Update Mar 3, 2012
Another milk sample (bought in mid-February) tested positive for Strontium 90: 0.4 Bcq/l (dl: 0.2 Bcq/l, variability 0.3 Bcq/l). No Cs 134 or Cs 137 were detected (dls: 0.1 and 0.2 Bcq/ l, respectively).

Health Canada Action Levels for Sr 90 in fresh milk are 30 Bcq/ kg. Based on research, we hold the view that radiation, especially ingested and inhaled, is a potential health risk at any level, especially for young children.

Update Feb. 13, 2012
A new milk sample from a Vancouver store (bought in early January) tested by a certified lab in February showed 0.3 Bcq/ l of radioactive Strontium 90 (dl and variability: 0.2 Bcq/l). No Cs 134 or 137 were detected (dls 0.2 Bcq/l for each).

Get involved in collaborative Canadian testing effort

Canadian reports on radioactivity in fish and rainwater
January 13/14, 2012



Summary of Collaborative Testing Effort
updated Jan. 14, 2012

To date, we have tested over 25 items from the Greater Vancouver area for radioactive Cesium (Cs) 134 and 137, radioactive Iodine (I) 131, gross beta and gross alpha radiation through a certified laboratory. This is a summary of the results:

  • 5x Soil (Greater Vancouver). One sample  showed 10 Becquerels (Bq)/kg of Cesium 137. (It is unlikely the source is Fukushima, as no Cs 134 was found). The other soil samples showed no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above detectable levels (DL). Two soil samples showed 480 and 580 Bcq/ kg of alpha radiation, respectively, and 500 and 590 Bcq/ kg of beta radiation, respectively.We intend to conduct further tests to determine the source of the alpha radiation (i.e., what isotopes)
  • 3x Wild Pacific Salmon (1 Sockeye meat, Vancouver Organic Food store; 1 Chum meat and 1 Chum liver, Fraser River): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DLs
  • 2x Unfiltered drinking water (Vancouver): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DLs.
  • 1x Rainwater (Vancouver): no Cs 134, 137 and I 131 above DLs.
  • 2x Snowmelt (east of Hope–old snow; near Pemberton–new November snow): no Cs 134, 137 and I 131 above DLs. Alpha radiation ranging from 0.04-0.08 Bcq/l was detected in the snowmelt, rainwater and one drinking water sample. We are seeking scientific advice to determine the likely sources.
  • 1x Outdoor Pool Water (Vancouver home): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x Wild Mushrooms (Bolestes and Chanterelles) (Nelson Island): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x Kale (Vancouver garden): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x Organic blueberries (Fraser Valley): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x House dust (Vancouver home): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x Mixed grass/ hay (Gabriola Island, ): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x Maple leaves (Vancouver): no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x Dairyland Milk: no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DLs.
  • 1x Avalone Homo Milk 3.25% (Organic), November: no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x Avalone Skim Milk (Organic), November: no Cs 134, 137 or I 131 above DL
  • 1x So Nice Soy Milk: no Cs 134, 137 and I 131 above DLs
  • 1x Tofu: no Cs 134, 137 and I 131 above DLs

Nuclear engineer Arnold Gunderson and scientist Marco Kaltofen stress the importance of ongoing radiation monitoring in food, especially in the Pacific Northwest and in seafood, which is known to concentrate (bio-accumulate) radiation over time. See www.fairewinds.com for educational videos and presentations.


As of September 15, 2011, Health Canada has discontinued bi-weekly reporting of air monitoring results for radionuclides and returned to quarterly reporting: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/ed-ud/respond/nuclea/data-donnees-eng.php. This appears premature, as the situation in Fukushima is still not under control; there has been another earthquake in the area, and a reported build up of hydrogen in #1 reactor is causing concern over the possibility of another explosion. Also, the Japanese government as authorized incineration of radioactive waste, which is expected to release radioactivity into the air, which will travel to our shores via the jetstream.

Response by the CFIA to citizen questions regarding details of their recent test results of West Coast fish

What species of fish were tested, and how many of each?

    • There were 12 fish tested in total, two of which were Albacore tuna
      and 10 of which were salmon – two samples of each of the following
      species:Pink, Sockeye, Chum, Coho and Spring salmon.

      Where were the fish caught?

      Samples of these fish were taken at various points across the British
      Columbia fishery including:
      – Coastal waters off of Vancouver Island including the Georgia and
      Juan de Fuca Straits
      – Deeper waters off the west coast of Vancouver Island
      – Various mainland rivers

      What was the age and size of the fish?

      That specific information is not available, but all of the samples are representative of the commercial harvest and what would be available in the Canadian marketplace.

      What was the MDA for each sample?

      Do you mean MDC (Minimum Detectable Concentration)? As explained below the table posted on the CFIA web site
      (http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/imp/fispoie.shtml), this is
      typically around 2 Bq/Kg. More than 200 food samples were tested as part of the CFIA’s sampling and testing strategy and all were found to be below Health Canada’s actionable levels for radioactivity. Radioactivity was detected in one imported fish product from Japan. As stated on our website, the results of this imported fish product were 3.56 Bq/Kg for Cesium 134 and 4.1 Bq/Kg for Cesium 137. While this product is above the Minimum Detectable Concentration, it does not pose a health risk to consumers. Health Canada has determined that the action level for this product is 1000 Bq/Kg. Action levels are the food safety thresholds for which a specific radionuclide should not exceed. Should these levels be exceeded, appropriate risk management action would be taken depending on the exposure and the potential impact of the product on humans. Numerical values do not exist for the remaining test results as the results were below the detection limit.Were samples tested for radionuclides other than Cesium 137 and 134?
      Testing was only conducted for these two radionuclides. Iodine-131 has a half life of about eight days, so all of the radioactive iodine that was released would have decayed to regular iodine within a month after exposure.Are there plans for the CFIA to continue radiation monitoring for
      Pacific fish and seafood?

      Fish and shellfish on the Canadian west coast are not expected to be
      impacted by the situation in Japan. Nonetheless, as a prudent measure
      to reaffirm the safety of this important commodity, samples of domestically caught salmon from British Columbia have been tested to verify that the fish remains safe for consumption. The results of these tests confirm that there is no food safety risk with domestic fish, as was also found with domestic milk and imported food samples. As such, no additional testing is planned. However, atmospheric monitoring continues and Health Canada continues to regularly monitor for radionuclides in food sold in Canada through its Total Diet Study.Is the CFIA testing any imported food items from Japan for radioactive contamination, such as green tea found in Costco stores with packaging date of March 2011? If not, what other safeguards is the CFIA putting in place?
      As part of the CFIA’s sampling and testing strategy, imported green
      tea samples from Japan were tested for radioactivity and all results
      were below Health Canada action levels. There are no plans for additional testing of domestic or imported foods at this point.
      However, the CFIA continues to monitor events in Japan and assess any potential impacts on Canada’s food supply. Canadian officials continue to collect and assess intelligence from Japanese officials, Canada’s mission abroad and international authorities. Domestically,
      atmospheric monitoring continues and Health Canada continues to regularly monitor for radionuclides in food sold in Canada through its Total Diet Study. This would include imports from Japan. As well, Japanese controls on the sale of contaminated product remain intact.No radiation detected in West Coast fishCBC News Sept. 19, 2011
      This appears to be good news! However, it is necessary to know what kind of fish was tested, where it was from (the Pacific?), and what the actual readings were. Pacific salmon need to be tested now and into the future as their migration patterns can take them as far as to the northern tip of Japan over their multi-year life span. Was Pacific salmon tested by the CFIA, and will it be tested in the future?
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2011/09/16/bc-no-radiation-west-coast-fish.htmlCanadian gov’t now plans to start radiation testing on fish off B.C. coast
      CBC News August 19th, 2011 at 06:34 PM
      The Canadian Food Inspection Agency plans to start testing fish off the coast of British Columbia for the presence of radiation stemming from the Fukushima nuclear disaster […]
      Fisheries activist Alexandra Morton with the Raincoast Research Society says she supports the testing, but calls the announcement a political move. Morton says millions of sockeye have started returning to the Fraser River and the fishing season is already well underway. Salmon are a particular concern to Morton and others because their wide-ranging migration patterns can take them right across the Pacific Ocean to the coast of Japan. […]
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2011/08/19/bc-salmon-radiation-testing.html?ref=rssGov’t researchers plan to test for radiation in Yukon’s local food supply, caribou — An attempt to answer questions by citizens
      CBC News August 19th, 2011 at 08:30 PM
      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2011/08/19/yukon-radiation-test.htmlCanadian collaborative radiation awareness and monitoring initiative
      http://www.straight.com/article-419976/vancouver/group-wants-radiation-testsFor testing samples:
      Saskatchewan Research Council
      125 – 15 Innovation Boulevard
      Saskatoon, SK S7N 2X8
      Email: info@src.sk.caHealth Canada (Dosimetry Services): Radionuclide Monitoring in Canada
      Email: Info@hc-sc.gc.ca
      Telephone: 613-957-2991
      Toll free: 1-866-225-0709Canadian Food Inspection Agency (Monitoring Japanese food imports) 604.666.1357 (BC) or 1-800-442-2342
      http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/imp/radrese.shtmlBC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC): Status Updates (604.707.2440)
      http://www.bccdc.ca/resourcematerials/newsandalerts/news/japanQuake.htmMetro Vancouver Radionuclidemonitoring in Drinking Water (604.432.6200)
      http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/water/qualitytreatment/Pages/Radionuclidemonitoring.aspxUSUS Environmental Protection Agency RadNet Data (near-real time air monitoring graphs for major US cities)
      University of Berkeley, California, Nuclear Engineering Department: Testing of Air, Water, Food and Soil
      Compiled EPA monitoring data (excellent for comparing near-real time readings at all US monitoring stations)
      http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/04/12/realtime-epa-radnet-japan-nuclear-radiation-monitoring-every-us-city-single-page-16511/Testing of soil or water samples for radiation for US $39 per sample (Alpha-Beta-Gamma detector system for screening low level samples)
      Peter Febbroriello
      847 Litchfield Street, Torrington, CT 06790 USA 860-482-6606
      phone 860-482-6606 for more details.Independent nuclear engineer Arne Gunderson has an expensive piece of equipment for testing for radioactive isotopes (http://solarimg.org/?p=1722). Anyone who was doing post-rainfall tests by swiping a surface and testing with a Geiger counter and finding high readings (like someone in British Columbia on YouTube) can send him the cloth swipe sample (triple wrapped in plastic, then placed in an envelope). But he requests you send ONLY those cloth samples with high readings.
      Fairewinds Associates, Inc. Burlington, VT 05408
      Office (802) 865 9955

      Discussion on testing rain for radioactivity (how to differentiate between naturally occurring radon-daughters and Fukushima radionuclides):

      Estimated fallout levels for Berkely, CA–discussion thread from UCB Nuclear Engineering Forum at http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/node/5449#comment-17465


    • Many links to Japanese radiation monitoring efforts, including govt and independent data: http://australiancannonball.com/2011/09/18/japans-fukushima-worst-in-history/
    • http://sirocco.omp.obs-mip.fr/outils/Symphonie/Produits/Japan/SymphoniePreviJapan.htm
    • Atmospheric dispersion of radionuclides from the Fukushima-Daichii nuclear power plant. CEREA, joint laboratory Ecole des Ponts Paris (includes animated maps) http://cerea.enpc.fr/fr/fukushima.html

18 Responses to “Testing & Monitoring”

  1. Lorelei Says:

    Excellent, long-awaited initiative. BC is not the only region affected. Tests show that Yukon and Ontario are also affected. Health Canada needs to finally do their job and accurately inform Canadian citizens.

  2. lisa begg Says:

    I live in a strata townhome complex where strata has hired ‘leaf blowers’. Large wafts of dust are entering open windows where children sleep and play. We need to make the PUBLIC aware of what is going on to MINIMIZE risks to our children and families!!!!!

  3. concerned mommy Says:

    2 thoughts:
    When will we know the results of the Salmon testing?

    And, interestingly, although there are “no detrimental health effects of Fukushima radiation” (at least according to our Canadian Govt), I received in the mail an invitation to participate in a Canada wide study, through the “BC Generations Project” which strives to “learn more about how environment, lifestyle and genes contribute to cancer and chronic diseases”

    Participation would include questionnaires, blood samples, urine samples, bone density, grips strength, blood pressure and body fat as well aw health services usage info from Min of Health Services database. All of this info would of course, be completely confidential.

    Only open to people aged 35-69. Any thoughts? Anyone else receive the invitation?

    1. Hi Concerned Mommy:

      Still waiting for the results of the salmon sample we sent into the lab. The CFIA tested 12 samples of fish and levels were below the Health Canada action levels. But they did not announce what fish, where from, and what the actual measurements were. We have contacted them requesting these important details.

      1. lisa begg Says:

        No response for the sample of chocolate milk i sent in either…. not even an acknowlegment, but they did charge my mastercard for the testing!!!

    2. lied to Says:

      I’m in that age range and I live in BC but I haven’t received an invitation to that BC Generations Project study. Hmm, I wonder why you were picked?

      Yup, there is no local news at all about the possible effects of Fukushima fallout on BC and frankly it’s very difficult to believe that we didn’t get high levels of the stuff. I have no Geiger counter but my bullshit detector has been going haywire since March 11th.

  4. Hi Lisa,
    the lab just takes a while (unless you request an express turn-around, which costs more). But they are incredibly helpful and nice! We have just edited the sampling guidelines after a conversation with the lab and more research. If you or others send in more samples (Please do so! We especially need more soil samples from across the province and beyond!)–please read those instructions carefully and refrain from calling the lab, as they are very busy.

    If anyone has questions re: sampling procedures, please contact changeagents2011@yahoo.ca directly. We are expecting the first set of results very soon and will post them here. Please let us know when you receive yours–thanks!

  5. […] “Testing and Monitoring” for comprehensive answers by CFIA citizen questions about the recent fish tests. Advertisement […]

  6. concerned mommy Says:

    Another idea is to go to a naturopath, or you Dr. & have your blood tested for heavy metals. I went to my local “#occupy” protest on the 15th and there was a person speaking about the vapors that they spray from planes, saying that they spray aluminum and barium into the sky for geo-engineering (to reflect the suns rays off of the earth) and that you can have tests done to your blood to check for contamination.

    Apparently it’s also contaminating the soil everywhere. Once you realize what it is & look up, it’s everywhere (at least it is here on the west coast – never saw it on the prairies when I was on holidays tho)

    All I can say is PHYTOREMEDIATION! whether it’s nuclear fallout, aluminum, lead, mercury. . . plants like mustard, sunflower, bean, corn and hemp remove the heavy metals from the soil. For arsenic (released into the air from making steel and smelting other metals) you need ferns. Of course dont eat the product (or smoke lol) and I’d personally treat it like a haz-mat & handle with gloves & bury it in a place that wont be used for children or growing food.

  7. david Says:

    I would be interested in financially sponsoring samples but I dont see the results of past tests which were done a few months back

  8. Hello, David,
    thanks very much for considering sponsoring samples. We have provided a summary of test results from the Vancouver area to date (over 24 samples) under “Testing & Monitoring”. The results are largely comforting; however, Cesium 137 was found in one soil sample, and we are concerned about significant alpha counts in two other soil samples from Vancouver. We are seeking scientific advice on what this means and would like to do a follow up test to determine the source of the alpha radiation. Please contact us directly by email at changeagents2011@yahoo.ca if you are willing to sponsor such an analysis. Thanks very much again for your interest!

  9. Doccus Says:

    Why is every reference or video that I find referred to , all either give me an “unavailable” a 404. or an “account terminated” (especially on YT), when the subject is Fukushima..? It’s hard not to think somebody’s trying to suppress the subject..

  10. Alan Dolan Says:

    This from the Canadian Highly Migratory Species Foundation. Not on the website yet. – Alan

    Attention: 2012 Background Screening for Radioactive Isotope

    As you are aware there is ongoing interest by general public, potential buyers, and media in regards to issues related to contamination of seawater and, possibly seafood species, as a result of the catastrophe that befell Japan in 2011.

    In order to assure those who had concerns, that Pacific Troll Caught Albacore Tuna from our 2010 and 2011 fisheries was not affected and to provide baseline data, the Canadian Highly Migratory Species Foundation tested samples from 2010 (from storage) and 2011 (from the fishery) for radio-active contamination. Tests showed that there were no issues.

    To continue our evaluation for 2012, biological samples were collected by biologists from IEC INTERNATIONAL from tuna vessels fishing in Canadian waters in July, 2012. The samples were submitted to, and tested by, SRC Analytical Division of the Saskatchewan Research Councils Analytical Laboratories in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

    We are pleased to announce that tests from samples taken in July, 2012 have shown less than detectable levels as follows:

    Iodine-131 <0.01 <0.01 <0.01

    Cesium-137 <0.004 <0.004 <0.005

  11. radka Says:

    Is there going to be an update to a testings soon? Last one was in March this year.

    1. We haven’t sent in any further samples, but it would be great if someone could send Pacific seafood samples for testing to the Saskatchewan Research Council (contact info on this site under testing) and let us know the results so we can post them.

  12. you never gonna know Says:

    umm guys, this report seems to assume that we take certain statements as true at face value E.G. Iodine-131 has a half life of about eight days, so all of the radioactive iodine that was released would have decayed to regular iodine within a month after exposure

    Well I looked into it…in 8 days Iodine 131 decays into Xenon 131, check out what the symptoms of exposure to XE 131 and then ask yourself some fundamental questions… asking questions, independantly researching will reveal more than a “everything is ok” situation if you choose to see the implications of this very real threat to human safety!

  13. Bill Says:

    What is up with this website as it is mainly vacant of activity! Has anyone noticed that these links to “evidence” of excessive radiation on Canadian soil have been removed from its source !

    Canadian reports on radioactivity in fish and rainwater January 13/14, 2012


    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Canadian+fish+eaters+threatened+Fukushima+radiatio n+anti+nuclear+group/5997414/story.html

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/touch/story.html? id=5994285

    If a threat did not exist for Canadians, why go through the trouble of
    having the documents removed from the source? Wake up people! Good thing that a copy exists within personal files that someone does not want the public to see. This originally was what the articles stated.

    Canadian Fish Eaters Threatened by Fukushima Radiation:
    Anti-Nuclear Group By Alex Roslin, For Postmedia News January
    14, 2012

    “After the world’s worst nuclear accident in 25 years,
    authorities in Canada said people living here were safe and
    faced no health risks from the fallout from Fukushima.

    They said most of the radiation from the crippled Japanese
    nuclear power plant would fall into the ocean, where it would
    be diluted and not pose any danger.

    Dr. Dale Dewar wasn’t convinced. Dewar, a family physician in
    Wynyard, Sask., doesn’t eat a lot of seafood herself, but
    when her grandchildren come to visit, she carefully checks
    seafood labels.

    She wants to make sure she isn’t serving them anything that
    might come from the western Pacific Ocean.

    Dewar, the executive director of Physicians for Global
    Survival, a Canadian anti-nuclear group, says the Canadian
    government has downplayed the radiation risks from Fukushima
    and is doing little to monitor them.

    “We suspect we’re going to see more cancers, decreased fetal
    viability, decreased fertility, increased metabolic defects —
    and we expect them to be generational,” she said.

    Evidence has emerged that the impacts of the disaster on the
    Pacific Ocean are worse than expected.” […]

    Read more at:

    Radioactive Iodine in Rainwater: Public Was in the Dark By
    ALEX ROSLIN, The Gazette, Jan. 14, 2012

    “After the Fukushima nuclear accident, Canadian health
    officials assured a nervous public that virtually no
    radioactive fallout had drifted to Canada. But last March, a
    Health Canada monitoring station in Calgary detected an
    average of 8.18 becquerels per litre of radioactive iodine
    (an isotope released by the nuclear accident) in rainwater,
    the data shows.

    The level easily exceeded the Canadian guideline of six
    becquerels of iodine per litre for drinking water,
    acknowledged Eric Pellerin, chief of Health Canada’s
    radiation-surveillance division.

    “It’s above the recommended level (for drinking water),” he
    said in an interview. “At any time you sample it, it should
    not exceed the guideline.”

    Canadian authorities didn’t disclose the high radiation
    reading at the time.” […]

    Read more at:

    The Debate in Canada: What Is a ‘Safe’ Level of

    By Alex Roslin, Special to The Gazette January 13, 2012

    “The fallout from Fukushima has sparked debate about how
    Canada monitors radiation and how it decides what is a “safe”
    level of radiation.

    Canadian authorities have insisted that Canadians are safe
    and that dangerous levels of radiation haven’t entered our
    food, air or water.

    “The amount (of radiation) detected would not pose a health
    risk to Canadians,” Health Canada spokesman Stéphane Shank

    “Canadians are safe. We are within the natural background
    radiation fluctuations that were typically seen prior to the
    nuclear event in Japan.”

    But nuclear critics Dr. Dale Dewar and Gordon Edwards say
    Ottawa’s notion of what is a “safe” level of radiation can
    still cause serious health risks for some people.

    In fact, Canada’s ceiling for radiation in food is set at a
    level that would lead to 5,000 to 8,000 cancers per million
    people over a 70-year lifetime of exposure, according to
    Health Canada’s models and those of a 2006 U.S. National
    Academy of Sciences report on cancer risk from radiation.
    (About half of the cancers would be fatal.)

    That works out to 170,000 to 270,000 lifetime cancers if all
    34 million Canadians were exposed at the “safe” level.”

    Read more at:

  14. Bill Says:

    As one more word of advice, does anyone seriously think that any Canadian mainstream laboratory is going to release honest data to the public just because they paid to have a sample analyzed while the rest of the world is on a media blackout?

    Questions that should be raised via public of Canadian officials should contain questions such as, what are the consequences of the 250 tonnes of nuclear fuel that thermally ran away in three reactors from the DNPP event that are now well below the reactors underground within the water table seeping highly toxic radionuclides into the ocean for eons to come at the turn of every tide. How will this effect the generations to come?

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