This Article is From Mar 21, 2011

Tokyo battles rising food contamination levels

Tokyo battles rising food contamination levels
Tokyo: Tokyo residents shunned fish and prepared to stop buying vegetables as further radiation food contamination was reported on Monday.

At the city's traditional Ameyoko market, fishmongers had few customers as they tried in vain to interest shoppers in their wares.

"Customers do not come to buy fish in this situation," said Tadashi Higano, a 60-year-old fish shop owner.

Coupled with transportation problems in getting fish to market and problems with rail services affecting customers it was, he said, "big damage to us."

Monday's scare followed the detection of more radiation-tainted vegetables and tap water.

Food and water safety remain one of the biggest concerns for the Japanese government, but it maintains that the radiation levels were too small to pose an immediate health risk.

Tokyo's tap water, where minute traces of iodine were detected on Friday, has since tested positive for radioactive caesium.

Meanwhile, in Fukushima, workers have been evacuated from Japan's tsunami-stricken nuclear complex after grey smoke was seen rising from one of its reactors, a spokesman said on Monday.

The evacuation came shortly after the Japanese nuclear safety agency said they were confident that the situation was coming under control at the nuclear complex.

Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency deputy director-general Hidehiko Nishiyama said, "Of the seven workers who have been irradiated up until today, the one with the highest level of irradiated was at 150 millisieverts. All the others were at lower levels than that."

Tokyo Electric Power Company was investigating after the smoke was seen rising from the spent fuel storage pool of Unit 3.