The Yurok Tribe, concerned about radiation from Japan’s leaky nuclear plant in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, had seaweed tested and found no radioactive isotopes, the tribe announced on May 13, declaring it safe to eat.
The tribe’s Environmental Program “collected seaweed from the rocks at Trinidad and had the University of California at Berkely’s Nuclear Department test it. The results came back that there is no detection of any radioactive elements, including Iodine 131,” the Yurok said in a release. In addition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is monitoring the air, drinking water, milk and precipitation.
“To-date atmospheric levels recorded at the Eureka, California, have been thousands of times below any threshold known to impact public health,” the tribe’s statement said. “Yurok tribal staff is following the data very closely and working with international, federal, and state agencies and will continue testing seaweed over the next month. We will keep you informed and post any warnings or advisories should they become necessary.”
Health officials in British Columbia, Canada, had similar concerns right after the twin disasters, but seaweed tested off Vancouver Island came up with minute traces of a million times less than is thought to harm humans.