Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Traces of radiation found in Japanese baby formula

SEOUL, South Korea - A Japanese baby food manufacturer has announced the recall of 400,000 cans of infant formula which reportedly contain traces of radioactive cesium connected to the nation's recent nuclear plant meltdown.

After panicked parents deluged Tokyo-based Meiji Co. with calls and emails, the Tokyo-based food and candy maker responded Wednesday that they do not know how much of the tainted formula had reached consumers, but said the milk was manufactured in March and April and shipped not long afterwards.

The incident marked the second time this week that skittish Japanese citizens learned of more radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The facility was struck March 11 by an earthquake-triggered tsunami that knocked out its cooling system and led to several reactor core meltdowns that spewed radiation into the air, water and soil.

On Sunday, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, announced that 45 tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from a filtration system at the atomic plant, with some of the water possibly reaching the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Critics say the leak counteracts assurances that Tepco has largely controlled the environmental damage at the coastal plant, located 220 miles northeast of Tokyo. The water from Sunday's leak measured up to 322 times higher than the government safety limits for various types of cesium.

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Like all radionuclides, exposure to radiation from cesium-137 results in increased risk of cancer. Everyone is exposed to very small amounts of cesium-137 in soil and water as a result of atmospheric fallout. Exposure to waste materials, from contaminated sites, or from nuclear accidents can result in cancer risks much higher than typical environmental exposures.


Yup, nothing but good news coming from Fukushima. Nothing like having toxic radioactive waste turn up in your baby formula. It gives it an extra kick. And it makes baby much easier to spot in at night, since s/he now glows in the dark!
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