Health Officials: No Fukushima Radiation at California Beaches

Half Moon Bay is not awash in nuclear radiation from Fukushima, officials say

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Mar 24, 2014  |  Updated 3:44 PM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Officials: No Fukushima Radiation at Calif. Beaches

AP

This isn't required attire at the beach quite yet.

The beach is safe. At least from radiation.

A YouTube video, seen by over 750,000 people, shot by an anonymous man holding a Geiger counter that captured readings of radiation on a San Mateo County beach stoked fears among the excitable that "Fukushima is here." 

But the radiation detected by the hand-held device has nothing to do with the faraway nuclear meltdown. In fact, it's nothing to worry about at all, according to the California Department of Public Health.

What the man found on Miramar Beach near Half Moon Bay is "mundane": naturally-occurring radioactive elements -- uranium, thorium and potassium -- present in the strips of black sand near the water's edge, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Scientists told the newspaper that the radiation is normal, natural and nothing to be upset about.

That's exactly the same message scientists gave the public in January, when the video first made the rounds.

To put it in perspective, taking an overseas flight exposes someone to about 25 times the dose of radiation seen on the beach, the newspaper reported.

The radioactive elements emitted following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi power station in 2011 -- including cesium 134 and 137 -- peaked at levels far below the limit of safe exposure before declining again to normal "background" levels, scientists said.

Here's the video that started it all, one more time:

 

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
Bay Area Proud
Bay Area Proud is NBC Bay... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out