Radiation Contamination In Food Still High In Fukushima

Radiation Contamination In Food Still High In Fukushima
# 30 March 2011 20:05 (UTC +04:00)
Baku – APA. High levels of radioactive materials have been detected from locally grown vegetables in the prefecture where the quake-striken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex is located, according to data from the government, APA reports quoting “The Wall Street Journal”.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Wednesday that 43 farm product samples taken Monday in Fukushima prefecture in north of Tokyo showed 25 of them, that cover nine different kinds of vegetables including spinach and broccoli, contained high levels of radioactive iodine or cesium, surpassing permissible level for consumption.
For instance, a sampling of spinach contained radioactive cesium worth 34,000 becquerels per kilogram, higher than the acceptable level of 500 becquerels per kilogram for consumption.
Another spinach sample is measured to contain iodine worth 8,400 becquerels per kilogram, above the threshold of 2,000 becquerels per kilogram. But the reading is smaller than 19,000 becquerels per kilogram detected from a spinach sample taken a week ago in the same place, an official at the prefecture said. He said the remaining samples that cover seven different kinds of vegetables including cabbage and asparagus contained radioactive materials that stayed below the threshold or no traces of contamination.
The Japanese government has already banned shipments or consumption of about 60 locally grown farm products in Fukushima prefecture including spinach, broccoli and raw milk.
Tension remains high over the state of the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The government said water tested Tuesday afternoon found concentrations of iodine-131 at 3,355 times the permissible limit at the monitoring location 330 meters south of the troubled Nos. 1-4 reactors - the highest reading yet at the sampling location.
But radioactive readings in the air in the prefecture further away from the plant have improved.
The Fukushima Prefecture said on its web site Tuesday that it measured radiation of 2.79 microsieverts an hour around 0900 GMT Wednesday in Fukushima City, about 60 kilometers northwest of the quake-damaged plant. The reading compares with 5.48 microsieverts an hour just a week ago.
It detected 0.68 microsieverts an hour Iwaki City, about 40 kilometers southwest of the plant around 0900 GMT Wednesday. The reading compares with 1.59 microsieverts an hour a week ago.
Meanwhile, radiation readings in the air were almost unchanged in Tokyo, while no radioactive iodine was found in samples of the city’s water.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said on its web site Wednesday that radiation levels in downtown Tokyo stood at 0.103 microsievert an hour around 0900 GMT. That compares with 0.105 microsievert an hour at 0900 GMT Tuesday, but higher than the 0.035 microsievert an hour a person typically would be exposed to in downtown Tokyo due to background radiation.
A chest X-ray typically exposes the patient to a radiation dose of about 100 microsieverts, according to the Radiological Society of North America.
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