Wondering if the tuna you eat is safe? Does your tuna have harmful elements? Read on about eating tuna after Fukushima disaster.
There has been much discussion about the Fukushima disaster and its impact to the global ecosystem. The Fukushima reactor was a boiling water reactor. This means that the water used to spin the turbine and generate electricity came in direct contact with the fuel.
During the disaster, this coolant leaked into the surrounding environment at copious amounts per day. Therefore, radioactive contaminants have leaked into the surrounding ocean.
After the Fukushima nuclear accident, many have questioned the safety of eating tuna. Experts have conflicting opinions about whether or not eating tuna after Fukushima disaster is a smart choice. This makes it very difficult to determine if it’s okay to consume this popular fish. So, many people have stopped eating it.
What are the health issues of eating tuna after Fukushima disaster?
Why do people think it isn’t safe to eat the tuna?
Tuna are migratory fish. They travel very long distances over the course of their lives. They live longer. They can live upwards of twenty years. They are higher on the food chain. All of this account for facts stating tuna should not be eaten.
Because tuna travel so far, they interact with a variety of environments. For the albacore species of tuna, they frequently traverse to Pacific. One particular tuna that was tagged traveled from Japan to the West Coast of the United States three times in just ten months.
The lifespan of tuna is another issue. If a species is living longer it is interacting with the elements of the environment longer. Being higher on the food chain also plays a roll. Radiation dosages affect smaller animals much more easily. Their relative small size consumes a great amount of radiation in comparison to their body mass. If an animal is higher on the food chain it is eating a lot of these highly radioactive smaller animals. This means over time they will acquire more radiation. The same principle applies with mercury levels in fish.
What about those who claim it’s safe to eat tuna?
There are other experts that disagree with the claim that tuna should not be consumed, at least from the Pacific Ocean. According to Kim Martini, who holds a PhD in the field states, “you’d have to eat two and a half tons of tuna per year”. Why is this true? Of the tuna species that are being tested, their cesium levels (one of the radioactive elements leaked) are still 1000 times smaller than what is considered “risky”. Radiation levels in fish would have to be 1000 times more than their trace values to cause any “potential” harm, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Thus, the decision whether to eat tuna or not is a personal decision. Is radiation popping up in tuna caught from the Pacific? Yes. Are the doses at potentially harmful levels? No. Measured data proves that it’s safe to consume tuna. However, the decision lies in you and how far you trust the data. Obviously you are not going to eat 2.5 tons of tuna in a year to put you at risk of harm. But, radiation consumption is still radiation consumption, even small scale. So, if you do not want to put yourself at risk to this exposure, look for tuna caught in other oceans of the world. Or, in a more likely case, cut tuna all together. Many tuna are not labeled from their ocean of origin.