Impact on foods

Radioactive materials released from the Fukushima NPP have contami­nated leaves of plants exposed to the air and also is very likely to be in the stems of plants adsorbing nutrients from the contaminated soil. As a result, radioactive materials may enter the food chain for human consumption. Between mid-March 2011 and February 8, 2012, three categories of foods were sampled to check for radiation contamination: plant-based foods (e. g., vegetables, tree fruits, bamboo shoots, tea leaves, rice and other cereals), animal-based foods (e. g., cow’s milk and meat), and foods from natural and semi-natural environments (e. g., forest products and aquatic species). These tests included 104,318 food samples from different sites in Japan (not including Fukushima), and about 1% of these samples showed signs of contamination exceeding the standard limits for sale or consumption in Japan. In the Fukushima area, 18,350 samples were examined, and 3.5% of them were determined to exceed the standard limits [11].

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