Radioactive Kelp Found Along Local Shoreline

Radioactive kelp found along local shoreline

April 9, 2012

LONG BEACH, CA – Fish along the Orange County coast may have been affected by radioactivity that fell on California in the days after Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster, local researchers say.

Small levels of radioactive isotopes accumulated in seaweed along the local shoreline – though it is not clear what effect this may have had on the environment, according to a study by Steven L. Manley, a marine biology professor at Cal State Long Beach.

“It’s not a good thing, but whether it actually has a measurable detrimental effect is beyond my expertise,” he said.

The study poses the possibility that small amounts of Fukushima radioactivity entered the California coast’s food web. The radioactive forms of cesium and iodine detected in the kelp “get dispersed over a variety of organisms” Manley said. “I would assume it’s there” in the biomass of plants and animals off California’s coast.

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