Skip to comments.San Francisco Rainwater Radiation 181 Times Above US Drinking Water Standard
Posted on 04/05/2011 6:48:10 AM PDT by blam
San Francisco Rainwater Radiation 181 Times Above US Drinking Water Standard
Politics / Environmental Issues
Apr 04, 2011 - 04:15 PM
By: DK Matai
Radiation from Japan rained on Berkeley, California, during recent storms at levels that exceeded drinking water standards by 181 times. A rooftop water monitoring program managed by the University of California at Berkeleys Department of Nuclear Engineering detected substantial spikes in rain-borne iodine-131 during those torrential downpours. The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as Maximum Contaminant Levels -- or MCLs -- by as much as 181 times or 18,100%. Iodine-131 is one of the most cancer-causing toxic radioactive isotopes spewed when nuclear power plants are in meltdown. It is being ingested by cows, which have begun passing it through into their milk and radioactivity has been detected. [Multiple Sources]
Specific Scientific Data
The iodine-131 level in the rainwater sample taken on the roof of Etcheverry Hall on the campus of UC Berkeley on March 23rd, 2011, from 9:06-18:00hrs Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) states radioactivity levels at 20.1 Becquerels per Litre (Bq/L) = 543 PicoCuries per Litre (pCi/L). The federal maximum level of iodine-131 allowed in drinking water is 3 pCi/L or 0.111 Becquerels per Litre. The sample exceeded the federal guidelines for drinking water by 181 times. The UC Berkeley researchers also discovered trace levels of iodine-131 and other radioactive isotopes, believed to have originated in Fukushima, in commercially available milk and in a local stream within California. [UC Berkeley]
No Official Data Yet
Three weeks after the Fukushima nuclear power plant began spewing radiation into the worlds air, the US government has still not published any official data on nuclear fallout from the Fukushima meltdown. The amount of iodine-131 or other radioactive elements that have fallen as precipitation or made their way into milk supplies or drinking water has not yet been fully revealed. Scientists say an absence of federal data on the issue is hampering efforts to develop strategies for preventing radioactive isotopes from contaminating the nation's food and water. [The Bay Citizen, San Francisco]
Fukushima radiation is blanketing most of the United States and Canada according to the data and visuals published regularly by the The Norwegian Institute of Air Research. The risks of that radiation falling with rain, have been downplayed by US government officials and others, who say its impacts are so fleeting and minor so as to be negligible. Nonetheless, radiation falling with rain can cover grass that is eaten by cows and other animals. It can also fall on food crops or contaminate reservoirs that are used for irrigation or drinking water. [Norwegian Institute of Air Research or NILU]
Food and Water Watch
Food and Water Watch -- the nonprofit Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Washington, DC -- sent a letter to President Barack Obama and members of his cabinet and Congress a few days ago urging the US federal government to improve its monitoring of radiation in agricultural land and food in the wake of the Japanese tragedy. The letter from "Food and Water Watch" states: The three agencies that monitor almost all of the food Americans eat have insisted that the US food supply is safe . . . the agencies, however, have done very little to detail specific ways in which they are responding to the threat of radiation in food.
EPA and FDA
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states in its April 3rd advisory, "As the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said, we do not expect to see radiation at harmful levels reaching the US from damaged Japanese nuclear power plants." The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates food safety, has referred questions about potential milk contamination to the EPA, which is taking the lead on testing dairy products for radiation. Early last week, the EPA said it expected to release results of tests for radioactivity in rain and snow within a day or so. Just before the weekend, three days after making that pledge, EPA officials repeated the same statement and said the data would likely be released over the weekend or early this week. So far that data set has not been released. [EPA]
Potentially cancer-causing radiation from Fukushima has been encircling the world, traveling quickly on jet streams high in the atmosphere and falling with precipitation like rain and snow. It is already being detected in air, water and milk in some parts of the United States by local and state agencies. For example, San Francisco rain water radiation levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds by as much as 181 times recently. A radioactive isotope, such as iodine-131, is supposed to have a half-life of eight days. This is inferred to mean that it breaks down quickly, and it quickly dissipates in the environment. However, the 8 day half-life can be a misnomer because radioactive iodine can really persist in the environment for many months and has a 100 day biological half-life once inside the human body.
BTW, should I stop drinking milk?
is the milk from Hokkaido? which sadly... is the best/famous milk anyone could get in Japan from Japan...
well, no more milk candy from japan for me for awhile.
We’re talking liberal land here.
So the problem is?
Yes, stop drinking milk. I stopped drinking it in about 1950 and have not had radiation poisoning. Of course, I am allergic to milk.
Why are they applying a drinking water standard to rain?
I mean the answer is obvious, to frighten people. But it’s like comparing the air in your carburetor to breathing air, it’s way over the federal standard for air you breathe.
Have we got this covered in San Antonio or what!
(No measurable rain in almost three months.)
My yard would settle for even radioactive water right now.
No. I-131 is NOT the "bad actor" in milk....that would be cesium-137, which "follows" calcium in its chemistry. And I'd want to know a LOT more about the provenance of the data here (calibration, what instruments were used, etc.) before getting my knickers in a knot over it.
The Chicken Little Society.
“The sky is falling, the sky is falling.............”
Always hafta have something to panic about.
There is a problem w/ terrible potential. Since theres no wall along the KA border tards are free to infest the remainder of the country at will. If things get bad enough they’ll come live w/ the rest of us and screw up whats left of the country. Thankfully I live in a state that has terrible weather so we may, perhaps, be spared the onslaught of the stupid. One can one hope...
Good. Rain all that radiation down on Berkley and keep those communist creeps from reproducing!
Oh Nos! What to do now...
I have to wonder if they’re picking their pet scientists again.. Investigators just outed the huge scam by the CARB on diesel particulate regulations in CA that will cost the state over a $billion... The scientist they ‘chose’ to believe didn’t even have a degree - and lied about his credentials from UC Davis, which never heard of him - yet the regulations based on his lies will be left to stand, because CARB is accountable to no one.
FYI, MCLs are generally based on the risk from drinking the water every day for 40 years or something.
When I read this scaremongering nonsense, I had to laugh. Just one sentence shows contempt for physics. Radioactive iodine has -- not supposedly -- but actually does have a half-life of 8.02 days. This does not apply to other isotopes "such as radioactive iodine", but only to iodine-131. And it does "persist" in the environment but is not in the least bit dangerous after a few cycles of 8.02 days.
This is the same isotope which was used to treat our cat for hyperthyroidism. We took reasonable precautions and all went well.
SF recently had an effluence problem because of “green” lo-flo plumbing “improvements” and had to introduce tons of bleach into the environment.
Half-life on I-131 is about 8 days ... I can live with that ...
The spike came from the fire at the nuke plant. That happened shortly before Obama’s NRC guy said that the holding pool was dry (i.e. not cooled and could heat up and burn) After that they dumped large amounts of water into and onto it so now the radioactive water is a problem, but only a local problem. As long as there is no fire, our milk (and everything else) will be safe.
However, if it isn't, maybe it will help the good folks of the People's Republic of Berkley understand that their radical politics can't protect them from everything happening in the world.
Even their data shows only one day anywhere near the level reported in the headline, with the level fluctuating, but much lower on every other day. This looks more like an aberration in their data collection than any actual event.