Ever since the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011, our government has been pretty quiet about the environmental and health implications of that disaster. When the plant first melted down, much of our population was justifiably alarmed. After all, many of us remembered the Chernobyl incident and how the radiation it produced spread all across Europe, and in smaller amounts, the world.
But the government assured us that everything would be fine, and at most we would see a negligible amount of radioactive particles in the United States. Everyone who said otherwise was and still is, called a quack or a conspiracy theorist.
However, official government data that was collected in 2011 has just seen the light of day, and it suggests that our initial concerns were probably correct. The information was collected by officials with Los Angeles County when concerns were raised by residents. After state and federal agencies failed to test the area for radiation in a timely manner, the county hired their own people to run the test. Natural News reported on the results.
Samples were taken between April 29 and May 2, 2011, approximately seven weeks after the radioactive releases from Fukushima. The county found that gross alpha radiation levels at a location in Los Angeles were 300 femtocuries per cubic meter (fCi/m3), and levels at a Hacienda Heights location were 200 fCi/m3.
For context, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reports the average (annual median) level of gross alpha activity for the state of California as just 0.38 fCi/m3 – that is, 790 times lower.
The levels detected in Los Angeles County were a full 100 times higher than the level that requires an investigation at a U.S. nuclear laboratory, according to the Environmental Monitoring Plan at Brookhaven National Laboratory: “If the gross alpha activity in the [air] filters is greater than 3 fCi/m3, then collect more samples in the vicinity, and project manager will review all detections above the limits … All values greater than the above-stated gross alpha/beta concentration shall trigger an investigation.”
Finally, the Los Angeles County levels were almost 15 times higher than the federal regulatory limit for alpha radiation, which is 21 fCi/m3, according to a 2010 document from Idaho National Laboratory.
Moreover, the alpha radiation emitting particles that were deposited on the West Coast are incredibly dangerous for humans. While Gamma and Beta Radiation have far more power and penetration, Alpha rays produce a tremendous amount of damage in the human body when ingested. Because they don’t penetrate materials like Gamma rays do, all of their energy is deposited into the cells that reside near the particle.
More importantly, it doesn’t take very many of these particles to ruin your long-term health. For instance, if you were exposed to a temporary large dose of radiation, your body could probably recover from it, perhaps without even developing cancer. But when the particle itself is embedded in your tissue for weeks, months, and in some cases for years, as it destroys and mutates surrounding cells over and over again, you can expect a significantly shorter lifespan. Even if the amount radiation is small, it’s also continuous, and its source is difficult to remove
So while the government was telling us that everything was hunky dory in the weeks after the Fukushima meltdown, major West Coast cities like Los Angeles were being drenched in alarming levels of this radioactive waste.
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Who knows how much of that fell onto the countless farms in the Central Valley, which feed much of the United States? And since they failed to inform us about the danger we were in then, who knows how much danger we are in now? Our government hates to admit when its wrong (or they won’t admit that they lied to us), so if we are still in danger, somehow I doubt they will have anything to say to us now.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.