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Researchers find Amchitka seafood safe for now

An independent consortium of university-based environmental scientists announced today the results from three 2004 expeditions to Amchitka Island in the western Aleutians to assess radionuclides in that marine environment. Three nuclear test shots were set off under Amchitka by the U.S. Government during a six-year period beginning in 1965. The study can be found at www.cresp.org

Seafood Safety

"The findings should provide assurance to both those who depend on the Island's marine environment for subsistence food and for the significant commercial fishing interests of the region," said Charles W. Powers, principal investigator for the consortium. He noted that expedition scientists sampled and analyzed for radionuclides many types of biota in the seas at Amchitka and a reference site, nearby Kiska: "Rutgers' Joanna Burger developed a program that has assessed these two marine regions as completely as has any previous single-year study of a defined marine area."

In fact, the university consortium found that all levels of radionuclides were "far below" any human health food safety standard and were similar to levels found in other marine sites in the Northern Hemisphere. Further, the levels in these organisms are lower now than they were immediately following the nuclear test shots. These biological analyses may now form a baseline for future testing of biota.

The consortium conducting the study was the Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP), an interdisciplinary multi-university organization that for a decade has independently studied and reviewed risk issues associated with the cleanup and long-term stewardship of legacy wastes at US Department of Energy sites. Its principal investigator Powers, is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-UMDNJ. CRESP-related Universities whose scientists participated in the Amchitka study in addition to the University of A
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Source:Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey


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