BREAKING NEWS: 3 types of Plutonium and Caesium 137 has been found in addition to Iodine 131 near Japanese reactors and what can be taken to counteract.

Not only has  radioactive iodine 131 been detected outside the Fukushima nuclear plant but 3 types of potent Plutonium and Caesium 137, has been found at 5 different points inside the plant grounds.

Officials are declining to indicate which types of Plutonium has been found which is concerning as the half life on Plutonium can range anywhere from PU-233’s 20 minute half life to PU-239’s half life of 24,000 years.

In comparison, Iodine 131 has a half life of 8 days and is expected to disappear in a few weeks.  Caesium 137, which has a half-life of 30.17 years is more of a concern of mine as it poses a health threat for far longer.

Back in 1986, the Chernobyl accident report stated that highly contaminated areas were defined as those with over 1490 kilobequels (kBq) of caesium per square metre. Vegetables and fruits from soil with 550 kBq/m2 were destroyed.

In Japan, the highest contaminated level was 6400 kBq/m2, about 35 kilometres away, while caesium reached 1816 kBq/m2 in Nihonmatsu City and 1752 kBq/m2 in the town of Kawamata.

“Some of the numbers are really high,” says Gerhard Proehl, Head of Assessment & Management of Environmental Releases at the International Atomic Energy Agency.

There are many dependents to note that indicate the severity of the caesium as sandy soil releases it but clay containment binds it. Analysis has not been done on the different areas to see what type of land mass has come into contact with the caesium.

Either way, people need to be on the lookout for iodine 131 and caesium 137 contamination.

As well as the Japanese, US & Canadian government needs to be proactive in setting up testing and analysis to ensure as little contamination breach as possible. Our lives may very well depend on it.

Caesium 137 is water-soluble and the biological behavior of caesium is similar to that of potassium and rubidium.  

Once it enters the body, caesium centralizes in muscle tissues.

Experiments with dogs showed that a single dose of 3800 μCi/kg (approx. 44 μg/kg of caesium-137) is lethal within three weeks.

Good news- If caseium is accidentally swallowed (in the case of drinking containment tap water/milk or vegetables/fruits) , it can be treated with the chemical called Prussian blue, which binds to it chemically and then speeds it expulsion from the body.

Copyright (c) March 29, 2011. All rights reserved.


Food Safety Index

Behind the Food Safety Modernization Act

Funding fight over new food safety legislation.

Published in: on February 13, 2011 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Funding fight over new food safety legislation.

Food safety advocates barely done celebrating the passage of new legislation in Congress are now gearing up for the fight to implement and fund the food safety bill that cleared the House just one day before the 111th Congress adjourned.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill early this week after his return from Hawaii. It is then, after three contentious votes in the House and two in the Senate over the past 18 months, the real debate will begin.

The legislation gives the Food and Drug Administration the power to recall tainted food, quarantine geographical areas and access food producers’ records.

Among the first controversies will be how to pay the legislation’s projected $1.4 billion cost over the first five years. Republicans taking over the House have warned they will not fund the bill.

“People often focus on the legislative process, when really this is just the beginning, not the end,” said Sandra Eskin, director of The Pew Charitable Trusts’s Food Safety Campaign.

The Senate eschewed the $500 annual fee on processing facilities that the House adopted when it first passed its version of the bill in July 2009, leaving the program at the mercy of the appropriations process.

Eskin said she expects some advocates to continue to make the case for some kind of industry fee to pay for the program, similar to what the drug industry and medical device makers pay to fund FDA oversight.

In addition to the fight over funding, regulations implementing the law will come under intense lobbying and scrutiny over the next few years. These include:

• Requirements for food-safety plans that food processors will have to abide by in coming years;

• New produce safety standards for high-risk, raw fruit and vegetable growers, possibly including new regulations for irrigation water and compost;

• A risk-based inspection schedule; and

• A new approach to food imports that makes food importers responsible for guaranteeing that imported food is grown or processed under the same standards as those spelled out in the new law.

Some lobbying from states is also expected, since they’ll be able to seek a variance from the produce safety standards as long as they can show that they have procedures in place to reach the same goals.

Before any legislation is funded, the kinks and small details need to be straightened out and then posted on the internet 72 hours before debate so that the public can view it.  Something tells me that once all the regulation is ironed out- the funding for this legislation is going to exceed expectation.

Copyright (c) January 17, 2011. All rights reserved.

Published in: on January 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Behind the Food Safety Modernization Act

By a vote of 215 to 144, the US House of Representatives passed the Food Safety Modernization Act on Tuesday 21 December, enacting first changes to the regulations since 1938.

The good in this bill, however, is still accompanied by the bad, and the Food Safety Modernization Act still contains an amendment from Senators Jon Tester of Montana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina that threatens producers and processors based only on the size of their business, their geographic location, or to whom they sell their products.

This inclusion of exemptions based on non-scientific qualifications will limit the ability of the Food and Drug Administration to assure consumers that all foods they purchase, whether at grocery stores, restaurants, farm markets, or elsewhere, have met the same food safety standards.

Even kitchen gardeners are worried that the “fake food safety bill” will affect their ability to grow food in their own backyard without government interference.

Additionally, Republican Senator Tom Coburn also outlined his concerns with the food-safety legislation.

In a detailed entry on his Web site, Coburn in particular raised concerns with duplication and overlap of responsibilities between the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Coburn also objected to the bill’s $1.4 billion price tag over five years, not including $230 million directly offset by new fees.

Further, the organization, Citizens for Health (CFH) also points out disturbing and unacceptable language in the House version of the bill, which calls for the effective imposition of martial law through cordoning off potentially affected geographic areas in the case of a perceived food transport safety threat in order to halt the movement of food.

As per the new law, the FDA would come under the auspices of Homeland Security and its budget would increase 40%. Since 2008, the Obama administration has increased the FDA budget by 135% to $4.03 billion. An additional 18,000 government employees will be needed to enforce the multitude of new regulations, a twofold increase in personnel.

The only thing S.510 will succeed at is driving smaller, safer producers out of business, broken under the weight of oppressive administrative costs and hidden taxes, while not addressing the root of the foodborne illness problem – the subsidization of industrialized (read: unclean) farms and centralized (read: pathogen-rich) food processing centers. Food prices will rise while the food supply, now even more centralized.

Feeling safer yet?

Copyright (c) January 10, 2011. All rights reserved.