Fukushima's Radioactivity Found in California Kelp Briefly

"Kelp off Southern California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state's coastline, according to a new scientific study."

"Scientists tested giant kelp from the ocean off Orange County and other locations after the March, 2011 accident and detected radioactive iodine at peak concentrations 250-fold higher than levels found in West Coast kelp before the nuclear accident. 'Basically we saw it in all the California kelp blades we sampled,' said biology professor Steven Manley of California State University, Long Beach. The radioactivity had no known effects on the giant kelp, or on fish and other marine life, and it was undetectable when the kelp was tested again a month later.

Iodine 131 'has an eight-day half life so it’s pretty much all gone,' Manley said. 'But this shows what happens half a world away does effect what happens here. I don’t think these levels are harmful but it’s better if we don’t have it at all.'"

Marla Cone reports for Environmental Health News March 30, 2012.

Source: EHN, 03/30/2012