Paper: Group wants radiation tests done in Canada — Health Canada calls 300 times background levels of iodine-131 “minute”
August 11th, 2011
Citizen group wants radiation tests done in Canada, Georgia Straight (Vancouver), August 11, 2011:
A Vancouver woman wants Canadian governments held more accountable for protecting public health in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. In an August 8 interview at the Georgia Straight office, Isabel Budke pointed out that citizens and nongovernmental organizations can exert a great deal more pressure on Health Canada and other regulators to improve monitoring, measuring, and reporting on radiation levels in water, soil, and food.
“I really think we need to have localized and regional testing because, from what I understand, the plumes that have drifted over the Pacific Ocean with this radiation are touching down on different areas in different ways, depending on where the jet stream is going and what weather conditions are,” Budke said. “We can’t rely on testing results from the United States or testing that has been done somewhere else in the country. I think we need to have our own testing in B.C.”
Budke, who has an SFU master’s degree in environmental and resource management, said that if governments won’t do this work, she wants the public to work collaboratively to have food, soil, and water tested. Her group has created a “Canadian Network for Radiation Awareness & Monitoring” website, which will post results from citizen-initiated laboratory tests.
Last week, the Straight reported that on March 20, a Health Canada monitoring station in Sidney, B.C., detected iodine-131 at more than 300 times the background level. Despite this, Health Canada spokesperson Stéphane Shank told the Straight on August 9 from Ottawa that air-monitoring stations have shown that radiation levels are “minute” and pose “no risk” to Canadians. [...]