Just as farmers markets are swinging into full bloom, there’s very disturbing news about radiation from Japan reaching new levels in Europe. And if it’s high there, it’s significantly higher along the West Coast.
A French research organization that monitors radiation, CRIIRAD, says the risk of exposure to the radioisotope iodine-131 has risen from “negligible” to warning against “risky behavior” in France and neighboring countries. Children under two years of age are most at risk and it advises pregnant and breastfeeding women to avoid consuming fresh cheese, milk, and large-leafed vegetables. It also advises against consuming rainwater or directly watering plants with rainwater.
Vegetables such as kale, chard, and spinach whose broad leaves absorb more rainwater, should be avoided, it says. And milk from goats and sheep may be more contaminated than milk from cows.
The report (in French) says West Coast concentrations of iodine-131 concentration are 8-10 times higher than in the EU.
Meanwhile, EPA chief Lisa Jackson testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today that Fukushima Daiichi radiation levels in the U.S. were too low to impact human health.