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Friday, 21 October 2011

220 days later: Radiation levels in San Francisco-area milk remain above EPA’s Max Contaminant Level — Cesium-137 continues steady increase that began in August

BERKELEY, Oct. 18 — The Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of California, Berkeley has posted new test results for store-bought milk from the San Francisco Bay Area.
The total amount of radioactive cesium increased slightly since the last test, and has risen steadily since the minimum detectable amount was lowered in August.
Bay Area store-bought milk sample with best buy date of October 10, 2011
  • Cs-134 @ 0.056 Becquerel per kilogram (Bq/kg)
  • Cs-137 @ 0.088 Bq/kg
SOURCE: UC Berkeley
Conversion: 27.1 picocuries (pCi) in a Becquerel
The sample has 3.888 pCi/l of radioactive cesium, compared with the EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level of 3.0 pCi/l.
“EPA lumps these gamma and beta emitters together under one collective MCL [Maximum Contaminant Level], so if you’re seeing cesium-137 in your milk or water, the MCL is 3.0 picocuries per liter; if you’re seeing iodine-131, the MCL is 3.0; if you’re seeing cesium-137 and iodine-131, the MCL is still 3.0.”
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