The after-effects of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster are still lingering, and a new study suggests some wines have been impacted.
In fact, French researchers tested 18 bottles of California rosé and cabernet sauvignon from 2009 onward, and found increased levels of radioactive particles in the beverages produced after the energy accident. In the case of the cabernet, the study shows the levels of the radioactive materials doubled.
As Michael Pravikoff, a physicist who worked on the study, tells The New York Times: “We can measure some radioactive level that is much higher than the usual level.”
However, while the presence of radioactive particles in wine might sound frightening, the publication reports the drink should not be seen as a health hazard, and notes the radioactive levels started very low and continue to drop with each passing year.
“These levels are so low, way below the natural radioactivity that’s everywhere in the world,” Pravikoff adds.
Furthermore, The California Department of Public Health said in a statement to The New York Times that there “were no health and safety concerns to California residents” immediately following the disaster, and this report doesn’t change that.
The French research team, which in some instances had to burn the wine to ashes in order to measure the radioactive material, has spent the past several years studying fermented fruit drinks from all over the world. They suspect some Golden State wines have been impacted because the radioactive cloud from the 2011 disaster in Japan, which was triggered after a tsunami followed an earthquake, floated over the Pacific Ocean to California and settled on grapes there.
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