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Radiation discovered in food served locally

Date Posted: 2012-02-03

The affects of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, and the damage to the Fukushima nuclear power plants, have reached Okinawa, where radiation has now been discovered in food being served here.

King oysters harvested in Nagano Prefecture and served at an elementary school in southern Okinawa have been found to contain 1.12 becquerel of cesium per 1kg. ďIt is not a numerical value that appears to affect a human body at once,Ē says Akira Tanahara, an associate professor at the University of the Ryukyus Equipment Analysis Center. However, itís the first time any radioactive material has been detected in foods in Okinawa, and thatís a concern. Mushrooms were tracked at 500 becquerel per 1kg.

The Saving Children from Radioactivity Committee Okinawa, and a radiation measurement company, Midori-no-Seasar, were offered king oysters served in late November and they requested a inspection. Iodine was not detected during December investigations, but 0.46 cesium 134 was detected, as was 0.66 cesium 137.

Officials say the problem is that mushrooms and edible wild plants absorb cesium easily, and inspections were not conducted until well after the children ate the meals.

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