Radioactive Pollen found in Tokyo
November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
The Forestry Agency have started checking for radioactive substances in cedar pollen in Fukushima Prefecture in response to the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the agency said. There is very little data in Japan or elsewhere in the world about pollen from plants grown in areas with high levels of radiation. If high levels of pollen-borne radiation are found, the Environment Ministry plans to release the data at the end of this year together with its forecast of the expected amount of cedar pollen to be dispersed in the air next spring. “It is highly likely that pollen from Fukushima Prefecture reaches the Tokyo metropolitan area,” said Norio Sahashi, a visiting science professor at Toho University and an authority on pollen.
The Japan Times (Nov 1 ) reports Cesium in pollen not viewed as health risk The Forestry Agency believes cedar pollen next spring contaminated by cesium fallout from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be well below the legal safety limit. The exposure from inhaling cesium-contaminated cedar pollen circulating from Fukushima Prefecture will have a maximum radiation reading of 0.000132 microsievert per hour, the agency said, based on a recent calculation of fallout affecting cedar needles and leaves.
However A Japanese TV show called “Morning Bird” did its own radiation survey of pollen with the assistance of Professor Fukushi of Tokyo Metropolitan University and detected 1,381Bq/kg from the soil in Okutama mountain, 322Bq/kg in the ceder leaves, and 93.8Bq/kg in pollen equivalent to 1.46uSv.
One out of 4 residents of Tokyo is allergic to pollen and the Forestry Agency did research showing that the ceder pollen in Okutama area moves across Tokyo. Professor Fukushi says that we will inhale it for years and that the population needs to use masks during pollen season, and that the Okutama area should be decontaminated. The pollen season starts from February and lasts until the end of April, but those allergic to pollen will start reacting to pollen in the air from late January.