined by Linnaeus in 1735 and is derived from Ancient Greek (scale) and (wing).
A mutated adult pale grass blue (Zizeeria maha) butterfly from Fukushima. (Photo: Handout) / BE
Radioactive cesium from the 2011 Japanese nuclear disaster has been carried across the Pacific Ocean to California waters in the flesh of Pacific Bluefin tuna, say researchers from Stanford and Stony Brook University. Anglers reeled in the slightly radioactive fish off San Diego. The low levels of radioactivity are not thought to a pose a health risk to humans. The researchers say the accident has provided a new way to learn more about the migratory habits of sea animals that spent time in the waters near the damaged reactors.
Why am I not comforted and assuaged when I am told not to be concerned. I'm already concerned about eating fish from the sea due accumulation of heavy metals, toxins, wastes, plastics, hormones, antibiotics, etc. in large fish. Now we must think about radiation, too. This massive experiment upon the people of the world will pan out over the next few decades.
"All living things are radioactive," said Fisher, "primarily attributable to the naturally occurring potassium-40. The potassium-40 radioactivity in the bluefin tuna was over 30 times higher than that from the radioactive cesium. So, the radioactivity from the spill really only adds 3 percent more radioactivity than the background level."
This study opens up the door for radioactivity from the Fukushima disaster to serve as a valuable tool in mapping the paths of little-understood migratory species.
"We now know that we can use these isotopes to trace biological movements from Japan across long distances," said Fisher, "just like scientists have used isotopes in the past to track ocean currents." This new tool can be used alongside other tools like incidental catch reports and electronic tagging to piece together the journeys of the creatures that travel the oceans.
"This is an example of how events don't happen in a vacuum," said Madigan, "These tuna carried this radiation across the entire Pacific, the largest ocean on the planet."