[ RadSafe ] Radiation testing in California.

Cary Renquist cary.renquist at ezag.com
Mon Sep 30 14:36:54 CDT 2013


Others have mentioned the likely source of your counts (natural
radioactivity) and the pitfalls of trying to do low-level counts with a
GM meter.

As an exercise, you might want to try plotting the counts you get versus
the amount of potassium contained in your sample. e.g. raw Kale with
water removed should have ~32 mg K per gram of dried kale
Here's a USDA database on nutritional content of foods:

You could even create a very basic calibration standard by using a
weighed sample of No-Salt (potassium chloride) -- divide the mass of the
No-Salt sample by 2 to get the rough mass of K

A quick browse of the nutritional info doesn't seems to match your
observations very well -- dried Yellowtail looks like it should have a
bit more potassium/g than catfish.

Unfortunately, I don't think that there is a good database of the other
natural radioactive isotopes that are found in foodstuffs.

Cary Renquist
cary.renquist at ezag.com

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Max Levin
Sent: Thursday, 19 September 2013 4:06 PM
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Radiation testing in California.

   My name is Max. I am a Holistic Chiropractor in L.A. and have a long
background in health-science.
I am looking for a little perspective and was hoping that you may have
some useful information and experience to share.
As you might expect , I have been following the events beginning with
and following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in MArch 2011.   There was
very little public information the first 2 years, and anyone who might
know a thing or two  was not concerned a bit,  but it left a bad taste
in my mouth.   Being a level 7 on the INES  was nothing to ignore.   So,
I began to spend more time looking for information.
the past several months there has been a flood of stories and blogs and
eventually the mainstream media began doing some pretty crappy
reporting.   It has been an education with a steep learning curve and
after sorting the data from the hype , i feel i have good grasp on  what
I know and what i still need to learn.  
with few exceptions ( Berk. Dept of Nuclear Engineering) there has been
little testing of local soil, dairy, meats, air, water and marine life
from the our Pacific west coast.    And what has been done seemed to
have ceased over a year ago. 

I decided to do what I could to evaluate the contamination level of my
I few weeks ago I  purchased  a Mazur PRM-9000. Im sure you are familiar
with it (  it is a radiation monitor with a pancake style geiger
-mueller tube with a mica window.)   I understand its limitations , but
it is a start.  

After learning the parameters of the  of the device and establishing
controlled testing protocol, i have tested a couple dozen samples
ranging for pacific northwest seafood to local grown  vegetables and
even a couple items from across the states.   results varied, but in
several test samples  I found reading from 25-50% over background
radiation.   and reproduced those results.   So here is my question.

HAs it always been common to find readings like this in foods such as
tomatoes, kale and seafood?
What change has there been in the past 2 years in foods, if any?    And
what is common to detect with a geiger counter of this sensitivity?

I am looking for data about radiation contamination in similar foods
pre-fukushima and  across the country , but it seems that there is no
published data.       To my surprise,  I found contamination in Catfish
farmed from North Carolina  and and Tomatoes from fresno and local
oxnard Kale, alaskan Cod, washington snapper and hawaiian ahi, but very
little  in japanese farmed yellowtail and  brocolli from arizona.   (
all of my samples have been dehydrated for testing and over timed scans
against a backround control scan) 

Have these foods always had some level of contamination, or is this a
result of recent events?

Having no idea what things have been like in past years and in other
regions and not being able to identify any specific radioisotope, nor
evaluate the Bq/Kg value has made is challenging to interpret my
results.   I am , however a bit concerned with the fact that I am
getting any above background readings at all.  

If anyone can offer and help or even direct me to someone who can, i
would be greatly appreciated.   Besides citizens in Japan, there doesnt
seem to be anyone doing this type of testing locally.

Thank you for your time.

Dr. Max

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