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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."
Because bottom-dwellers contained more cesium than fish living higher up in the water column, cesium may have accumulated in sediments on the seafloor or in the worms and other invertebrates that live in the sediments. And because it takes 30 years for half of a sample of cesium to break down,
Buesseler speculated that decades could pass before exposure levels decline significantly.