But authors of the
Oregon State University study say the levels are so small you would
have to consume more than 700,000 pounds of the fish with the
highest radioactive level to match the amount of radiation the
average person is annually exposed to in everyday life through
cosmic rays, the air, the ground, X-rays and other sources.
Still, the findings shed some light about the impact of the meltdown
on the Pacific Ocean following the March 2011 tsunami and subsequent
power plant disaster, said Delvan Neville, a graduate research
assistant at OSU and lead author of the study.
"I think people would rather have an answer on what is there and
what isn't there than have a big question mark," Neville said.
At the most extreme, radiation levels tripled from fish tested
before Fuskushima and fish tested after. That level was 0.1 percent
of the level set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for
"The levels were way too small to really be a food safety issue, but
we still want to tell people about it so they know what's there,"
Jason Phillips, a research associate in OSU's College of Earth,
Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences and co-author of the study, said he
did not expect to find high levels of radiation in the fish, but
rather thought it would be a way to track the migratory patterns of
[to top of second column]
He said that thanks to continued support from the Oregon Sea
Grant, the research will continue and they will expand the pilot
program to look at fish from California and other parts of the North
Their study looked at 26 Pacific albacore from 2008 to 2012.
Phillips said the albacore tuna was a good species to study because
it migrates as far as Japan.
"If we were going to see it in something, we would see it in
albacore' or other high level predators," he added.
(Editing by Dan Whitcomb; editing by Andre Grenon)
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