Kelp along the California coast was found to be contaminated with radioactive material from a nuclear plant damaged in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, according to a recent study.
Researchers at California State University, Long Beach found that the kelp contained radioactive iodine, cesium, xenon and other particles at levels unlikely to be detrimental to human health but much higher than the amounts measured before the disaster.
The levels were also about the same as those measured in British Columbia and Washington state after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion.
A “miniscule” amount of radiation that probably came from damaged nuclear reactors in Japan was picked up at a California monitoring station yesterday, the U.S. government said.
The level of radiation registered in Sacramento was about “one-millionth of the dose” a person gets from rocks, bricks, the sun and natural background sources and “poses no concern,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Department said in a joint statement.
A similar level of the radioactive isotope, xenon-133, was detected in Washington state on March 16 and 17, according to the agencies. It was “consistent with a release from the Fukushima reactors in Northern Japan,” according to the statement. The EPA and Energy Department have monitoring systems and neither found “radiation levels of concern.”