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Livestock offspring contaminated by Fukushima radiation

Fukushima radiation

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(NaturalNews) On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake sparked a tsunami off the coast of Japan that left the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in ruins. Thousands of animals were abandoned and exposed to toxic levels of radiation from the power plant. A growing body of empirical studies after the disaster shows that the radiation harmed not just neighboring animals but their offspring conceived after the disaster as well.

When the radioactive material was first released into the air, the Japanese government issued an evacuation notice for residents 30 kilometers around the nuclear power plant. Since then, studies have shown that the radioactive material has caused genetic damage and morphological changes in abandoned animals and their offspring.

Calves contain more radiation than their mothers

A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that approximately 79 cattle that contained trace amounts of radioactive cesium, silver and tellurium. The radioactive material concentrations were 1.5 times higher in fetuses and calves than in their mothers. The heaviest concentrations of radiation were in the calves' muscles.

"Calves are known to have excellent metabolism, but it was a surprise to learn that radiation could accumulate so easily," Tohoku University Prof. Manabu Fukumoto, a contributing author of the study, said to sources. "We have to pinpoint the cause."

The amount of radiation the cattle were exposed to depended on what and where they ate. Some cattle were fortunate enough to be kept in a pen and fed grass that had not been contaminated by the radiation. Predictably, the researchers found that cattle in the pen were less radioactive than cattle that grazed freely around the nuclear power plant.

For more news on how the Fukushima disaster continues to destroy the environment, visit FukushimaWatch.com.

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