Fukushima Radiation Has Finally Reached the California Coast!!! Should You Worry?

Two and a half years after the failure of the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan caused by a massive tsunami, the radiation has finally reached California coastal waters. The disaster release enormous amounts Cesium-134 into the water. Exposure to it can cause thyroid cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer, among other cancers. Ocean currents have been transporting the radioactive plume across the Pacific Ocean, and now it has finally arrived. So far, the levels are still very low, 2 Becquerels per cubic meter, which is 1000 times lower than the safe standard for drinking water set by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, during the winter, when there is less cold water welling up from the deep, rates could increase. Just like with mercury, there could be risks involved when it comes to eating seafood. Over time, rates can accumulate in top predator fish like tuna and swordfish who eat many smaller fish, who in turn eat plankton. So far though, it’s safe to surf and go in the water!
Graph: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

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