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Napa Valley wines contain traces of Fukushima radiation


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, July 26, 2018, 2:38 PM - Traces of a radioactive isotope linked to a 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan have been found in wine from California's Napa Valley, according to a new study.

The authors examined 18 bottles of Napa Valley wine made after the disaster found the presence of cesium-137, a man-made isotope that's only released into rivers and soil following a radioactive event.

Some of the Cabernet wines had twice the amount of cesium-137 than wines made before the disaster.

(RELATED: Global wine production reaches a new low, thanks to the weather)

Still, the study insists the wines are still safe to drink because the levels of cesium-137 are extremely low.

"These levels are so low, way below the natural radioactivity that’s everywhere in the world," Michael Pravikoff, a physicist an co-author of the study, told the New York Times, adding the amounts were so minute researchers had to burn the wine to locate the cesium-137.

While ingesting too much cesium-137 can lead to cancer, California officials say the wine doesn't contain enough to pose a health risk.

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