Scientific Conference: Fukushima a global threat to human health — Radioactivity in food web off Pacific Northwest to “significantly increase” after one year — Salmon forecast to exceed Japan radiation limit — “Major concern for public health of coastal communities” (POSTER)
Published: December 31st, 2014 at 3:51 pm ET
Conference Paper for Society for Environmental Toxciology & Chemistry (SETAC), Dr. Juan Jose Alava & Dr. Frank Gobas, Simon Fraser Univ., published Dec 1, 2014 (emphasis added):
A Marine Food Web Bioaccumulation model for Cesium 137 in the Pacific Northwest — The Fukushima nuclear accident on 11 March 2011 emerged as a global threat to the conservation of the Pacific Ocean, human health, and marine biodiversity… This accident was defined by the [IAEA] as “a major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures”. Despite the looming threat of radiation, there has been scant attention and inadequate radiation monitoring. This is unfortunate, as the potential radioactive contamination of seafoods through bioaccumulation of radioisotopes (i.e. 137Cs) in marine and coastal food webs are issues of major concern for the public health of coastal communities… [R]eleases of 137Cs into the Pacific after the Fukushima nuclear accident are… prone to concentrate in marine food-webs… [A] simulation time dependent bioaccumulation model… showed that 137Cs can be expected to bioaccumulate gradually over time in the food web… Bioaccumulation of 137Cs was characterized by slow uptake and elimination rates in upper trophic level organisms and dominance of dietary consumption in the uptake of 137CS. This modeling work showed… magnification of this radionuclide takes place in the marine food web over time.
Reviewer Comments (Dr. Nikolaus Gantner, Univ. of N. British Columbia): “Excellent abstract and an important contribution to the session in terms of modeling efforts and bioaccumulation. Provides long-term perspective on the issue.”
Dataset for Modeling Work, published Dec 1, 2014:
The Fukushima nuclear accident… emerged as a looming threat to the marine biodiversity in the Pacific Ocean and human health in coastal communities. Assessment of long term consequences… should consider the extent of ecological magnification in food-webs… 137Cs cannot be ruled out as a potential bioaccumulative pollutant in regional food-webs, including… in BC waters. — Objective: To model the bioaccumulation of 137Cs in an offshore food web of the Pacific Northwest … Through the oceanic life stage cycle, Pacific salmon species are likely to deliver Fukushima associated 137Cs to the resident killer whales’ food-web in waters off the Pacific Northwest coast… 137Cs activities significantly increase in the food web after one year… 137Cs activities may achieve levels in upper trophic levels that may pose health risks in wildlife species. A rigorous monitoring program would… improve the ability to forecast 137Cs activities in marine organisms and uptake in human populations that consume sea products.
View the poster for this presentation here