Have A Milk Radiation Question? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Have A Milk Radiation Question?

KHQ.COM - In accordance with the state Department of Health, SRHD has recently updated its FAQs on its website to accommodate information about milk safety. There is no new information at this time, but we will continue to update media and our website if new facts become available.

Here is a summary of the updated information:

Safe milk
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) routinely tests milk for radioactive material twice a year on both sides of the state. The next tests were scheduled to be done in April, but after the earthquake in Japan, they decided to test sooner on the West Coast.

Read EPA Statement
Read Governor Gregoire's Statement
Read SRHD Statement

What were the sample results?

The EPA reports that a barely detectable amount of Iodine-131 was found in a milk sample taken in March 25 in Spokane. The amount was reported as .8 pico curies per liter, which is 5,000 times lower than the level at which the milk would be considered unsafe to drink.

What's an unsafe level of Iodine-131 in milk?
When the Iodine-131 level in milk reaches 4,600 pico curies per liter, that triggers protective actions such as having milk removed from store shelves, and holding milk that's in production from being distributed. The state Department of Health would recommend such actions at 4,600 pico curies per liter in milk in accordance with the federal Food and Drug Administration standard, but the levels detected by EPA in milk samples from Spokane in March are many thousands of times lower than that.

Should the public be concerned about the low levels of radiation found in the milk?
People are exposed to low levels of radiation every day. The low levels of radiation found in the milk are miniscule and far below levels of concern, even for infants and children, and women who are pregnant or nursing.

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