Radiation and the Health Effects of Fukushima
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Radiation and the Health Effects of Fukushima

It has been over a year since the catastrophe at Fukushima, and while we once were busy gulping down Iodine tablets, we now can barely remember the tragic events that occurred, possibly leaving us vulnerable to some serious health risks. That is why it’s so important to talk about radiation and the health effects of Fukushima.

“This is the greatest public health hazard the world has ever witnessed apart from the threat of nuclear war”

– Dr. Helen Caldicott MD

The Facts

On March 11, 2011 the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant had a meltdown, exposing not only the surrounding area but the world to deadly radioactive isotopes. The primary releases of radioactive nuclides have been iodine and caesium;  strontium-90 and plutonium, which have been released into the airgroundwater and ocean.

At this point, radiation exposure can be found in the water, air, soil, and now the food chain (cattle, fish, agriculture, tea, plankton, breast milk) – not only in Japan but in locations worldwide. The fact remains that these radioactive nuclides just do not disappear. They are persistent environmental toxins which some have the half life of 30 years. Iodine-131 has a half-life of only eight days, but concentrates in the thyroid gland thereby causing life-long damage. Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years and can be taken up by food grown in contaminated soil. So why are we still not concerned about the health effects of these very toxic materials?

Radiation Damage

The Worst Radioactive Offenders


Radioactive Iodine 129 – 1/2 life of 17 million years – causes thyroid cancer.

Strontium 90– lasts for 600 years and goes to the bone where it can cause bone cancer or leukemia.

Cesium – lasts 600 years, which is all over Europe, 40% is still radioactive.

Plutonium – 1 millionth of a gram inhaled will give you cancer. 1 pound evenly disrupted could give everyone on earth cancer.


Health Effects of Radioactive Particles

  1. Thyroid Cancer and Dysfunction
  2. Leukemia
  3. Tumors
  4. Birth Defects, especially targeting the central nervous system
  5. “Increasing Evidence” of increased incidence of Cataracts
  6. Birth Complications: Spontaneous Abortion, Premature Birth, Low Birth Weight, Stillbirth, SIDS
  7. Increased risk of Cardiovascular Disease
  8. All radiation is DAMAGING – it has an accumulating effect and contributes to all cancers.
  9. Genetic Disease


The Risk

What is the REAL risk?

After much research it is clear that we are exposed to higher levels of radiation from the fallout, but how great those levels are is yet to show conclusive. At this point there seems to be a major lack in research and follow up on a grand scale to truly determine what our risk is. But, the reality remains that it is present in our air, water and food. Therefore, our risk should not be assessed on each individual exposure, but rather on its long-term bio-accumulative effects.


The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is far from over, as new reports explain that water samples taken nearly 400 miles off the coast of Japan in the Pacific Ocean are showing radiation levels of up to 1,000 times higher than previous readings. In addition, “The reactor site still seems to be leaking; it hasn’t shut off completely, and at those levels right on the coast, you could still have these concentration factors that we measured that would indicate some organisms would be at levels unfit for human consumption,”  WHOI marine chemist Ken Buesseler. Therefore, we must still be taking a active approach to this very real threat since it simply has not just “gone away.”


Chernobyl by tik_tok

How are we Exposed?

The truth is that our concern of radiation exposure should not have been simply sparked by this catastrophic event, but should have been something that we were already concerned about. Our exposure to various types of radiation is ever-increasing from a multitude of sources. Here are a few of the most common:
  1. Microwaves
  2. Airplane Flights
  3. Full-Body Scanners at the Airport
  4. CT Scans
  5. X-Rays
  6. Cell Phones
Therefore, our new found exposure from Fukushima is simply compounding onto our already very real and very present daily exposure. Most recently there have been new reports of high levels of radiation (cesium) found in the following (this was in California):
  1. Pacific Bluefin Tuna
  2. Japanese Seaweed
  3. Top Soil (used for agriculture)

Plane and Water by FranH

So Where Does this Leave Us?

At this point it has been made clear that we must take our health into our own hands. While the government agencies seems to put out a few reports here and there about there not being a concern, they seemed to play the exact same tune when our radiation levels were 10x higher. Furthermore, in my opinion, the solution of raising the tolerable radiation levels in order to quell fear is not a solution that bears any true protection or safety. Therefore, we must be conscious and aware of what is happening around us. While we cannot see, taste, smell or hear radiation levels, it does not mean that they are not there affecting our health.


Japan by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Steps to Protect Ourselves


#1. Modifying Food Consumption

Unfortunately I have not come to a conclusive answer about the consumption of food due to the radiation risk, although I will say that I will not be eating any products that come from Japan, especially seaweed. The largest amount of seaweed that is harvested for consumption internationally is located at the epicenter of the meltdown in Japan. I have even found out that many Japanese companies are now even importing seaweed from Korea out of fear of radiation toxicity in their own seaweed (whether this seaweed is also exported to the U.S. is unknown). As for fish, I have long come to the conclusion that our oceans are too toxic to be able to feel safe about its consumption and therefore I choose to stay away from fish.


Seaweed contains natural iodine which is the antidote to radiation poisoning, especially at the thyroid. Therefore loosing our seaweed source is quite devastating. Therefore, I have contacted a few of the main manufacturers of seaweed sold here in the U.S to find out more…

I have learned that almost all the main brands of seaweed available here in the U.S are sourced from Japan. These include Emerald Cove, Eden Organics and Mitoku. The only seaweed that does not from from Japan is Eden Organic and Emerald Cove’s Dulse which comes from New Brunswick, off the coast of Maine and my favorite of all favorites… SeaSnax. SeaSnax imports from Korea, not Japan and after speaking with the owner and creator of SeaSnax, he informed me of the following:

Air current and sea currents direct the radiation up north from Japan and into the Northern Pacific to Alaska and then down the Western U.S. coast. Although Korea is close to Japan, Korea is on the backside of the current and was not affected. They test 3-4 times a year for Iodine 131 and the 2 Cesiums and so far there has been no radioactivity registered. They are a small family business and are dedicated to continuous research and testing as their own children eat it daily. Therefore, I am going to continue to feel good about eating these forms.

I cannot say the same for the companies that import from Japan. I called Eden Organic to ask them about their testing methods and the risk of radiation exposure, but the woman was quite short and simply said they do test for radiation with a Geiger counter, about 3-5 tests, all which revealed no radiation. I may be skeptical, but in my opinion there is no way that seaweed from Japan can not have been contaminated. Therefore I am sticking with my gut and steering clear of any Japanese seaweed.


Seaweed by Stephen Buchan


#2. Using Nutrition for Protection

There are four substances that have been found to be protective against radiation and I find implementing a few of them daily is the best tactic.


Green Tea Fields


Iodine is going to target the thyroid specifically so this will be ideal to take as not only a preventative measure but a therapeutic one as well. It blocks the uptake of the radiation at the thyroid. Make sure the iodine is LIVE-SOURCE, meaning it comes from whole foods, not from a laboratory, because iodine can be a pro-oxidant and can actually cause damage to the body. Like we mentioned before, we have to make sure the source is clean because many live-source iodines come from seaweeds.

My chosen source: XenoStat, Premier Research Labs

b. Live-Source Green Tea

Green tea is one of the most powerful antioxidants that has been shown to protect the body against radioactivity. They say that during WWII, the only people in Japan not to be harmed by the bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were those who drank numerous cups of green tea daily. * This is especially important to use when you travel on airplanes. I take 1 tsp every time I fly on planes.

My chosen source: Green Tea by Pure Encapsulations

c. Zeolite

Zeolite are natural minerals from volcanic ash that have the ability the rid the body of heavy metals and radiation. While extremely effective, I shy away from Zeolite as it is one of the most potent cleansing agents you can use. Therefore, I have seen many people get very ill from using it as it will push more toxins out of the body than it can typically be handled. I would only recommend using this product under the care of a practitioner.

d. Internal Bentonite (smectite-form) Clay

Smectite clay is one of the most powerful internal cleansing agents for the gut. It has the capability to cleanse metals, pathogens and radiation from the intestinal lining, without leaching any minerals, including calcium. Therefore, I typically take 1-2 capsules with my meals for prevention, and for its amazing cleansing abilities.

My chosen source: Medi-Clay FX, Premier Research Labs


Zeolites by Holistic Health


#3. Reduce Dust in the Home

Radiation has also been shown to travel in the form of dust, so make sure to always take your shoes off when entering the home, always wash your hands and try to dust frequently. You may also want to buy a air purifier as well to keep the air clean. These practices may seem trivial, but they are in fact effective.

Take off your shoes


#4. Use a Geiger Counter

If you grow your own food or are particularly concerned about your produce, then consider purchasing a Geiger Counter. You can find portable counters that you can easily detect any radioactive material on your food, in your soil or environment. They are not cheap, but they are effective.


#5. Drink PURIFIED Water

Invest in a water system where you can be sure that you are drinking only the purest of water. I recommend Aquasana Whole House System-City which takes care of radioactive material.


Water Droplets by @Doug88888


By utilizing these simple tools and being conscious about our ever present risk, I believe we can put ourselves in a position of empowerment rather than fear. It is a fact that we live in a toxic world, and therefore have to protect ourselves. I do not believe in being fearful of these things but rather being pro-active. If you remain educated and follow through with the steps above, there should be no need to be worrisome. I like to live my life fully and completely, so for me taking a few supplements daily in order to feel protected is a step I am willing to take. Besides…if an amazing sushi restaurant comes up I do not want to feel as though I am going to die if I enjoy myself 🙂 Knowledge is Power!


Additional Videos for Information:



Further Research:

Fukushima, More of an Impact on the Northern Hemisphere

Fukushima’s Radiation Effects: World Experts to Assess Impacts from Japanese Power Plant by Scientific Daily

 Fukushima and Radiation Update from University of California: San Francisco

Fukushima Radiation Disaster Affecting the U.S

Radiation and Cancer by New York Times 

Radiation Effects and Birth Defects by Radiation.Org 

 Bluefin Tuna and Radiation by MSNBC

 Radiation in California Sushi

 Latest Updates following the 1 Year Anniversary of Fukushima




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  • Reply Heather June 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    This is a fantastic summary and action list for those of us concerned about the persistent radiation around us. THANK YOU.

    • lauren
      Reply lauren June 4, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      Thanks so much Heather!

  • Reply Amy Brown August 6, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Thank you for the information – it is very helpful. I learned some medical doctors in Japan stated that Vitamin C infusion/injection was helping to prevent damage to the people of Japan – it was learned that oral Vitamin C surrounded by liposomal nano-spheres is absorbed at an 80% rate – making this product an excellent source for protection. http://www.enenews.com

  • Reply Susie June 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    What do you think of detoxified organic iodine, the stuff that edgar cayce recommended? how does that compare to the iodine you are recommending above?
    thanks! great article!

    • lauren
      Reply lauren June 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Susie, I actually have not worked with that directly, although I am always a proponent of getting the nutrient directly from food sources. Iodine can be a tricky one to supplement since it can have contraindications in the body. If you stick with live-source from food substances like this one from seaweeds, it works better in the body.

  • Reply Willow Stick June 24, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Seaweed? I didn’t realize that there were so many things that posed a risk. I’ll definitely be following this advice.

  • Reply Glow in the Dark Bodies? - Wellness 4 Life October 25, 2013 at 2:38 am

    […] Radiation Today: Health Effects of Fukushima […]

  • Reply Felicitas January 4, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    I’m currently looking for a whole house water filter system. Lauren, where do you read that the aquasana filter you suggest filters out radiation? Thank you so much!

    • lauren
      Reply lauren January 11, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Felicitas, one of the representatives as the company told me about that. If you call them I am sure they will give you more detailed information. You are so very welcome!

  • Reply Jesse April 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Hi. Very informative article. Any updated thoughts on XenoStat? It looks like a great product but it has Pacific Kelp. There have been a wave of news articles saying that scientists have found radiation in California kelp in feb and march of 2014. Do you have any other recommendations for natural source iodine? Thanks.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren aka The Holy Kale April 27, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Jesse – at this point all oceans have some levels of radiation, but the company has done extensive testing on their kelp source and have found no levels of radiation. But if you want another choice, check out Sealogica.

  • Reply Tara August 5, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Any advice for our little ones? I am still nursing my toddler so not sure if I can take the supplements just yet…hoping to find something to help him as well. Thanks.

    • Lauren aka The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren aka The Holy Kale August 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Medi Clay FX, the calcium bentonite clay, may be a good option. It does not leach vitamins or minerals, just purely toxins and radiation. Contact the company to make sure its safe for children but that would be my choice.

  • Reply Danielle April 20, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    Great read! Really helped me for a biology project I did on Fukushima. Thank you!

  • Reply Vibrant Wellness Journal | Holistic health, clean living, healthy recipes! October 12, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    […] A note about radiation: As much of our seaweed comes from the Pacific, students and friends often ask about the radiation in seaweeds as a result of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster a few years ago. It is really unclear what the answer is to this troubling question. This post from 2012 shares measurements of nori seaweed, but in this 2013 article, the author explains that while there was Fukushima radioisotopes present in the kelp off the California coast, just one month later it no longer present. Eden Foods says none of their foods have tested as contaminated, and so does Rising Tide Sea Vegetables. Main Coast Sea Vegetables also tests their products, and have found no detectable levels of radiation.  And seaweeds can actually help fight radiation poisoning. To learn more about radiation in our world, check out this detailed post from The Holy Kale. […]

  • Reply Eat Drink Better | Healthy recipes, good food: sustainable eats for a healthy lifestyle! November 5, 2015 at 10:02 am

    […] Eden Foods says none of their foods have tested as contaminated, and so does Rising Tide Sea Vegetables. Main Coast Sea Vegetables also tests their products, and have found no detectable levels of radiation.  And seaweeds can actually help fight radiation poisoning. To learn more about radiation in our world, check out this detailed post from The Holy Kale. […]

  • Reply Gail November 9, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    want newsletter

    • Lauren The Holy Kale
      Reply Lauren The Holy Kale November 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      Added you 🙂 Just confirm with the email sent to your inbox.

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