Thursday, 3 April 2014

Here is an interesting story from Alberta (Canada) about a 10th grader who was concerned about the lack of government monitoring of radiation levels in seafood in Canada.  This student designed a project for a regional science fair in which she tested various types of seafood found on the shelves in canada from different parts of the world for radiation.  She recorded higher than legal limits of radiation in many types of seaweed imported from china and japan.  This is pretty alarming since we all know that contaminants increase as they move up the food chain, and seaweed is at the very bottom.

This is another one of those issues that people should be voting on.  Why has health Canada decided not to test seafood for radiation anymore?  They did test for a few months right after the 3/11 tsunami and nuclear meltdown, I guess they knew at the time their results would be acceptable.  But as soon as they got those acceptable readings they stopped testing and have decided they will not do any further testing, even though scientists predicted even then that the radiation plume would only reach the west coast of North America 3 years or so later.  Now it is three years later, and it takes a 10th grade student to show us what is really happening?

The funny thing is that I live on a small island on the west coast of B.C. and when I tell people that I won't eat seafood anymore they look at me like I'm crazy.  It's not crazy to be overly cautious of a very real threat to ingesting radiation.  It is crazy to act like nothing is happening and continue life as usual.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be a fisher for a living and face the end of a way of life.  I mean there are a lot of families here who have learned the trade from their parents and have taught the trade to their children, and now these inter-generational mom and pop fishing companies are basically screwed, and no hope of compensation of any form.

It bothers me that in my immediate social circle no one wants to talk about radiation or fukushima.  I don't understand how ignoring a very real threat makes anyone feel better.  I would feel better if the government of canada would admit that we are at risk and inform us of what measures we can take to protect ourselves (besides moving to the prairies?).

The 10th grade student who did this experiment won gold honours at her regional alberta science fair.  I hope she does the same at the national level so this will gain the attention it deserves and force the government of canada to do their job instead of allowing a 10th grader to do it for them.

On a similar note, time to get one of those apps that turns your smart phone into a geiger counter.

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