Honey From Some Areas Of The United States Found To Be Radioactive

Submitted by News Desk on

Honey in the U.S. has been found to contain cesium-137, a radioactive isotope byproduct of uranium and plutonium fission that results from nuclear explosions according to Jim Kaste, an environmental geochemist at William & Mary University in Williamsburg, VA.  According to tests and research, it is most prevalent in the Eastern U.S. and in locations where the soil has low potassium levels.

In the 1950’s and 60’s the United States, Soviet Union, United Kingdom and France tested over 500 nuclear bombs in the atmosphere, mostly in the Marshal Islands of the Pacific Ocean and in the far north above Novaya Zemlya, an Arctic archipelago in current day Russia and to a lesser amount in Nevada and New Mexico and other remote islands control by other nuclear powers.  Kaste says the power of many of those explosions sent so much cesium-137 up into the upper atmosphere that is circulated around the globe and often fell to earth with rainfall.  As honeybees took the nectar from plants, they unknowingly also took cesium-137 that the plants absorbed and that radioactive isotope became concentrated as the honeybees made honey.

Since Cesium-137 and potassium are very similar in chemical makeup, areas were potassium was low the the roil, plants absorbed cesium-137 instead of potassium to use for metabolic purposes and to grow.  Areas where potassium in the soil was good, there is a considerably lower amount of cesium-137 found in honey.  To be sure, Kaste took 122 samples from around the U.S. and tested them multiple times using different equipment.

The problem with cesium-137 being in honey and other food products is a global problem with the same issue being found in South America, Europe and Asia.  While it is found in nearly all food grown, it is highest in honey.  However, the FDA says the amount found is still below federal standards for human safety and consumption.