SUMMARY of my ‘Independent LAB TEST RESULTS’ (Hokkaido Kelp, etc.)

DISCLAIMER 

Shortlink: http://wp.me/puwO9-2rz  

— In the previous (Jan 19, 2014) blogpost, “Independent LAB TEST RESULTS: RadioIsotope Analysis of Hokkaido Kelp and other Samples – (Store-sampled in Japan Nov-Dec 2013),” an enormous amount of additional details are included, from how I selected the samples, detailed descriptions of each sample, more test result details, margin of errors, maps with locations, links to the run-up to this investigation, etc.   This is the short version.

My suspicion and serious concern about the main cause of elevated radiation levels in some Japanese food (mainly Hokkaido kelps), found with a Geiger Counter when visiting Japan in autumn 2013 (See also Nov 18, 2013’s “A Visit to Fukushima, Cut Short. With PHOTOS and Reflections“), turns out to have been mostly unfounded and extremely overblown.  

I apologize for any additional stress my voiced concern may have caused. I urge anyone still holding such concerns over Geiger Counter results, to send your worst sample(s) to a lab to get to the bottom of it as well.  Elevated radioactivity was due to the foods’ natural high Potassium content.   For why this of little to no concerns, see Potassium-40 versus Cesium-137.

My findings in no way imply that all food in Japan or elsewhere is safe as far its man-made radioactive fallout content, but they do seriously undermine the credibility of all food reports that are based solely on Geiger Counter measurements:  There is practically nothing of artificial origin in the slightly radioactive foods I had analyzed.  The cause of the elevated radioactivity was practically entirely of natural origins, nearly all due to Potassium-40, a 89% Beta and 11% Gamma emitter.

Research context:  Like many others, I was very concerned that the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster is affecting not only sea life in and near Japan, but also thousands of miles from Japan, and that food in the US may end up containing increasing amounts of man-made radioactive materials.  The cause for this concern, apart from the ongoing disaster in Fukushima on the shore of the Western Pacific, is the impression that government agencies on the Eastern side of the Northern Pacific Ocean (US, Canada, Mexico) are strangely unresponsive to this widespread concern.  Because I expected to find scientific proof of something that was officially denied, I spent a ridiculous amount of money to get to the bottom of this:

Samples tested:

  • 6 kelp seaweeds (from various parts of ‘Hokkaido’, in Northern Japan)
  • 1 nori seaweed (Processed in Fukuoka,  Southern Japan)
  • 1 dried Urume-Iwashi (round herring) fish snack (caught in Bungo Channel area, Japan)
  • Tea sample (Green Tea, growing region unknown but from Japan)

What I found (data below):

  • 2/3rds of my suspected-to-be-significantly-contaminated samples contained no nuclear pollution at all.  None.   (Scientifically: the detected levels, if there were any, were below quantifyable levels).
  • The levels of artificial radionuclides in the other 1/3rd are extremely low, amounting to no more than unquantifiable ‘trace levels detected’.
  • Cobalt-60 was detected in a kelp over 300 miles from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster site, albeit only in a small trace amount.
  • Cesium-137 was detected in a Japanese Green Tea powder, albeit in such a low trace amount, such tea would be perfectly fine to drink.  (If such tiniest of trace amounts concern you, you’ll have to hold your breath and stop eating, no way around it.)
  • Strontium-90 and Plutonium-139/240 were also detected in 3 kelps, but also in unquantifiable trace amounts.
  • Naturally occurring POTASSIUM-40 (comprising a little less than 0.0118 % of all the essential dietary nutrient Potassium) was found at up to 5,094.9 Bq/kg (!!!), explaining the very high Gross Beta counts.  These findings show these Hokkaido kelps to simply be incredibly nutritious, and surprisingly UNCONTAMINATED!

More can be found in the previous comprehensive full-disclosure blogpost, HERE.   

DATA Results (a brief summary, much more in the very long comprehensive blogpost):

Figure: Overview of selected sample lab analysis results.  Potassium's Potassium-40 is very clearly what caused the high Geiger Counter measurements. © Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2014

Figure: Overview of selected sample lab analysis results. Potassium’s Potassium-40 is very clearly what caused the high Geiger Counter measurements.
© Michaël Van Broekhoven, 2014

Conclusions

Geiger Counters are so incredibly sensitive to naturally occurring radioisotopes, that any conclusion based on them, both that they might show something ‘alarming‘ or that what they show is ‘of no concern‘, without being backed up with sample-specific lab data, is premature unscientific guess work.  See previous (comprehensive) blogpost for more conclusions and reflections.

Author:

This privately funded independent investigation was conducted by © Michaël Van Broekhoven, and available to the public for free through his personal blog,  https://allegedlyapparent.wordpress.com/.  For more details about this independent study, its used samples, and the complete lab results, see the complete report @ http://wp.me/puwO9-2oD.  PS:  The purpose of my trip to Japan had nothing to do with this scientific side-project, which arose out of concerns while in Japan.  

[Last edited: Feb. 7, 2014]

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