Radiation from blue fin tuna question

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Summary:
Hi, my husband brought home a large freezer bag of peices of blue fin tuna that his friend caught off the coast of Southern California. I read online that the blue fin tuna that is in Southern California migrate here from Japan and have cesium 134 and cesium 137 in them among other things. I’m worried there is radiation in it, we have 3 young children and a baby, he put it in our freezer. Is there radiation exposure to my kids and contamination to the freezer or my hands from touching it?
I’m worried because my husband brought home a freezer bag size of blue fin tuna that his friend caught off of the Southern California coast, he cut some up and gave it to my husband. My husband put it in our kitchen freezer, I’m worried there’s radiation being emitted such as cesium 134 or cesium 137, since I read the blue fin tuna migrates from Japan to the West Coast of the US. Also we have a nuclear power plant(San Onofre) that is near where my husbands friend caught the tuna, they regularly release radioactive materials into the ocean. I have 3 very young children and a 1 year old baby so I’m worried. My husband won’t let me throw it away. Also I touched it to move it in the freezer so now worried my hands have radioactive contamination or became radioactive, also my freezer is radioactive now. Worried my kids are exposed to this radiation...
 

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  • #3
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NOAA has some discussion of the issue:
https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/west-coast/science-data/fukushima-radiation-us-west-coast-tuna

I didn't dig into it, but I doubt there could be a significant issue there. Detectable levels doesn't equate to harmful levels.
Would me and my husband touching the blue fin tuna contaminate our hands with radiation, also it touched inside the freezer and also on our countertops... would washing it be sufficient to remove radiation from it? Or are we and the freezer and our countertops now radioactive? I heard only neutron radiation can turn things radioactive, but the cesium 137 is from the nuclear power plant so I’m worried
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Just to be clear:
The cesium is "radioactive material"
What it emits is "radiation"

You don't clean up or contaminate things with radiation, you contaminate them with radioactive material.

The levels are likely so low they are fine for eating, and surface contamination is going to be far less of an issue than even that.

Please don't freak out; if there were a real/significant hazard the fish would not be for sale. Just relax and work on learning about the issue (which, I know, is why you are here). You don't actually have to do anything else right now. Don't throw away/waste the fish. Others will chime in with more info as well.
 
  • #6
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Just to be clear:
The cesium is "radioactive material"
What it emits is "radiation"

You don't clean up or contaminate things with radiation, you contaminate them with radioactive material.

The levels are likely so low they are fine for eating, and surface contamination is going to be far less of an issue than even that.

Please don't freak out; if there were a real/significant hazard the fish would not be for sale. Just relax and work on learning about the issue (which, I know, is why you are here). You don't actually have to do anything else right now. Don't throw away/waste the fish. Others will chime in with more info as well.
My husbands friend caught it when he went out on a boat fishing, so he didn’t buy it... also my kids keep touching the countertops and the fridge (they are only 6, 5, 3 and 1 years old)... so worried because we already had a cancer death in the family this past year and my young cousin was diagnosed with leukemia recently... is the radiation on my hands also since I touched the fish?
 
  • #7
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With Tuna (or any top-of-the-food chain ocean predator), mercury is a much more significant health risk:

https://www.fda.gov/food/consumers/advice-about-eating-fish
I won’t let my kids eat it, but my husband just won’t let me get rid of it so it’s sitting in our fridge... our kitchen is connected to the living/family room and our house is small, so my kids are in that area most of the day... worried about radiation being emitted into the house that my young children and baby are in 24/7, also that the countertop and fridge and me and my husbands hands are radioactive since we touched the fish
 
  • #8
hmmm27
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What does your Geiger counter say ?
 
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  • #9
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What does your Geiger counter say ?
I don’t have it anymore :( I returned it to amazon
 
  • #10
Keith_McClary
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The Fukushima leaks were miniscule compared to the vast scale of the Pacific, said Nicholas S. Fisher, an expert on nuclear radiation in marine animals at Stony Brook University in New York. The disaster added just a fraction of a percent to the radiation that’s already in the ocean, 99 percent of which is naturally occurring.

At those levels, you could eat piles of Pacific fish and have nothing to worry about from radiation, Fisher said. The dose of Fukushima-derived radiation from the average tuna fillet, he explained, “would be far less than the total radiation you’d get from eating a banana or flying in an airplane.”
...
The risks were greatly exaggerated, for example, when several bluefin tuna and one sockeye salmon showed up in the United States and Canada carrying traces of radioactive cesium from Fukushima. Super-sensitive instruments detected the cesium, but the fish weren’t unsafe to eat. “Just because you can detect it,” Fisher said, “doesn’t mean it’s dangerous.”

Even an iota of radiation sounds unsettling, but fish caught in the United States never came close to breaching government safety limits for food. Japan caps radioactive cesium at 100 becquerels per kilogram. The United States limits it to 1,200. Even at their most radioactive, bluefin tuna caught in California waters clocked in at just a sliver of these limits, at around 10 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram of body weight. A year after the disaster, radioactive cesium levels in California tuna had slipped to an average of just 2.7 becquerels per kilo.
 
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  • #11
anorlunda
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worried about radiation being emitted into the house
It sounds like you are freaking out. To amplify on what @russ_watters said, if there was a significant health risk from those fish, the airways would be flooded with warnings. It would be bigger news than COVID in areas near the coast.

You are overreacting. You and your house and your family are not in danger.
 
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  • #12
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It sounds like you are freaking out. To amplify on what @russ_watters said, if there was a significant health risk from those fish, the airways would be flooded with warnings. It would be bigger news than COVID in areas near the coast.

You are overreacting. You and your house and your family are not in danger.
So there isn’t any cesium 137 in my house? Like on my hands or in the fridge or on the counters? The fish isn’t emitting radiation?
 
  • #13
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Just to be clear:
The cesium is "radioactive material"
What it emits is "radiation"

You don't clean up or contaminate things with radiation, you contaminate them with radioactive material.

The levels are likely so low they are fine for eating, and surface contamination is going to be far less of an issue than even that.

Please don't freak out; if there were a real/significant hazard the fish would not be for sale. Just relax and work on learning about the issue (which, I know, is why you are here). You don't actually have to do anything else right now. Don't throw away/waste the fish. Others will chime in with more info as well.
So I persuaded my husband to get rid of the tuna, he gave it to a friend. But would there be radioactive particles or residue on like my hands, our fridge, countertops etc? Would there be cesium 137 still in our house?
 
  • #14
russ_watters
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So I persuaded my husband to get rid of the tuna, he gave it to a friend. But would there be radioactive particles or residue on like my hands, our fridge, countertops etc? Would there be cesium 137 still in our house?
No.

I'm sorry you gave away the fish.

There really are things in this world to be concerned about, things to be scared of and things to freak out about. Freaking out isn't automatically a bad thing. But you've got to learn how to determine what is ok to freak out about and what is counter- or self-destructive to freak out about. You won't listen to people on this forum who are trying to help you understand this specific issue and the broader issue of freaking out when you shouldn't. I suggest you try and speak to someone you are willing to listen to. Like a psychologist.

Thread closed, as we've given all the help we can.
 
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