Debris has washed ashore the islands of Oahu and Kauai and the state’s Department of Health has been asked to test some of the incoming material for radiation levels. Refrigerator parts, oyster buoys, housing insulation, storage bins, soda bottles, toys, fishing nets, plastic trash cans and even Japanese net boats have all washed up on Hawaiian sands in the past few weeks, triggering serious environmental concerns over both water pollution and radiation exposure.
Long-term exposure to radiation can cause cancer, gene mutations, premature aging and in severe cases, death. The consequences of the influx of debris are unknown, causing local agencies to advocate precaution in picking up the Japanese debris.
Aside from the unknown radiation risks, some of the debris is bringing invasive species to Hawaii, thereby threatening the island chain’s ecosystem and introducing the possibility of consuming contaminated seafood. The 24-foot boat found by the fisherman was covered in blue mussels, which are native to Japan and harmful to Hawaii’s marine life – especially the corals.
And as long as the radiation risks are unknown, Hawaii residents should avoid collecting floating refrigerator parts or consuming Japanese mussels they might find on washed up debris.
and so now we wait and see if they report their findings........
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