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Dr. Samadi Discusses Radiation Levels Found in Japanese Food

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Fox News, 3:14, 03/28/2011

China has joined Singapore and the US in banning some food imports from areas of Japan containing high levels of radiation caused by damaged nuclear reactors.  Dr. Samadi, member of the Fox News Medical "A-Team" and Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, discusses food safety, radiation levels, and the steps being taken to keep us safe.

Dr. Samadi says that despite the concerns people have there is little to be worried about in terms of contaminated food.  Iodine-131, a radioactive isotope being release by the damaged reactors, has a half-life of 8 days and can pass through the body quickly.  When talking about radioactive contamination the dose and source of the radiation are very important.  The people who should be most concerned about the radiation are the ones living and working within a 20 mile radius of the damage reactors.  As you go further away from those locations the amount of radiation is reduced.

Cesium-137 is another radioactive isotope being released by the reactors and is of a much greater danger.  With a half-life of 30 years it remains radioactive for a much longer period of time.  This makes it able to contaminate water supplies and soil.  A concern is that through the natural order of the food chain this cesium could end up in milk supplies, putting young children and pregnant women at risk for future thyroid and bone marrow cancers.

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