I have a certain relative who refuses to eat the occasional salmon and crab I catch because Fukushima.
Without naming the gray-haired individual whom I’ve known as “Dad” since a very young age, I think his fears about getting radiation poisoning from seafood can be laid to rest.
A recent study has shown, again, that there’s really nothing to worry about.
“Go ahead and eat some sushi! Our work shows that radioactivity from the Fukushima disaster is very low in open-ocean vertebrate,” said study coauthor Kevin Weng of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for a recent press release.
Sidenote: Amy, let’s hit Tengu Sushi tonight — to paraphrase Hunter T., I have a powerful hunger for raw tuna and salmon!
Weng and fellow scientist Daniel Madigan of Harvard looked at migratory oceanic predators, fish such as tuna and sharks, from the western, central and eastern North Pacific.
They measured levels of certain kinds of cesium that were discharged during the March 2011 disaster at the Japanese reactor following a huge earthquake.
“Our measurements and associated calculations of how much radioactive cesium a person would ingest by eating this seafood shows that impacts to human health are likely to be negligible. For marketed fish to be restricted from trade, the cesium levels would have to be more than 1,600 times higher than in any samples we measured,” Madigan said.
He said that one goal of the study was to put persistent fears about radioactive fish to rest.
“People were very concerned about North Pacific salmon, halibut and scallops off British Columbia, and sea lions in Southern California,” he said. “There was even information on the Internet that ‘the Pacific is dead’.”
It may take awhile more to debunk the fears, but in the coming weeks I know I’ll be eating more than my fair share of salmon and crabs without any worry of sprouting anything worse than a unibrow to better shade my eyes from all that glorious late summer sunlight.
I’ll set aside some too for the aforementioned hunting partner.