Seaweed contamination cause for concern in Japan

by Jess Miller

May 13, 2011

Contaminated seaweed

Initial findings from the Rainbow Warrior radiation sampling team working off the coast of Japan are in and the news is not good.

The results showed levels of contamination far beyond allowed limits for seaweed.

Contaminated seaweed could become a threat as fishermen along the coast will begin harvesting the seaweed to sell for public consumption in the coming weeks. As both TEPCO’s sediment samples and our own preliminary research shows, radioactive contamination is accumulating in the marine ecosystem that provides Japan with a quarter of its seafood, yet the authorities are still doing the very little to protect public health. We are calling on the authorities to start comprehensive radiation testing of seaweed along the Fukushima coast.

We are also now conducting detailed analysis of fish, seawater, and seaweed collected outside of Japan’s 12 mile territorial waters, as well as fish, shellfish and seaweed samples collected from the Fukushima coast. Selections of samples have been sent to independent laboratories for further analysis. Watch this space for full results in the next week.

Take action right now and tell the President that taxpayers should not take on the risk of building new nuclear plants.

Image – The radiation monitoring team members work with local fishermen collect Ulva pertusa weed from Tsurushihama port, Shinchi, Fukushima, to test for radiation contamination. We are working with local fishing communities, to collect samples of marine life along the coast to record possible contamination from the crisis-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.Noriko Hayashi-San / Greenpeace

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