New study reveals deaths and mutations ”increased sharply’ from exposure to Fukushima contamination, “especially at low doses” — ‘Small’ levels of cesium may be ‘significantly toxic’ — Smithsonian: “In other words, things don’t look good for the animals living around Fukushima”
Smithsonian Magazine, May 14, 2014: Even Tiny Amounts of Radioactive Food Made Caterpillars Become Abnormal Butterflies […] Researchers in Japan […] discovered, even a small amount of radiation is too much. […] The scientists collected plant material from around Fukushima and fed it to pale grass blue butterfly caterpillars. When the caterpillars turned into butterflies, they suffered from mutations and were more likely to die early [… even if they] had only eaten a small amount of artificial caesium […] In other words, things don’t look good for the animals living around Fukushima.
Nature — Scientific Reports (pdf), Published May 15, 2014: [We] examined possible relationships between the dose of ingested cesium per larva and the mortality and abnormality rates. Both the mortality and abnormality rates increased sharply, especially at low doses […] the mortality and abnormality rates increased sharply, especially at low doses. Additionally, there seemed to be no threshold level below which no biological response could be detected. […] the dose-response data suggests that the relatively small level of artificial cesium from the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP may be significantly toxic to some individuals in butterfly populations […] the half lethal [i.e. LD50, amount that will kill 50% of a test subjects] dose [is 1.9 Bq per larva] and the half abnormal dose [is 0.76 Bq per larva] […] relatively small [levels] of artificial cesium from the Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP may be significantly toxic to some individuals in butterfly populations […] we assert that the half lethal and abnormal doses we obtained were quite high. […] it should be noted that we sampled contaminated leaves from Fukushima City, which many people inhabit as though nothing had happened […] Implications of the half lethal and abnormal doses we obtained in the present study will impact future discussions on the effects of radioactive exposure on other organisms, including humans. […] In conclusion, it is important to recognize the risk of internal radiation exposure due to ingested radioactive cesium, at least for the pale grass blue butterfly, and likely for certain other organisms living in the polluted area, possibly including humans. […]
Published: May 15th, 2014 at 3:14 pm ET