Navigation Links
Radiation From Japan Reached California Coast in Just Days

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- New research finds that radiation from the nuclear plant accident in Japan in March reached California within days, showing how quickly air pollution can travel, but scientists say the radiation will not hurt people.

"It's not harmful at all," said study author Antra Priyadarshi, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California at San Diego. The value of the study, Priyadarshi said, is understanding how fast the tiny particles of radiation traveled and how many particles made it to the United States.

From March 13 to March 20, Japanese nuclear plant operators flooded a stricken and overheating reactor in Fukushima with seawater. The process created radioactive sulfur that was vented into the air in steam.

In California, researchers at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography track levels of sulfur. On March 28, several days after the flooding of the reactor in Japan, they found "significantly higher" levels of sulfur in the air. The level was about two to three times normal, Priyadarshi said.

The researchers calculated that a bit less than 1 percent of the sulfur released in the air in Japan actually made it to the California coast. The rest of the sulfur in the air presumably landed on the ocean, she said.

The statistic about the amount of sulfur that actually made it across the Pacific Ocean is important, she said. Scientists have previously been able to track pollution from Asia, but it hasn't been possible to specifically determine how much actually makes it to the West Coast and how much is lost along the way, she said.

The stricken nuclear plant allowed a unique type of calculation because researchers were able to determine exactly how much sulfur was released.

The findings fit in with previous research that suggested less than 1 percent of pollution survives the trip across the ocean from Asia and lands in the air here, she said. Priyadarshi and other researchers, including some in Japan, next want to analyze radiation in seawater. The amount along the West Coast is expected to be small, she said.

So, is the radiation in the air harmful? Not in this case, since the amount is small and the spike in radiation didn't last long, said Eleanor Blakely, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The radioactive sulfur in question is more harmful through internal exposure, such as when it's eaten, than when people are exposed to it on their skin, explained Dr. Kory Gill, an assistant professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. "The concern here, however, would be if these radioactive elements were in the water and atmosphere at higher than originally thought levels," Gill said, since that could expose people to radiation through food and water.

Authorities reported last spring that they'd found radiation from Japan in milk in California and Washington state, but there's such a tiny amount that it's thought to be extremely far from posing a health risk.

The new study appears in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

Learn more about radiation exposure from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Antra Priyadarshi, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher, University of California at San Diego; Kory Gill, M.D., assistant professor, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, and physician, Texas A&M Physicians, Bryan, Texas; Eleanor Blakely, Ph.D., scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif.; Aug. 15-19, 2011, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. FDA Seeks Reduction in Radiation From Medical Scans
2. For Some Breast Cancer Patients, Shorter Radiation Works Well
3. Short-term radiation therapy successful on breast cancer
4. ASCROs Response to NY Times Articles on Radiation Therapy Incidents
5. Imaging manufacturers: Plan to reduce unnecessary radiation exposure and medical errors
6. Roseville Radiation Oncology Center (ROC) Redefines Efficiency With Elekta VMAT Radiotherapy Treatments
7. New cardiac CT technology drastically reduces patient radiation exposure
8. New Heart CT Scans Deliver Far Less Radiation: Study
9. Accelerated radiation therapy reduces toxicity in patients with advanced head and neck cancers
10. Delaying post-surgical radiation increases risk of breast cancer recurrence in older women
11. Radiation Most Effective Soon After Breast Cancer Surgery
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Radiation From Japan Reached California Coast in Just Days
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Next ... selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Healthcare Edition, an ... was recognized as a finalist in the category of Digital Solutions for its ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... for the care management and population health arenas, is pleased to announce that ... cost containment services, has successfully implemented the ACUITY Complete Care™ Management to back ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... GA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... supports SACC-GA and SACC-USA through membership and leadership since 2008. Gary ... Chair for SACC-USA . Gary has spent a significant amount of time ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Dr. Arash Moradzadeh ... Man for 2015. , Angeleno Magazine is a division of Modern Luxury, ... 1994, Modern Luxury includes more than 50 magazine titles across 15 major markets. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... announced today that it has officially launched a sleek, mobile-ready and user-centric redesigned ... his company’s new website clearly outlines the benefits that its SEO services provide ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015  Athletic apparel company ... agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle Federal ... company,s copper-infused compression clothing would relieve severe and ... other diseases. Tommie Copper,s ... company and its founder and chairman Thomas ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Virginia , 1 de diciembre de ... en tecnología para cuchillas de precisión, develó ... programa de identidad de marca. El nuevo ... el diseño y la ingeniería de productos ... la diferencia". ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... -- --> --> ... Labeling Market by Product (Reagents & Kits, Services), Applications, ... Transcription, Reverse Transcription, End Labeling), by Region - Global ... is expected to reach USD 1,925.7 Million by 2020 ... CAGR of 8.65%. Browse 77 market data ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: