Radioactive silver in seafood caught off Japan. Cadmium risk.

Prof. Satoshi Mori has discussed the finding that amounts of radioactive silver (Ag-110m) have exceeded those of radioactive cesium in squid, octopus and crab caught off Fukushima prefecture.

This is significant because the half-life of Ag-110m is 250 days. The amounts of it should have dropped by 80% since the initial catastrophe in March 2011, yet it is still found in excess of cesium, which in the case of the Cs-134 isotope would have dropped by 50%, and Cs-137, which would have dropped just a tiny bit in that time frame.

Ag-110m is an activation product, which means it is produced by neutron irradiation of control rod materials, including nonradioactive silver. This implies that fission and criticalities are still going on, which create free neutrons, leading to neutron activation of these materials.

Radioactive silver levels were found to exceed cesium levels in 62% of marine products in November 2012. The latest tests appear to have been performed in April 2013, and there should have been substantial decay of this isotope since then. But the levels are still high.

This silver was found in the midgut gland of these sea creatures. This gland functions as sort of a combination liver and pancreas. Silver concentrates in the human liver. Nanoparticles of silver have been determined to induce the production of interleukin-8 in the liver, which is inflammatory and indicative of an autoimmune reaction.

But Ag-110m decays into the extremely toxic metal cadmium. This was the agent that caused an outbreak of Itai-itai disease in Japan from 1912-1946. Cadmium accumulates in the liver and especially the kidneys. Symptoms and risks of cadmium poisoning include:

…tracheo-bronchitis, pneumonitis, and pulmonary edema. Symptoms of inflammation may start hours after the exposure and include cough, dryness and irritation of the nose and throat, headache, dizziness, weakness, fever, chills, and chest pain.

Inhaling cadmium-laden dust quickly leads to respiratory tract and kidney problems which can be fatal (often from renal failure). Ingestion of any significant amount of cadmium causes immediate poisoning and damage to the liver and the kidneys. Compounds containing cadmium are also carcinogenic.[10]

The bones become soft (osteomalacia), lose bone mineral density (osteoporosis) and become weaker. This causes the pain in the joints and the back, and also increases the risk of fractures. In extreme cases of cadmium poisoning, mere body weight causes a fracture.

The kidneys lose their function to remove acids from the blood in proximal renal tubular dysfunction. The kidney damage inflicted by cadmium poisoning is irreversible. The proximal renal tubular dysfunction creates low phosphate levels in the blood (hypophosphatemia), causing muscle weakness and sometimes coma. The dysfunction also causes gout, a form of arthritis due to the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints because of high acidity of the blood (hyperuricemia). Another side effect is increased levels of chloride in the blood (hyperchloremia). The kidneys can also shrink up to 30%. (Wikipedia)

According to a medical review article, diabetics are susceptible to cadmium-induced renal tubular damage. Women are more at risk than men for cadmium health effects, and people with low iron stores are more susceptible. Decreases in androgen levels and pathological testicular changes were found in rats. Zinc deficiency caused fetal malformations in rats exposed to cadmium.

So the risk from eating Pacific seafood does not necessarily fade away when the isotopes decay. They may turn into something else that is toxic.

The FDA has banned the importation of seafood from 14 Japanese prefectures. But the initial ocean plume from 2011 is thousands of miles from Japan already, and this ban actually does little to remove the poisoning threat from Pacific seafood from American tables.

8 thoughts on “Radioactive silver in seafood caught off Japan. Cadmium risk.

  1. I noticed that Cadmium-110 is a stable form of that element. Also, the import ban is basically voluntary (“may” = discretionary as noted by kimyo), and doesn’t cover Tokyo Prefecture (as noted by We Not They Finally), nor Kanagawa (noted by Or-well), among others.

    Quote: “Guidance: Districts may detain, without physical examination, the specified products from firms in the ***Fukushima, Aomori, Chiba, Gumna, Ibaraki, Iwate, Miyagi, Nagano, Niigata, Saitama Shizuoka, Tochigig, Yamagata and Yamanashi prefectures.***”

    Quote of Or-well:
    “”Guidance” seems to lack the force of an order, IMO.
    Also note, when the Japanese Gov’t lifts a restriction, so does the FDA.”

    Both Quoted from ENEnews article and comments respectively, linked above by Bobby1

    Am wondering where Fukushima “test” fishery offloads their catch. Is it Tokyo or perhaps another port not covered by this voluntary “ban”? How about Strontium isotopic, Cesium, Uranium, or Plutonium, or even Mercury or other non-radiological contamination?

    Quote of Sickputer:
    “”up from eight”?
    Excuse me, but when did they ban imports from the first 8 prefectures? Ten minutes before this 2.6 years-too-tardy announcement?
    A month ago they were in typical whitewash mode:
    August 11, 2013
    “Alaska fishermen and fish consumers shouldn’t be concerned about the new disclosures of radioactive water leaking into the Pacific Ocean near the site of the hobbled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, according to an ocean chemist and a spokeswoman for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.””

    Quoted from:

    For the FDA to say “paying attention to the leaks of contamination from fukushima do not worry about radioactive fish seafood will be tested as needed”
    just reeks of “Don’t you worry about , let me worry about ” “execu-speak” mindset, as explored by Matt Groening’s Futurama Episode titled “Future Shock”.

    ” That Guy: Let’s practice your execu-speak. “I’m worried about blank.”
    Fry: Don’t you worry about blank. Let me worry about blank

    Leela: Fry, we’re worried about Planet Express.
    Fry: Don’t you worry about Planet Express. Let me worry about blank.”
    Quoted from:

    ” That Guy: There are two kinds of people: sheep and sharks. Anyone who is a sheep is fired. Who is a sheep?
    Dr. Zoidberg: Errr, excuse me… which is the one people like to hug?
    That Guy: Gutsy question. You’re a shark. Sharks are winners, and they don’t look back because they have no necks. Necks are for sheep. ”

    “For example, the new EPA guide refers to International Atomic Energy Agency guidelines that suggest intervention is not necessary until drinking water is contaminated with radioactive iodine 131 at a concentration of 81,000 picocuries per liter. This is 27,000 times less stringent than the EPA rule of 3 picocuries per liter.”

    “This is public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace,” Jeff Ruch, executive director for the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said…”

    Quoted from article titled “EPA Relaxes Public Health Guidelines For Radiological Attacks, Accidents”:
    (thanks to jump-ball for link@

    Quote of HOTR:
    “Who believes the FDA?
    Even the average citizen distrusts the FDA.”

    Quote of unincredulous:
    “I remember when the Bush (“W”) administration said the air was safe to breath in NYC, in particular the Twin Towers dust cloud was especially healthy in the aftermath of 911. Didn’t fool me. Now the firefighters are dying by the bushel.
    I have bought very little fish since 311. I don’t expect to salivate over Alaskan fisheries anytime soon. At least not in this lifetime. See you in the next world, don’t be late.”

    Both Quoted from:

    Quote of majia:
    “Academics are very conservative about what sources they accept as valid and will only trust other academic accounts so the lack of access to data has essentially suppressed academic inquiry and investigation.
    Furthermore, academics in physics and chemistry are taught to evaluate risk using (primarily) mathematical cost-benefit risk models.
    The data on risk levels were created by government and nuclear scientists decades ago and these models are flawed on many counts but most academics do not know that.
    So, my feeling is that the vast majority of academic scientists are unwittingly complicit, rather than deliberately deceptive.”

    Quoted from:

    Futurama Quote#3:
    ” Fry: Boneitis? That’s a funny name for a horrible disease.
    That Guy: There was no cure at the time. A drug company came close, but I arranged a hostile takeover and sold off all the assets. Made a cool hundred mil.
    [coughs weakly] ”

    ” That Guy: [Starts contorting violently] My bones!
    Fry: Oh, my God! His boneitis!
    That Guy: I was so busy being an ’80s guy, I forgot to cure it!
    [Contorts some more]
    That Guy: My one regret is… that I have… boneitis.
    [Dies in a hideously contorted manner] ”

    Quote of Anne:
    ““…Back in the 1940s, producers started using arsenicals to promote growth, treat disease and improve meat pigmentation. The practice eventually became standard; according to industry estimates, by 2010, 88 percent of all chickens raised for human consumption in the US were given the arsenic-based drug roxarsone. (And — fun fact — we raise about nine billion chickens for meat every year.)
    “Although pharmaceutical giant Pfizer voluntarily pulled roxarsone from the U.S. market in 2011, it can still sell the drug abroad — and other than the sort of basic commitment to social responsibility that big players in the industrial livestock sector love to advertise yet incessantly avoid, there’s nothing stopping Pfizer from reintroducing roxarsone to the U.S. market (i.e., the FDA hasn’t actually banned its use). Moreover, Pfizer still sells nitarsone, another arsenical drug similar to roxarsone….”

    FDA Sued for Concealing Records on Arsenic in Poultry Feed

    Quoted from:

    Let me just say unequivocally that all fish around the world are now safe – from my consumption! I refuse to consume any more. EPA (et al) have convinced me completely. Their competence is ranked by my estimation and my humble opinion, as less than that of TEPCo’s.

    Quote of dharmasyd:
    “ALERT…Inspections of food, fish, etc. may be called off due to the U.S. government shutdown. I heard this as a possible outcome on the news. Just want to five a warning.”

  2. Thank you! One more great article! Take care, for I do not see anyone else connecting Physics and Biology better than you do!

  3. “This implies that fission and criticalities are still going on, which create free neutrons, leading to neutron activation of these materials.”

    I have a friend who was suffering from cadmium exposure. He never could figure out how he was exposed.

    I knew that cadmium was used in the lining of containment vessels, but I had no idea it was a decay product of radioactive silver.

  4. The Element Cadmium

    That´s right bobby. Truly, the fission product reacts with the pipes.
    I reckon it is not only the hot fissility by the surface lining of containment vessels.
    Annotation, the boiling point of silver is above 2000 degrees.

    Here is a post from the WINEP blog.

    Nuclear reactor meltdown are very active still , fresh contaminated water that has been drained.
    Because it is that described repeatedly every time , but the radioactive silver has been used as a surface coating material for nuclear reactor control rods , silver stable isotopes absorb neutrons which this occurs in the collapse of the uranium nuclear fuel nuclei to form an unstable radioactive silver (Ag-110m) with , this is , because I become (Cd) cadmium and the collapse put out a gamma ray .

    The most expensive and most universal way to protect and cool the reactor is filling it by Indium (In). Indium’s high neutron capture cross section for thermal neutrons makes it suitable for use in control rods for nuclear reactors, typically in an alloy containing 80% Silver, 15% Indium, and 5% Cadmium [21-27] In the reactor, together with the indium, need to place thermoelectric elements (based on the Peltier effect) as a coolers. All other variants of cooling require mass transfer of cooling fluid. Radioactive water at the reactor is best to use for the concreting of the internal spaces. In the absence of information about the location of molten uranium fuel, it is better in the water and concrete solutions add boron compounds (B4C for example).

    Is anyone nearer familiar with zeolite actions these days outside Fukushima1 ?

    TEPCO Uses Zeolite to Reduce Radiation Contamination in Ocean

    Silver zeolite

    zeolites minerals & silver jeweleryzeolite granular

  5. Radioactive iodine 129 of 38,000,000 Bq / kg found 59 km in leafy vegetables, from the earth of Fukushima

    Radioactive iodine 129 of the 150 000-year half-life (15 million years)
    and had been released from the Fukushima 31 times the iodine 131 or iodine 129.

    Radioactive iodine found in leafy vegetables near Fukushima Medical University in March 2011 to 1,190,000 Bq / kg. (Japanese)

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