#Radioactive Leaf Tobacco, 217 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium

Diposkan oleh Pengetahuan dan Pengalaman on Tuesday, September 6, 2011

If this doesn't deter the smokers from smoking, I don't know what will.

From TBS News (9/6/2011):


JT (Japan Tobacco Inc.) announced the result of the survey of leaf tobacco for radioactive materials and said "there is no problem". The harvest season for leaf tobacco will start soon.


The harvest season for leaf tobacco will start in October in earnest. JT conducted the survey of one type of leaf tobacco, dried, in 4 prefectures (Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba, and Shizuoka). Fukushima Prefecture was excluded as no leaf tobacco is grown this year.


According to the survey, radioactive iodine in all samples was below the detection level. However, the maximum 217 becquerels/kg of radioactive cesium was found.


There is no safety limit for the leaf tobacco. However, JT explained the level of radioactive cesium as "not a problem" because it was below the provisional safety limit of 500 becquerels/kg for vegetables. JT is going to conduct a sample monitoring of other types of leaf tobacco.

According to the press release by JT, no radioactive cesium was detected in leaf tobacco grown in Shizuoka Prefecture. But of 33 samples in the other 3 prefectures, 27 samples were found with radioactive cesium from the lowest 21 to the highest 217 becquerels/kg (both in Ibaraki).

JT says it will not purchase or use leaf tobacco that exceeds the provisional safety limit for vegetables (as there is no safety limit for leaf tobacco). In other words, all leaf tobacco that's been tested is good to be purchased and made into cigarettes and sold by JT.

JT was a government corporation, and the national government still owns 50.02% of the company. In exchange for the obligation to purchase all leaf tobacco grown in Japan, it is granted the monopoly of manufacturing cigarettes in Japan. It is very active in exporting the cigarettes and is the 3rd largest cigarette company in the world after Philip Morris and British American Tobacco.