Originally posted by kdog1982
I can already see where this is going
Numerous government agencies and other organizations are involved in the investigation, which, according to NOAA, may require months or even years of data collection and analyses.
Seals and walruses suffering from the mystery disease develop skin sores, usually on the hind flippers or face, and patchy hair loss. Some of the diseased mammals have labored breathing and appear lethargic.
Scientists have not yet identified a single cause for this disease, although tests indicate a virus is not the cause.
At necropsy, most of the affected animals have had skin lesions as well as fluid in the lungs, white spots on the liver, and abnormal growths in the brain. Some seals and walruses have undersized lymph nodes, which may indicate compromised immune systems.
Operation Crossroads was a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in mid-1946. It was the first test of a nuclear weapon after the Trinity nuclear test in July 1945. Its purpose was to investigate the effect of nuclear weapons on naval ships. Crossroads consisted of two detonations, each with a yield of 23 kilotons: Able was detonated at an altitude of 520 feet (158 m) on July 1, 1946; Baker was detonated 90 feet (27 m) underwater on July 25, 1946. A third burst, Charlie, planned for 1947, was canceled primarily because of the Navy's inability to decontaminate the target ships after the Baker test. Crossroads Charlie was rescheduled as Operation Wigwam, a deep water shot conducted in 1955 off the California coast,. The Crossroads tests were the fourth and fifth nuclear explosions conducted by the United States (following the Trinity test and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki). They were the first of many nuclear tests held in the Marshall Islands and the first to be publicly announced beforehand and observed by an invited audience, including a large press corps.
Only pigs and rats were used in the Baker test. All the pigs and most of the rats died. Radiation from a contaminated environment is continuous and cumulative. With the Able test, lethality was determined by proximity to the fireball and its pulse of radiation. With Baker, lethality was determined by the amount of time spent aboard contaminated ships. Several days elapsed before sailors were able to reboard the target ships where test animals were located; during that time the accumulated doses from the gamma rays produced by fission products became lethal for the animals. Since much of the public interest in Crossroads had focused on the fate of the test animals, in September Admiral Blandy asserted that radiation death is not painful: "The animal merely languishes and recovers or dies a painless death. Suffering among the animals as a whole was negligible." This was clearly not true. While the well-documented suffering of Harry Daglian and Louis Slotin as they died of radiation injury at Los Alamos was still secret, the widely reported radiation deaths at Hiroshima and Nagasaki had not been painless. In 1908, Dr. Charles Allen Porter had stated in an academic paper, "the agony of inflamed X-ray lesions is almost unequaled in any other disease."
Originally posted by zroth
Let's not push all the blame to Japan.
BP ruined the oceans as well and all of those toxins would have traveled the global waterways by now.
Before them it was Exxon.
This is sad indeed.
Originally posted by jadedANDcynical
They are trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
Originally posted by kdog1982
I can already see where this is going
Summary of findings: Scientists have conducted preliminary qualitative screening of a few tissue samples from both healthy and sick pinnipeds (ice seals and walruses) involved in this UME for possible radionuclide exposure. No radiation levels were found in these samples that would directly cause the symptoms seen in the pinnipeds. Test results show radiation levels are within the typical background range for Alaska
We’ve received few reports of sick seals in Alaska since the end of November. In early January, three ringed seals were harvested in the North Slope Borough that had complete hair coats but very mild nodular lesions on their flippers that may suggest the disease is still present (otherwise the seals appeared healthy). Chukotka hunters didn’t report any sightings or harvest of sick and/or hairless seals in December 2011 and January 2012. There have been no additional reports of sick walruses during this time period.
It should be noted that weather conditions have been largely unsuitable for making observations in the Arctic and Bering Straight region during this time period. We’re hoping that with the arrival of spring there will be more opportunites for hunters to make observations and report any seals or walruses that appear sick or are acting abnormally.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - Preliminary tests appear to rule out radiation from Japan's tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant as the cause of mysterious deaths and illness that struck scores of Alaska seals last year, federal officials said on Friday.
"Part of the reason it doesn't rule it out is we need to do more in-depth tests for Cesium 137 and Cesium 134," Speegle said.
Is there a medical test to determine exposure to cesium-137? Yes, there are several. However, they are not routinely available in a doctor's office, because they require special laboratory equipment. Some tests can measure the amount of radionuclides in urine, or in fecal samples, even at very low levels. A technique called "whole-body counting" can detect gamma radiation emitted by cesium-137 in the body. A variety of portable instruments can directly measure cesium-137 on the skin or hair. Other techniques include directly measuring the level of cesium-137 in soft tissues samples from organs or from blood, bones, and milk.
Having read your report "2011 Northern Pinnipeds Unusual Mortality Event (UME) Preliminary Assessment of Radionuclide Exposure," I have a few questions:
1) Are Cs134/137 the only radionuclides that were tested for?
2) What specific tests were performed? For example in Texas to complete a well permit in certain counties, you have to test for radionuclides as can be seen at the following link:
How to Conduct Radionuclide Testing for Well Completion Interim Approval
3) What additional tests (or is the Gamma Ray Spectoscropy the only test) are being performed and when are results from those anticipated?
Thank you for your time and consideration,
I am replying to your message of March 8 regarding seal mortality investigations:
1) Yes. For the atmospheric release these radionuclides are the principal ones detected and typically represent the greatest long-term health risk for sites distant from Fukushima. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, International Atomic Energy Agency and others are using these two radionuclildes to identify the Fukushima fallout. The iodine 131 released has decayed to below detection limits.
2) Texas is complying with the EPA drinking water analysis requirements for certain classes of drinking water systems. Test are for gross alpha and beta, looking principally at naturally occurring radionuclides. If levels exceed a certain value then other radionuclide test are run. While this testing is applicable to groundwater used for drinking it is not applicable to the Fukushima atmospheric testing.
3) Only gamma analysis is being done at this point. If we find levels of a human health or ecological concern then other radionuclides, such as plutonium could potentially be analyzed.
John Kelley and
John J. Kelley, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Marine Science
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7220
Although the skin ailments that appear to be affecting seals and walruses in Alaska have a generic name -- ulceratitive dermatitus disease syndrome -- there are many unanswered questions about the illnesses. Scientists and hunters here and in Russia want to better understand what's causing the sicknesses and how concerned about them they should be.
For example, while skin ulcers and other conditions -- hair loss, lethargy, oozing sores, bloody mucous, congested lungs -- are affecting seals and walruses, it's not known if the two species are suffering from the same sickness. And although much studying has been done to determine whether it's the result of a virus or radiation, and no tests have linked these origins to the illness, it's not yet known what the root cause is. Toxins and environmental factors, like harmful algae blooms and thermal burns, are under consideration. As is whether allergy, hormone or nutritional problems might play a role.
So looking up the food chain from seals, we have polar bears (which haven't been symptomatic), sharks and orca are probably eating seal also.
Nine polar bears from the Beaufort Sea region near Barrow were found with patchy hair loss and oozing sores on their skin, similar to conditions found in diseased seals and walruses, the agency said in a statement.
Unlike the sickened seals and walruses, the affected polar bears seem otherwise healthy, said Tony DeGange, chief of the biology office for the USGS's Alaska Science Center. There had been no deaths among polar bears, he said.
Preliminary studies showed that radiation poisoning is not the cause, temporarily ruling out a theory that the animals were sickened by contamination from the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
Perhaps with the new influx of scientists, more information will be forthcoming.
More than 40 percent of fish in the region contained levels greater than the new safe-consumption limit of 100 units per kg. Two greenling fish collected this August contained a surprisingly high level of 25,000 units. "The fact that there's no significant decline in these fish suggests that the fish are being exposed to a constant supply of cesium either from their food or from the water."