137cs dating

However, the rate of release has fallen significantly since March 2011.At current rates of release, it would take 5,000 years to equal the amount of cesium that entered the ocean in the first month of the accident.This is because the further the radioactive material travels, the more dispersed (and the less harmful) it becomes.Although measuring levels of radioactive contaminants in the oceans is challenging, measuring health effects associated with those levels is even more difficult and controversial.Every additional source of radioactivity carries some additional health risk, but these risks vary with many factors, including the dose (how much a person is exposed to and for how long) and which isotopes you are exposed to, as well as individual sensitivities—there is a higher concern in children, for example.Fukushima will likely have the most significant long-term health impacts on those who had the highest exposures, so those living closest to the plant or in areas with higher fallout.

For the general public, it is not direct exposure, but uptake by the food web and consumption of contaminated fish that is the main health concern from the oceans.This is in part because increases in cancer are hard to attribute to any single cause and it is difficult to detect small increases in cancer over time when 30 percent of us will get cancer of some form in our lifetimes.We should always be concerned, but we should also realize that different levels, time, and manner of exposure can have widely varying health risks.In the months after Fukushima, I also formed the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity, in part to help share the most accurate, up-to-date information about radiation from human and natural sources and, when it became clear that there was no coherent and consistent source of government funding to monitor radiation in U. waters and to support public education, I formed a citizen-science/crowd-funding initiative called Our Radioactive Ocean at WHOI.These are a few of the most common questions that people have been asking me.

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