"Becquerels" and Japan's changing "safety" standards for radiation in food and water





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Published on Jul 30, 2011


In this video I explain the unit called a "becquerel" which is used to measuring radioactive contamination in water, food, and other things. I also discuss the Japanese government's "safety" limits.

Having lived in Japan for several years and speaking to non-native English speakers so much, I really noticed in this video how slowly I've come to speak. I apologize and will try to return to "native" speed for future videos.

Japanese Science Ministry (MEXT) radioactive contamination in tap water information:

I have not had time to thoroughly investigate it, so I didn't report on it, however, going through the .pdf archives of radioactive iodine and cesium in tapwater I was unable to find any reference of 210 becquerels/liter which was a high that the Tokyo tapwater hit as reported by many local and foreign news sources when it happened. Here is one of many mainstream western media references to it (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42225380/...)

Japanese Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry March 17, 2011 document detailing new safety limits of radioactive contamination in food and water:

WHO, Germany, and U.S. radioactive iodine and cesium permitted levels information source:
(This site has some good information, and some information that I would prefer to verify with a second source. If I were making a presentation beyond the scope of this informative video, I would seek an additional source to verify these figures, however time has not permitted me to do so right now.)

Plutonium damage to ape lung image credit:
photo by Robert Del Tredici from his book
"At Work In The Fields Of The Bomb"
(Harper and Row, 1987)

It's difficult to find references to the pre 3/17 safety limits. Here is a document from March, 2002 from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare web site. It is a testing manual and not a publication about limits, but page 10 number 4 shows the limits of 20 bq/kg (water, milk) and 50 bq/kg solid foods: http://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/houdou/2r98...

-William Milberry


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