Health Canada Analyses of the Radioactive Content of Fish Samples from Canada’s West Coast

Since the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident, the Radiation Protection Bureau (RPB) of Health Canada has performed several analyses of the radioactive content of fish samples from Canada’s west coast. RPB is making the results of these measurements available in three separate, publicly accessible files. The first series of measurements (Radioactivity in Fish- 2011-2012 -Data) was done in collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) at the onset of the emergency in Japan. The next set of measurements (Radioactivity in Fish- 2013 -Data) was done in collaboration with Fisheries and Oceans Canada as part of a research and development project that led to a peer reviewed publication (A Report on Radioactivity Measurements of Fish Samples from the West Coast of Canada, Radiation protection dosimetry, 2014, http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/05/01/rpd.ncu150.full). The last series of measurements (Radioactivity in Fish- 2014 -Data) are part of the ongoing Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) project. The InFORM is a collaborative radiation monitoring network aimed at assessing and communicating the potential environmental impact to the Canada’s Pacific and Arctic Oceans stemming from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident (http://fukushimainform.wordpress.com). InFORM includes government agencies (Health Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada), academics (University of Victoria, University of Ottawa), the private sector (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), and citizen scientists. Health Canada also measured the radiological content of various fish and seafood products as part of the Canadian Total Diet Study (TDS). The TDS provides estimated levels of exposure to chemicals that Canadians in different age-sex groups may accumulate through the food supply. More information on the TDS can be found here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/surveill/total-diet/index-eng.php All of Health Canada's measurements indicate that the radiological content of west coast fish are dominated by natural radionuclides (e.g. potassium-40 and polonium-210), and that the level of anthropogenic radionuclides, including the one resulting from the Fukushima nuclear accident, are very small in comparison (typically below our detection limit of ~1Bq/kg). Detailed information on radiation from Japan, including radiation levels in food products, seafood, and ocean water, can be found here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/ed-ud/respond/nuclea/add_info-ren_supp-eng.php.

Resources

Resource Name Resource Type Format Language Links
Radioactivity in Fish- 2011-2012 -Data Dataset CSV English
French
Access
Radioactivity in Fish- 2013 -Data Dataset CSV English
French
Access
Radioactivity in Fish- 2014 -Data Dataset CSV English
French
Access
Radioactivity in Fish- Dictionary Guide TXT English Access
Radioactivity in Fish- Dictionary Guide TXT French Access
Radioactivity in Fish- 2015 -Data Dataset CSV English
French
Access
Radioactivity in Fish- 2016 -Data Dataset CSV English
French
Access

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