According to studies, the Pacific blue-fin tuna that is caught by the US Coast are possibly contaminated with radioactive isotopes, which are results of the 2011 Fukushima plant disaster.
However, this is not the only reason for you to avoid eating this tuna specie.
The other is that the Pacific blue-fin tuna is also a much endangered species, with only 3.6 percent left out of the entire population.
The Fukushima disaster occurred in March of 2011, when a really intense earthquake caused a number of meltdowns in the nuclear plant, which resulted in explosions that scattered huge quantities of the radioactive material used at the plant.
The majority of this material ended in the Pacific Ocean, and more of it was leaked subsequently from the plant.
Most of this radioactive material was Cesium – 134 the half-life of which is 2 years. The majority of Cesium-134 found in the Pacific Ocean nowadays comes from the Fukushima disaster. However, the Pacific Ocean also contains Cesium-137, the half-life of which is 3 decades, and the majority of it comes from nuclear test that were done since the 1950s.
How tuna becomes radioactive
Once released, the cesium floats around the water, where it is very easily ingested by fish. And since tuna are high on the natural food chain of the ocean, they eat a lot of fish that contain this radioactive material, and they themselves become toxic.
According to a 2012 research done by a team of researchers from the Stony Brook University and Stanford University, the Pacific bluefin tuna that was caught by the West Coast was tested for radioactive material, and every fish was found to contain Cesium -134 and 137.
And ever since the Fukushima disaster, the cesium levels in the ocean have gone up for 3%.
According to Daniel Madigan, the lead researcher of the aforementioned study “The tuna packaged it up and brought it across the world’s largest ocean”.
However, the most worrying fact is that the research was done very soon after the Fukushima disaster, when the fish’s exposure to Cesium was still not so big. But now, the tuna that is currently sold on the market have probably lived their whole lives with the radioactive material floating around.
According to the ISC’s 2013 estimate of the Tuna species in the Pacific Ocean, around 90% of tuna are still not matured, which happens after five years of their birth, which is a very worrying fact, taking into consideration that the Fukushima disaster happened in 2011.
The Pacific bluefin tuna are also nested off the American coast, i.e. near Japan, which means that they are probably exposed to dangerous radiation since their birth. And when they migrate, they follow the exact path that the radiation follows, towards the USA.
Radiation and Other Tuna
The Pacific bluefin tuna is not the only species that contain radioactive isotopes. According to a research done by the Oregon State University in 2014, the Albacore tuna is also a species that has been highly affected by the Fukushima disaster, among a number of other sea species.
In the research, the levels of radioactive isotopes during 2008-2012 were compared and it was found that after the Fukushima disaster the levels of radioactive isotopes were 3 times higher than before.
According to the lead researcher Delvan Neville, the risk is not that high but still highly unadvisable. He said that if you eat cesium contaminated albacore for a year, you will be exposed to the same level of radiation as if you would to spend 23 seconds in a basement full of radon gas, or 40 nights sleeping next to your partner (due to the potassium-40 in their body), which is not that lethal a dose. However, he also says that you can’t claim that eating the tuna is not risky, since any dose of radiation is a risk.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding in supplements or making any changes in your diet. PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.
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