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Radioactive Blue Fin Tuna Found off California Coast

EMSLís radiological lab tests for cesium 134 and cesium 137 contamination using Gamma Spectroscopy.


Newly published research documents the discovery of blue fin tuna off the California coast with levels of radioactive cesium that were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna swimming there in previous years, reports Reuters. †

The astonishing finding suggests that the fish carried radiation across the Pacific Ocean faster than the wind or the currents.

In August 2011, fifteen tuna were caught off the coast of San Diego, and scientists detected small amounts of cesium 137 and cesium 134, radioactive compounds that were released during the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Interestingly, only human activities, such as nuclear weapons and power plants, produce cesium 134, so the researchers who conducted the research are confident that the radioactivity they measured in the fish originated at Fukushima.

Although the levels of radioactive material in the tuna are significant when compared to the background amount of cesium 137 in blue fin tuna, the radiation does not pose a health threat to humans. The amount of contamination in the fish is well below both American and Japanese safety limits for consumption.

EMSL Analytical provides radiological testing for cesium 134 and cesium 137 using Gamma Spectroscopy analyses. ďIt is important to remember that radiological contamination, once released into the environment, may remain a problem for many years,Ē states Garrett Ray, RSO, EMSLís Radiological Laboratory Manager.

To learn more about testing for radioactive materials or other environmental issues, please visit or call (800) 220-3675.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.†The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.


 cesium 134
 radiological testing lab
 cesium 137
 Gamma Spectroscopy

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