Radioactive Cesium In San Francisco Area Milk (With Best-By Date Of 2/16/2012) 50% Higher Than EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Limit

UCB Milk Sampling Results (Department of Nuclear Engineering UCB ):

Pasteurized, Homogenized Milk

Best By Date Sample Volume I131 I132 Cs134 Cs137 Te132 Data
Liters Bq/L (liters**) Bq/L (liters**) Bq/L (liters**) Bq/L (liters**) Bq/L (liters**)
03/25/2011 20:31 0.946 less than MDA
[MDA=0.93]
less than MDA
[MDA=27.73]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.15]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.34]
less than MDA
[MDA=12.65]
data
04/04/2011 12:00 1 0.54±0.10
[MDA=0.35]
(5.0e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=1.99]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.32]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.29]
1.46±0.29
[MDA=1.16]
(1.7e+04)
data
04/08/2011 06:14 3.45 0.24±0.05
[MDA=0.20]
(1.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=2.43]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.08]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.20]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.66]
data
04/11/2011 00:00 3.45 0.56±0.07
[MDA=0.28]
(4.8e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.94]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.24]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.29]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.57]
data
04/14/2011 00:00 3.45 0.61±0.06
[MDA=0.18]
(4.5e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.50]
0.07±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(3.3e+04)
0.09±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(2.9e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.25]
data
04/16/2011 10:53 3.45 0.48±0.05
[MDA=0.17]
(5.6e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.51]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.08]
0.15±0.03
[MDA=0.12]
(1.8e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.27]
data
04/18/2011 07:18 3.45 0.82±0.08
[MDA=0.11]
(3.3e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.31]
0.14±0.02
[MDA=0.10]
(1.8e+04)
0.19±0.03
[MDA=0.12]
(1.4e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
data
04/21/2011 12:51 3.45 1.14±0.11
[MDA=0.12]
(2.4e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.29]
0.39±0.04
[MDA=0.08]
(6.2e+03)
0.43±0.04
[MDA=0.10]
(6.3e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.19]
data
04/28/2011 09:21 3.45 0.51±0.05
[MDA=0.17]
(5.3e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.50]
0.43±0.04
[MDA=0.10]
(5.7e+03)
0.44±0.04
[MDA=0.10]
(6.1e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.32]
data
05/02/2011 06:22 3.45 0.52±0.05
[MDA=0.10]
(5.2e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.39]
0.39±0.04
[MDA=0.09]
(6.3e+03)
0.55±0.05
[MDA=0.10]
(4.9e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.10]
data
05/02/2011 06:40 3.45 0.49±0.06
[MDA=0.27]
(5.5e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=4.68]
0.41±0.04
[MDA=0.05]
(5.9e+03)
0.52±0.05
[MDA=0.06]
(5.1e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=2.63]
data
05/09/2011 12:00 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.18]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.58]
0.29±0.03
[MDA=0.05]
(8.4e+03)
0.34±0.03
[MDA=0.06]
(7.9e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=1.02]
data
05/16/2011 09:32 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.23]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.45]
0.19±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(1.3e+04)
0.29±0.03
[MDA=0.08]
(9.4e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.64]
data
05/19/2011 08:20 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.15]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.34]
0.16±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(1.5e+04)
0.23±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(1.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.85]
data
05/23/2011 07:26 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.13]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.13]
0.15±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(1.6e+04)
0.24±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(1.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.74]
data
05/26/2011 11:03 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.21]
less than MDA
[MDA=4.63]
0.15±0.03
[MDA=0.11]
(1.6e+04)
0.24±0.02
[MDA=0.10]
(1.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=1.12]
data
05/30/2011 07:26 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.26]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.69]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.07]
0.20±0.03
[MDA=0.13]
(1.3e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.64]
data
06/06/2011 05:55 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.29]
0.08±0.01
[MDA=0.05]
(3.2e+04)
0.12±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(2.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.23]
data
06/09/2011 08:24 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.13]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.74]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.05]
0.14±0.03
[MDA=0.13]
(1.9e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.33]
data
06/20/2011 06:52 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.09]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.93]
0.15±0.02
[MDA=0.09]
(1.6e+04)
0.09±0.02
[MDA=0.06]
(3.0e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.32]
data
06/27/2011 05:53 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.10]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.58]
0.06±0.01
[MDA=0.05]
(3.9e+04)
0.12±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(2.3e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.28]
data
07/07/2011 11:43 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.79]
0.11±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(2.3e+04)
0.13±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(2.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.45]
data
07/16/2011 12:55 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.18]
less than MDA
[MDA=3.09]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.08]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.07]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.15]
data
07/21/2011 13:25 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.21]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.97]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.13]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.61]
data
07/28/2011 05:37 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.12]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.63]
0.14±0.02
[MDA=0.09]
(1.8e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.10]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.44]
data
08/04/2011 08:30 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.61]
0.11±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(2.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.07]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.41]
data
08/11/2011 08:26 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.59]
0.11±0.02
[MDA=0.09]
(2.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.42]
data
08/22/2011 07:18 1.66 less than MDA
[MDA=0.14]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.61]
0.047±0.010
[MDA=0.041]
(5.2e+04)
0.052±0.013
[MDA=0.044]
(5.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=1.84]
data
09/12/2011 10:43 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.062]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.300]
0.055±0.010
[MDA=0.042]
(4.4e+04)
0.059±0.013
[MDA=0.046]
(4.6e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.219]
data
09/29/2011 11:04 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.060]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.121]
0.080±0.010
[MDA=0.039]
(3.0e+04)
0.101±0.013
[MDA=0.045]
(2.7e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.107]
data
10/01/2011 09:39 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.091]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.353]
0.059±0.008
[MDA=0.034]
(4.1e+04)
0.076±0.013
[MDA=0.045]
(3.6e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.300]
data
10/10/2011 11:43 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.153]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.19]
0.056±0.010
[MDA=0.044]
(4.4e+04)
0.088±0.015
[MDA=0.049]
(3.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=2.02]
data
12/29/2011 07:54 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.053]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.131]
0.068±0.011
[MDA=0.044]
(3.6e+04)
0.075±0.015
[MDA=0.052]
(3.6e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.126]
data
02/16/2012 10:55 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.060]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.159]
0.052±0.011
[MDA=0.045]
(4.6e+04)
0.115±0.016
[MDA=0.053]
(2.4e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.228]
data

 

Cesium-134 at 0.052 Bq/L
Cesium-137 at 0.115 Bq/L

Radioactive Cesium = 0.167 bq/L  = 4.526 picocuries/L

EPA’s maximum contaminant limit is 3.0 picocuries/L.

Flashback:

Jeff McMahon, Contributor:

Yes, David, I know. Very complicated to explain. EPA lumps these gamma and beta emitters together under one collective MCL, so if you’re seeing cesium-137 in your milk or water, the MCL is 3.0 picocuries per liter; if you’re seeing iodine-131, the MCL is 3.0; if you’re seeing cesium-137 and iodine-131, the MCL is still 3.0.

Here’s a somewhat historic EPA document that speaks directly to that issue:

Although not having a 4 mrem per year equivalent level specified in the current drinking water regulations as do tritium and strontium-90, the compliance monitoring scheme indicates that an iodine-131 level of 3 pCi/L is the MCL compliance level (presumably derived from the NBS Handbook); the ANPRM indicates that 700 pCi/L is the 4 mrem/year equivalent.

via Drinking Water Criteria Document for Beta and Gamma Emitting Radionuclides

Be advised that document won’t open in older browsers.

And here’s a current EPA faq that repeats the same 3 pCi/L MCL for iodine-131:

http://www.epa.gov/radiation/japan-faqs.html#rainwater

If we lump together the three radionuclides in that Hilo, Hawaii reading, we get 61 pCi/L. Alarming? How about that recent Boise rainfall sample: 468 pCi/L.

The reason we shouldn’t be alarmed, EPA says, is that these are short-term, temporary exposures and the MCL assumes long-term exposure.

Pasteurized, Homogenized Milk

Best By Date Sample Volume I131 I132 Cs134 Cs137 Te132 Data
Liters Bq/L (liters**) Bq/L (liters**) Bq/L (liters**) Bq/L (liters**) Bq/L (liters**)
03/25/2011 20:31 0.946 less than MDA
[MDA=0.93]
less than MDA
[MDA=27.73]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.15]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.34]
less than MDA
[MDA=12.65]
data
04/04/2011 12:00 1 0.54±0.10
[MDA=0.35]
(5.0e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=1.99]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.32]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.29]
1.46±0.29
[MDA=1.16]
(1.7e+04)
data
04/08/2011 06:14 3.45 0.24±0.05
[MDA=0.20]
(1.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=2.43]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.08]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.20]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.66]
data
04/11/2011 00:00 3.45 0.56±0.07
[MDA=0.28]
(4.8e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.94]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.24]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.29]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.57]
data
04/14/2011 00:00 3.45 0.61±0.06
[MDA=0.18]
(4.5e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.50]
0.07±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(3.3e+04)
0.09±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(2.9e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.25]
data
04/16/2011 10:53 3.45 0.48±0.05
[MDA=0.17]
(5.6e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.51]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.08]
0.15±0.03
[MDA=0.12]
(1.8e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.27]
data
04/18/2011 07:18 3.45 0.82±0.08
[MDA=0.11]
(3.3e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.31]
0.14±0.02
[MDA=0.10]
(1.8e+04)
0.19±0.03
[MDA=0.12]
(1.4e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
data
04/21/2011 12:51 3.45 1.14±0.11
[MDA=0.12]
(2.4e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.29]
0.39±0.04
[MDA=0.08]
(6.2e+03)
0.43±0.04
[MDA=0.10]
(6.3e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.19]
data
04/28/2011 09:21 3.45 0.51±0.05
[MDA=0.17]
(5.3e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.50]
0.43±0.04
[MDA=0.10]
(5.7e+03)
0.44±0.04
[MDA=0.10]
(6.1e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.32]
data
05/02/2011 06:22 3.45 0.52±0.05
[MDA=0.10]
(5.2e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.39]
0.39±0.04
[MDA=0.09]
(6.3e+03)
0.55±0.05
[MDA=0.10]
(4.9e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.10]
data
05/02/2011 06:40 3.45 0.49±0.06
[MDA=0.27]
(5.5e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=4.68]
0.41±0.04
[MDA=0.05]
(5.9e+03)
0.52±0.05
[MDA=0.06]
(5.1e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=2.63]
data
05/09/2011 12:00 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.18]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.58]
0.29±0.03
[MDA=0.05]
(8.4e+03)
0.34±0.03
[MDA=0.06]
(7.9e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=1.02]
data
05/16/2011 09:32 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.23]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.45]
0.19±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(1.3e+04)
0.29±0.03
[MDA=0.08]
(9.4e+03)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.64]
data
05/19/2011 08:20 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.15]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.34]
0.16±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(1.5e+04)
0.23±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(1.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.85]
data
05/23/2011 07:26 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.13]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.13]
0.15±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(1.6e+04)
0.24±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(1.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.74]
data
05/26/2011 11:03 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.21]
less than MDA
[MDA=4.63]
0.15±0.03
[MDA=0.11]
(1.6e+04)
0.24±0.02
[MDA=0.10]
(1.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=1.12]
data
05/30/2011 07:26 3.45 less than MDA
[MDA=0.26]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.69]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.07]
0.20±0.03
[MDA=0.13]
(1.3e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.64]
data
06/06/2011 05:55 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.29]
0.08±0.01
[MDA=0.05]
(3.2e+04)
0.12±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(2.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.23]
data
06/09/2011 08:24 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.13]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.74]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.05]
0.14±0.03
[MDA=0.13]
(1.9e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.33]
data
06/20/2011 06:52 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.09]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.93]
0.15±0.02
[MDA=0.09]
(1.6e+04)
0.09±0.02
[MDA=0.06]
(3.0e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.32]
data
06/27/2011 05:53 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.10]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.58]
0.06±0.01
[MDA=0.05]
(3.9e+04)
0.12±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(2.3e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.28]
data
07/07/2011 11:43 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.79]
0.11±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(2.3e+04)
0.13±0.02
[MDA=0.08]
(2.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.45]
data
07/16/2011 12:55 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.18]
less than MDA
[MDA=3.09]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.08]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.07]
less than MDA
[MDA=1.15]
data
07/21/2011 13:25 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.21]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.97]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.13]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.61]
data
07/28/2011 05:37 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.12]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.63]
0.14±0.02
[MDA=0.09]
(1.8e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.10]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.44]
data
08/04/2011 08:30 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.61]
0.11±0.02
[MDA=0.07]
(2.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.07]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.41]
data
08/11/2011 08:26 1.24 less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.59]
0.11±0.02
[MDA=0.09]
(2.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.11]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.42]
data
08/22/2011 07:18 1.66 less than MDA
[MDA=0.14]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.61]
0.047±0.010
[MDA=0.041]
(5.2e+04)
0.052±0.013
[MDA=0.044]
(5.2e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=1.84]
data
09/12/2011 10:43 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.062]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.300]
0.055±0.010
[MDA=0.042]
(4.4e+04)
0.059±0.013
[MDA=0.046]
(4.6e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.219]
data
09/29/2011 11:04 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.060]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.121]
0.080±0.010
[MDA=0.039]
(3.0e+04)
0.101±0.013
[MDA=0.045]
(2.7e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.107]
data
10/01/2011 09:39 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.091]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.353]
0.059±0.008
[MDA=0.034]
(4.1e+04)
0.076±0.013
[MDA=0.045]
(3.6e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.300]
data
10/10/2011 11:43 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.153]
less than MDA
[MDA=2.19]
0.056±0.010
[MDA=0.044]
(4.4e+04)
0.088±0.015
[MDA=0.049]
(3.1e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=2.02]
data
12/29/2011 07:54 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.053]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.131]
0.068±0.011
[MDA=0.044]
(3.6e+04)
0.075±0.015
[MDA=0.052]
(3.6e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.126]
data
02/16/2012 10:55 1.81 less than MDA
[MDA=0.060]
less than MDA
[MDA=0.159]
0.052±0.011
[MDA=0.045]
(4.6e+04)
0.115±0.016
[MDA=0.053]
(2.4e+04)
less than MDA
[MDA=0.228]
data

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