Monterey County

Radiation on Central Coast from Fukushima?

Theories speculate radiation is impacting marine life on California Coast

Radiation on Central Coast from Fukushima?

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - An article in the Examiner recently listed 36 signs that radiation is affecting the West Coast. One links an epidemic of sea lion deaths along the California coast to high radioactivity.

"There are many naturally occurring biotoxin demote acid that looks alarming and then there are chemical spills from cargo that wipes out hundreds of animals," said Sean Van Sommeran, a marine researcher.

Van Sommeran said the epidemic can't solely be linked to Fukushima.

There are different types of impacts the Examiner article lists as happening along the California coast. Because those potential impacts exist there is a research group out of Santa Cruz County dedicated solely on studying debris washing up along the shores.

We also spoke to researchers at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary who said they have not received any reports of radioactivity in the sanctuary, yet.

The Examiner article states radiation could affect seafood for many generations and kill over a million people. However, UC Santa Cruz Professor Daniel Hirsch, a watchdog on nuclear concerns for over 40 years, told Central Coast News earlier this year that there may be a small increase in cancer risks from radioactivity in some fish, but said its extremely low, one in 100,000. Not a concern for the vast majority on the West Coast.

"Radioactivity is nothing new to our area.  In fact, it's one of the signature features of the central California coast," said Van Sommeran.

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