media release

More testing needed to learn impact of soil radioactivity

March 12, 2014
Print

Contact:
Krysztof Starosta, 778.782.8861; starosta@sfu.ca (note: Prof Starosta is teaching today until 12:30 p.m. and will be available for interviews from 1:30–3 p.m.)
Diane Mar-Nicolle, Faculty of Science communications, 778.782.9586; dianem@sfu.ca
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.9017; Marianne_Meadahl@sfu.ca

Further investigations of soil are needed to understand any possible impacts posed by small amounts of radioactivity, following the testing of a soil sample near Kilby Park in the Fraser Valley, according to the Simon Fraser University researcher who studied it.

SFU chemistry professor Krysztof Starosta studied the sample, provided to him by a colleague in the School of Resource and Environmental Management, and stresses that the presence of radiation by itself does not indicate danger to health. “It is the dose which determines the impact,” says Starosta. “At no point, we think, is there any risk to general public.”

The sample was found to contain a radioactive metal known as Cesium 134 (134C), which Starosta determined is from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan three years ago. 

Starosta has since followed up with other soil samples from Kilby and SFU, all collected in March, and did not find any evidence for the presence of 134Cs.

Currently his group is working on improving sensitivity of the detection of 134Cs to further investigate its presence in B.C. soil.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.

-30-

Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

<p><a href="/content/sfu/sfunews/comment_guidelines.html?keepThis=true&amp;TB_iframe=true&amp;height=700&amp;width=700" class="thickbox">Comment Guidelines</a><br>
</p>