Wednesday, 12 December, 2018


Some California Wines Tainted with Fukushima Radiation Traces

Representative image Representative image
Kristine Garrett | 26 July, 2018, 20:59

A magnitude 9.0 natural disaster hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, triggering a massive tsunami.

Eighteen bottles of rose and cabernet sauvignon were tested from 2009-2012 for Cesium-137.

If your favorite California red wine was made anytime after 2011, it may contain trace amounts of radioactive particles - from a nuclear disaster in Japan.

The method used, which involves low background gamma spectrometry, was developed in 2011 by Philippe Hubert, one of the pharmacologists on the study.

The researchers hoped to see whether they could find more particles of cesium-137, a radioactive isotope, in the wines made after the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan melted down in 2011.

"We can measure some radioactive level that is much higher than the usual level", said Michael Pravikoff, a physicist at a French research center who co-authored the study, told the New York Times.

But don't throw out that expensive vintage wine, even if it fits the description of the wines studied by these scientists.

However, the amount detected is still considered "extremely low". After failing to detect cesium-137 in the unopened bottles, the physicists vaporized the wine.

According to the world health organization, exposure to cesium-137 increases the risk of developing cancer, but contamination of food and water, which was caused by the accident at the "Fukushima" in other countries so insignificant that does not pose a threat to health. The California Department of Public Health released a statement assuring the public that the state's wines are safe.

The French research team has in recent years examined wines from around the world, trying to correlate the level of radioactive material with the date the wine grapes were picked.

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