Albacore Tuna Caught Off the Shores of Oregon & Washington Bear Fukushima Radiation, Fish Still Safe to Eat

By @ibtimesau on
A young girl receives a radiation scan in Fukushima prefecture
A young girl receives a radiation scan in Fukushima prefecture/Reuters File Reuters

The albacore tuna caught off the shores of Oregon and Washington have been found to have radiation levels from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. But scientists said they are still safe to eat.

Researchers from the Oregon State University said on Tuesday a person would need to eat more than 700,000 pounds of albacore tuna just to match the amount of radiation s/he gets annually from exposure to cosmic rays, the air, the ground, X-rays and other sources. 

Their study, published in journal Environmental Science and Technology, examined 26 Pacific albacore tuna caught between 2008 and 2012. Testing the fishes for pre- and post-Fukushima radiation levels, some showed containing tripled radiation levels, although it was only a mere 0.1 per cent of the level set by the FDA.

"You can't say there is absolutely zero risk because any radiation is assumed to carry at least some small risk," Delvan Nelville, lead author and Oregon State University graduate research assistant, said. "But these trace levels are too small to be a realistic concern."

"A year of eating albacore with these cesium traces is about the same dose of radiation as you get from spending 23 seconds in a stuffy basement from radon gas, or sleeping next to your spouse for 40 nights from the natural potassium-40 in their body," Mr Nelville added. "It's just not much at all."

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