Despite public concern over fallout from the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Health Canada failed to report higher than normal radioactive iodine levels in rainwater. The Green Party of Canada has been calling for Canada to increase transparency around possible radioactive contamination in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. “We were worried that this important information would not reach the public and unfortunately, it looks as if we were right,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
It has now been revealed that data were not released from a Calgary Health Canada monitoring station detecting levels of radioactive iodine in rainwater well above the Canadian guideline for drinking water. This isotope was known to be released by the nuclear accident and also showed up in tests in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Ottawa. Lower levels of contamination resulted in a don’t-drink-rainwater advisory in Virginia.
“Serious questions are arising about how Health Canada tests for radiation, and why it has failed to properly alert the public,” said May. “We find out now that monitoring appears inadequate, Health Canada data does not agree with that from independent researchers, and no information is making its way to the public. In effect, Health Canada has not allowed Canadians to take any preventative steps to reduce our exposure to this radiation.”
“We now ask, what changes will be implemented to restore public trust in our health regulators?” said May.