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After the nuclear disaster of Fukushima, ACRO has extended its Citizen Watch of Radioactivity in the Environment to Japan.
We have received samples from the Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures that show an alarming contamination.
• Vegetables and mushrooms taken on the 2nd of April in the Sendai area by French journalists.
• Vegetables bought on the 22st of April in a supermarket in Osaka.
• Analysis of the soil in various locations in Japan (12-18th april 2011)
• Seawater collected on the 16th of april in Soma (Fukushima prefecture)
• Seaweeds collected by Greenpeace International (05-09th May 2011)
• Grass collected in Ishikawa Prefecture (14th of May 2011)
• Soil, vegetables and water of the South of Miyagi Prefecture (14 – 18th of May 2011)
• Surrounding of the sludge incineration plant of Tokyo, Koutou-ku (22-25th May 2011)
• Soil from the surroundings of Tokyo (15-17th of May 2011)
• Urines of children living in Fukushima town (19-21st of May 2011)
• Soils and pasture from Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures (5th of May 2011 – 4th of July 2011)
• Tap water from Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures (8th of June 2011 – 19th of June 2011)
• Vegetables from Fukushima-city (18th of June 2011 – 20th of June 2011)
• Vegetables and milk from Fukushima-city and Miyagi (3rd of July 2011 – 5th of July 2011)
• Fishes collected by Greenpeace (23rd of May and 23rd – 24th of July 2011)
• Follow up of radioactivity monitoring and new analysis of urines of children (July 2011)
• Soils from the Hokkaido, Kanagawa, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures (28th of June – 31st of July 2011)
• Potatoes from the Fukushima prefecture (July 2011)
• Fish and oysters from Tohoku (November – December 2011)
• Food from Ichinoseki in Iwate Pref. (May 2011 – January 2012)
• House dust collected by vacuum cleaners in the Tohoku area (January 2012)
• Urine from various prefectures of Japan (June 2012)
• Atmospheric deposition around the incinerator of Fuji – Shizuoka Pref. (June 2012) New
• Analysis of a cyanobacteria wipe from Minami Soma, Fukushima Pref. (June 2012) New
• Urine from various prefectures of Japan (November 2012) New
• House dust collected by vacuum cleaners from various prefectures (November 2012) New
• Dietary Supplement – Coral Calcium from Okinawa island (January 2013) New
• Urine from Miyagi prefecture (January 2013) New
See data below
ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES : ACRO’s RESULTS
The contamination is very large and comparable to the environment of Chernobyl.
The Maeda field of Iitate-mura is the most contaminated place.
Iodine contamination is the largest and it is better to evacuate the population.
On the long time range, cesium 137 is the most worrying element because it has a half-life of 30 years.
Regarding the results expressed in Bq/kg of soil, most of them are higher than the limit fixed by the Japanese authorities at 5 000 Bq/kg for agriculture. Rice cannot be cultivated.
The data expressed in Bq/m² can be compared to the definition of the zones in Byelorussia after the Chernobyl disaster (law of 1991) :
185 000 – 555 000 Bq/m²: migration allowed
555 000 – 1 480 000 Bq/m²: right to rehousing
Most of the results are higher than one of these limits.
FOOD PRODUCTS : ACRO’s RESULTS
The results show that the four samples collected in the Sendai area (80 km from Fukushima dai-ichi) are tainted with artificial radionuclides released from the crippled NPP.
Densities of cesium 137 measured in the vegetables (Chinese cabbage, komatsuna and tsubomina) are above the limits set by Japanese authorities (500 Bq/kg). These vegetables should not be eaten.
VEGETABLES BOUGHT IN A SUPERMARKET IN OSAKA : ACRO’s RESULTS
ANALYSIS OF THE SOIL IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN JAPAN (12-18th APRIL 2011) : ACRO’s RESULTS
ACRO has analyzed samples collected in various locations in Japan by Japanese citizens. Except for Kobe, all these samples are contaminated by numerous radioelements coming from the fallouts of Fukushima.
The large densities in the straw are due to the fact that straw is light: the same amount of pollution falling on a square meter gives a contamination per kilogram far larger with straw than with soil.
The previous analysis that we did on soil samples coming from Fukushima prefecture showed that iodine 131 was dominating. But this element has a quite short half-life (8 days) and disappears relatively quickly: the densities measured this time are lower than the ones for caesium.
The tellurium 129m decays into iodine 129 that has a very long half-life: 16 millions years. This element should be carefully monitored in the surrounding the nuclear power plant.
A mid-term, caesium 137 will be the most problematic element: the densities measured are all below the limit of 5 000 becquerels per kilogram fixed by the Japanese authorities for the culture of rice.
If we calculated the contamination of the caesium 137 in becquerels per square meters, all the values in Fukushima prefecture are higher that the limit of 185 000 becquerels per square meter that gives right to migration in Byelorussia.
The contamination in the Miyagi prefecture is also quite large, confirming the large contaminations of the vegetables that we measured in this prefecture.
Normally, one should not be able to measure any contamination of the seawater.
Radioelements found in Soma, located at more than 40 km to the North of the power plant, come from the Fukushima plant. This pollution has the properties to accumulate in the marine life.
For example, iodine densities in seaweeds can be 1 000 to 10 000 times larger in the seawater. This factor ranges from 10 to 100 in fish and shellfish. Caesium can be 10 to 400 times more concentrated, depending on the species.
SEAWEEDS COLLECTED BY GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL (05-09th may 2011) : ACRO’s RESULTS
The seaweeds collected by Greenpeace International up to 80 km South of the Fukushima NPP are all but one contaminated with an alarming level.
The concentration of iodine-131 far exceeds the limit of 2000 Bq/kg set by the Japanese Government.
Contamination of cesium 134 and 137 is also significant and allways exceeds the limit of 500 Bq/kg set by the Japanese authorities.
The algae were harvested nearly a month after plugging the leak of reactor No. 2 that massively contaminated the sea. This shows that, contrary to what had been announced, the pollution persists.
If seaweeds are contaminated to such levels, sea water must be contaminated too. But the analysis done by the Japanese authorities should be more stringent: below the detection limit of 4 Bq/l for iodine 131, 6 Bq / L for cesium 134 and 9 Bq / l for cesium 137, it is said “undetectable”. It is necessary to have lower limits, because marine life tends to concentrate the pollution. Pollution of iodine can be 1000 times higher in algae than in water.
Grass collected in Ishikawa Prefecture (14th of May 2011)
Soil, vegetables and water of the South of Miyagi Prefecture (14 – 18th of May 2011)
All the vegetables from the South of Miyagi Prefecture are contaminated at level that allows shipping.
The soil samples of the farms where these vegetables were collected are also all contaminated at levels that allow rice farming. In all cases, contamination of cesium is less than 5 000 Bq/kg that is the limit set by the Japanese authorities.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that there is no safety limit in term of radioactivity.
Surface contamination of farm F is above the Belarusian limit of 37,000 Bq/m2 involving a regular monitoring.
None of the water samples is tainted.
Surrounding of the sludge incineration plant of Tokyo, Koutou-ku (22-25th May 2011)
The surroundings of the sludge incineration plant located in Tokyo Bay are highly contaminated. This pollution is probably largely due to the fume of the incineration plant that burned radioactive sludge. The surface contamination of cesium-137 is above the Belarusian limit of 37,000 Bq/m2 involving a regular monitoring.
Contamination of plants is also high. The sharp difference between the dry grass and moss is due to the fact that the results are expressed per kilogram of material.
There should be a more detailed monitoring of the contamination in the area.
Soil from the surroundings of Tokyo (15-17th of May 2011)
All soil samples taken near Tokyo are contaminated by fallouts from the disaster of the Fukushima NPP at significant levels.
In the city of Kashiwa (Chiba prefecture), the surface contamination of cesium-137 is above the Belarusian limit of 37,000 Bq/m2 involving a regular monitoring.
There should be a more detailed study of the contamination in the area.
Urines of children living in Fukushima town (19-21st of May 2011)
Soils and pasture from Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures (5th of May 2011 – 4th of July 2011)
All the soil samples are contaminated by cesium 134 and 137 coming from the fallout of the Fukushima accident. All the mass contaminations are lower than the limit of 5 000 Bq/kg fixed by the Japanese authorities for rice farming.
The first two samples in table (from Gyufun and Ochiba) were collected in a greenhouse, protected from the rain, and are therefore less contaminated.
In two places, the surface contamination exceed 37 000 Bq/m2 involving q regular monitoring in Belarus.
Pasture is also contaminated by cesium 134 and 137 at levels that allows grazing.
Tap water from Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures (8th of June 2011 – 19th of June 2011)
Vegetables from Fukushima-city (18th of June 2011 – 20th of June 2011)
Vegetables and milk from Fukushima-city and Miyagi (3rd of July 2011 – 5th of July 2011)
Fishes from Onahama port, Fukushima Pref. (23rd of May 2011 and 23rd-24th of July 2011)
These fishes were collected by Greenpeace from fishermen of Onahama port in Fukushima pref.
They are all contaminated. Some of them have a total concentration in cesium that is higher than 500 Bq/kg that is the limit fixed by Japanese authorities for food.
If fishes are contaminated to such levels, sea water must be contaminated too. But the analysis done by the Japanese authorities should be more stringent: below the detection limit of 4 Bq/l for iodine 131, 6 Bq / L for cesium 134 and 9 Bq / l for cesium 137, it is said “undetectable”. It is necessary to have lower limits, because marine life tends to concentrate the pollution.
Follow up of radioactivity monitoring in urines of 10 children from Fukushima city (july 2011)
At the request of Japanese citizens, ACRO analyzed the urine of 18 Japanese children from the prefecture of Fukushima and from Tokyo and its surroundings.
All the 15 children from Fukushima have or had their urine contaminated with radioactive fallout from the nuclear accident located approximately 60 km away. This means that children themselves have been or are contaminated. However, we did not detect any contamination in the urine of the three children from Tokyo and surroundings.
While the tests performed by the Japanese authorities give about one child from Fukushima out two that is contaminated, we get 100%. This reflects the fact that the official measurements are not accurate enough and did not detect all contaminations.
The first 10 children are the same as in our previous measurement campaign (results released June 30). 9 of them have left the province of Fukushima since. Only one remained (U2).
U6 child was evacuated in end of March. U3 and U4 children were evacuated in the end of May. 3 left late June, early July and three others at the beginning of the school holidays from July 22.
Finally, five new children live nearby Fukushima-city. One of them was evacuated in the middle of May (U14).
U11 and U12 attend the same high school where they frequently practice sports on the same playground. The difference in the contamination could be due to food.
More than four months after the massive discharges of radioactivity into the environment, all children still in Fukushima at the time of urine sampling were contaminated, although their parents do their best to reduce this contamination. Evacuation is a way to reduce contamination. Variations in internal contamination between different children might be due to food.
It is important to conduct an accurate, systematic and regular monitoring of internal contamination of children from Fukushima. Families must have access to the measurement of radioactivity to help them reduce this contamination.
Radioactivity analysis in urines of other 5 children from the Fukushima prefecture (july 2011)
Radioactivity analysis in urines of 3 children around tokyo ( july 2011)
Soils from the Hokkaido, kanagawa, miyagi and fukushima prefectures (28th of June – 31st of July 2011)
At Kosugō, in Shiraishi-city, located in the southern part of Miyagi Pref. at 75 km of the Fukushima NPP, the total contamination of cesium reachs 343 000 Bq/m2. In Belarus, the population would be eligible to migration.
In the city of Kakuta, located in Miyagi Pref. at 66 km of the plant, the total contamination of cesium is 163 000 Bq/m2. In Belarus, this would imply a regular radiation monitoring.
There is a significant contamination in Yokohama located at about 300 km of the plant. Furano-city in Hokkaido, is at 670 km of the plant.
potatoes from the fukushima prefecture (july 2011)
Fishes and seaweeds from Tohoku (19th of August – 22nd of August 2011)
Fishes and seaweeds provided by Greenpeace
Fishes and seaweeds from Tohoku (13th of september – 14th of september 2011)
Fishes and seaweeds provided by Greenpeace
Samples from fukushima pref. (september 2011)
Samples brought back by a French film director. Indications on the location are not confirmed.
The hotspot from Kawamae-cho is known by the inhabitants.
Fishes and seaweeds from Tohoku (12th of october – 13th of october 2011)
Fishes and seaweeds provided by Greenpeace
ND: Not Detected
urines and dust from vacuum cleaners (september – november 2011)
ACRO press release (from December 15th at 10am)
ACRO has analysed dust of vacuum cleaners from 13 dwellings. Excepted Osaka, chosen as a reference because it is located 600 km from the plant, all dust samples are contaminated with cesium 137 and 134 following the catastrophe of Fukushima.
It is in the district of Watari of Fukushima-city that the contamination is highest with almost 20,000 becquerels per kilogram for both cesium. This district, located about fifty kilometres from the plant, is known to be particularly contaminated and the sale of rice is prohibited.
Homes are also significantly contaminated in Ichinoseki in Iwate province to the north and in Kashiwa in Chiba to the south, situated in the northern suburbs of Tokyo. In both cities, located about 200 km of the plant, contaminated dust is nearly 6,000 becquerels per kilogram.
We don’t know from when the dust was collected by the vacuum cleaners. In Japan, one removes shoes before entering home.
Urines of children from Tohoku
ACRO has also continued to analyse the urine of children at the request of Japanese citizens. Even if there is not 100% of the urine contaminated in Fukushima prefecture, which is good news, many children continue to be contaminated at levels that do not decrease from the levels we measured in May.
Some of these children live in homes where we controlled the dust from the vacuum cleaner. But it does not seem to be any clear correlation between the contamination of dust and urine. This leads us to point the finger to the food as the main contributor to the internal contamination.
Urine is the most contaminated in Ichinoseki in Iwate prefecture located 200 km from the crippled nuclear plant.
Urines of children from Kantô
For the first time, we found a contamination of the urine of a child in Tokyo. This probably comes from the diet.
Study on mushrooms from Kawamata, Fukuhima Pref. (November 2011)
Fresh mushrooms (hiratake) were first analysed. There were soaked in water during half an hour and cooked during 15 minutes in acid (water+vinegar) or salted water. After these processes, it appears that only 11% of the caesium was transferred to the soaking water. But between 31 and 32% of the caesium was transferred to the cooking water.
Fish and oysters from Tohoku (November – December 2011)
French journalists brought these fishes and oysters back. The concentration in caesium in fishes is lower than the actual limit of 500 Bq/kg. But for two of these fishes, it is higher than the future limit of 100 Bq/kg.
Food from Ichinoseki in Iwate Pref. (May 2011 – January 2012)
House dust collected by vacuum cleaners in the Tohoku area (January 2012)
The ACRO also analyzed new samples of house dust collected by vacuum cleaners in Miyagi and Fukushima Pref.: we confirm that all the dust is contaminated with high levels. For comparison, the Japanese authorities have set the limit at which a waste is considered as radioactive at 8000 Bq/kg. Two of the samples of dust that cannot be put in garbage.
Systematic monitoring of contamination of houses seems necessary.
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (February 2012)
ACRO continues to face a large demand for urine testing from Japan at the request of local NGOs or individuals and to provide free analysis. This time, the urines come from prefectures that further from the Fukushima NPP.
Results show that urines are still contaminated almost one year after 3/11 and are contaminated in places located as far as Oshu (Iwate Pref.) at about 220 km from the NPP. In Miyagi Pref. that is closer, urines are also contaminated. It is particularly the case in Marumori.
Sample n°11 comes from the same girl from Ichinoseki as the last time. We notice a significant decrease of the contamination. Parents were eating vegetables from the Grandparents’ garden without expecting that they could be contaminated. The urine test provided by ACRO allowed them to change their food habits and protect themselves.
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (March 2012)
Foodstuffs from Japan (July 2011 – April 2012)
Urines from various prefectures of Japan (April 2012)
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (May 2012)
Water and soils from various prefectures of Japan (February 2011 – May 2012)
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (June 2012)
Comments (analyzed urine from March to June 2012)
The French NGO ACRO is still facing a large demand of urine testing from Japan and thus continues its assistance. Here are 59 new results.
All results of analyzes on children in Tokyo and its suburbs show no contamination, except for a child in the city of Matsudo, Chiba pref..
Not so far from the Fukushima NPP, there are still children with contaminated urine, more than a year after the massive discharges into the environment. This is particularly the case in the province of Fukushima, but also in the neighbouring prefectures of Miyagi and Tochigi. These contaminations are low, but persist over time.
At Kurihara, Miyagi prefecture, they are all children of farmers who eat farm products. Contamination levels of the urine are similar ranging from 1.68 to 2.5 Bq / l for both caesium.
For 5 people, it was a follow up. In all cases, there is a decrease in contamination, which shows the merit of this kind of test that helps people to be careful.
Atmospheric deposition around the incinerator of Fuji – Shizuoka Pref. (June 2012)
Analysis of a cyanobacteria wipe from Minami Soma, Fukushima Pref. (June 2012)
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (July 2012)
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (August 2012)
Foodstuffs from Japan (September 2012)
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (September 2012)
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (October 2012)
Urine from various prefectures of Japan (November 2012)
House dust collected by vacuum cleaners from various prefectures (November 2012)
Urine from Fukushima prefecture (December 2012)
Dietary Supplement – Coral Calcium from Okinawa island (January 2013)
Urine from Miyagi prefecture (January 2013)
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