New data released by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) shows once again that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is far from over. Despite a complete media blackout on the current situation, levels of Cesium-137 (Cs-137) and Cesium-134 (Cs-134) found in produce and rice crackers located roughly 225 miles (~ 362 km) away from Fukushima are high enough to cause residents to exceed the annual radiation exposure limit in just a few months, or even weeks.
According to Fukushima-Diary.com, which posts up-to-date information about the Fukushima disaster, rice crackers and tangerines produced in the Shizuoka prefecture are testing high for both Cs-137 and Cs-134. Rice crackers, according to the data sheet, tested at 3.7 Becquerels per kilogram (Bq/Kg) of Cs-137, while tangerines tested at 1.46 Bq/Kg of Cs-134 and 3.14 Bq/Kg of Cs-137.
The Shizuoka prefecture is located about 80 miles (~ 128 km) southwest of Tokyo, which is highly concerning as it is actually farther away from Fukushima than Tokyo. This suggest that potentially deadly levels of radiation are still affecting large population centers across Japan, including those that are not even in close proximity to the Fukushima plant.
It is generally regarded that adult radiation workers should be exposed to no more than 50 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation per year in order to avoid serious health consequences. For children, this number is far lower, probably somewhere around 10 mSv, with this being on the high end. But the average adult and child eating these tainted foods at their current radiation levels will not only reach but exceed the safe maximum in just a few weeks.
Radiation levels continue to increase in lakes, rivers north of Tokyo
But food, of course, is not the only major source of radiation exposure in Japan. Other data also released by Fukushima-Diary.com shows that radiation levels in rivers, lakes and shorelines around Kashiwa City in Chiba, located about 20 miles northeast of Tokyo, are dangerously high and getting even higher.
Since radiation levels were last tested in the Otsu River back in September, detected levels have nearly tripled, jumping from 5,700 Bq/Kg to 14,200 Bq/Kg of radiation. Similar jumps were observed in lakes and shore soils, the former increasing from 7,600 Bq/Kg to 8,200 Bq/Kg of radiation, and the latter increasing from 440 Bq/Kg to 780 Bq/Kg of radiation.
Any increase in disease or death resulting from these continued radiation spikes, however, will more than likely be blamed on other causes besides radiation, so as to cover up the severity of the situation. The radiation component of radiation-induced heart disease, organ failure, and cancer, for instance, will simply be ignored, and any uptick in deaths, particularly among the elderly, declared normal.
Meanwhile, a recent Rasmussen Report found that more than one-third of all Americans believe radiation from Fukushima caused "significant harm" in the U.S. This is likely due to the fact that high levels of radiation were observed in soil, water, and even food all across America in the wake of the disaster.
Sources for this article include:
By Ethan A. Huff
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