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Monday, April 25, 2011


After the recent tsunami, Japan is suffering from nuclear leak from many of its nuclear reactors. Steam with radionuclide contamination disperses in the air and deposits on water/ground surface. The contamination, however depends on how wide an area depends, how high the steam is propelled and on wind speeds at that altitude range. If the radionuclide deposits on water, it is further dispersed but If the amount of water available is large, the concentration becomes very low.  Scientists and experts say that due to the great quantity of water in the Pacific Ocean, radioactive material that may dispersed in water will get diluted quickly and seafood are likely to be unaffected.

NUCLEAR CONTAMINATION Japan is a big exporter of human and animal foods, medical devices and radiation emitting products, cosmetics, animal and human drugs and biologics, dietary supplements, and animal feeds. The most common food products exported include seafood, snack foods and processed fruits and vegetables. The earthquake and  tsunami caused extreme damage to the area due to which almost 95% of the production, processing and exporting got interrupted prior to the explosion at the reactor. So it is believed that most of the Japanese products now available in the markets are possibly free of contamination.

Most countries have already initiated testing and analysis of food products imported from Japan. Until now no country reported any sort of  contamination in their imported products from Japan. In US, FDA is on high alert in monitoring and testing food products, including seafood, from all areas of Japan. United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents routinely use radiation detection equipment to screen food imports, cargo, and travelers. This screening helps identify and resolve potential safety or security risks.

Usually FDA will conduct a field examination, including time/temperature changes, water damage and collect a sample for radionuclide analysis at FDA laboratories. Regarding food and feed imports from Japan that originate outside the area of concern, FDA will collect a sample for any radiation pager for radionuclide analysis reading of 1-8, and as additional surveillance and as resources allow, collect other samples for radionuclide analysis as resources permit, for readings of 0 on the radionuclide pager.

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