Radiation in Japan Seas: Risk of Animal Death, Mutation?

new design world - If radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant—disabled by the March11 Japan earthquake and tsunami—continues to enter the ocean, marine life could be threatened, experts say.

If radioactive material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant—disabled by the March11 Japan earthquake and tsunami—continues to enter the ocean, marine life could be threatened, experts say.

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There's a possibility that the devastation of towns in northeastern Japan caused by the earthquake and tsunami also released toxic metals such as lead into the soil and water, according to Texas Tech University ecotoxicologist Ron Kendall.

Previous studies have shown that metals can work in concert with radiation to suppress immune systems in vertebrates, making them more vulnerable to disease, Kendall said.

It's a "big issue for the environment and human health because of the widespread destruction. It takes me back to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina—this to me is even more complicated with the radiation."

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Texas Tech's Kendall also pointed out that there's not much known about radiation in seawater.

"The dose makes the poison," he said, "and the more concentrated the radiation, the more potential effects. It's something we definitely need to monitor."

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