DOH: Low Radiation Levels From Japan Detected In Washington; NO - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

DOH: Low Radiation Levels From Japan Detected In Washington; NO Health Risk

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A Department of Health air monitor in Seattle has detected trace levels of radiation in connection with Japan's nuclear emergency. The minuscule amounts of radioactive iodine are millions of times lower than levels that would be a health concern. Despite these very small amounts, the state's overall background radiation levels haven't risen.

The positive results are consistent with findings reported by federal and Canadian partners, and by independent researchers. As expected, because of the distance from Japan and air mixing, radiation reaching our state is so diluted there is no health risk here, making protective action unnecessary.

People in Washington shouldn't take potassium iodide, also known as KI, because of what's happened in Japan. Only people who work in or around nuclear power plants during an emergency, or who live near such a plant and can't get away, should take KI.

EPA STATEMENT: As a result of the incident with the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, several EPA air monitors have detected very low levels of radioactive material in the United States consistent with estimated releases from the damaged nuclear reactors. EPA has stepped up monitoring of precipitation, milk, and drinking water in response to the Fukushima events. The detections in air, precipitation, and milk were expected, and the levels detected have been far below levels of public-health concern. Today, EPA released its latest RadNet results, which include the first results for drinking water. Drinking water samples from two locations, Boise, Idaho and Richland, Washington, showed trace amounts of Iodine-131 - about 0.2 picocuries per liter in each case. An infant would have to drink almost 7,000 liters of this water to receive a radiation dose equivalent to a day's worth of the natural background radiation exposure we experience continuously from natural sources of radioactivity in our environment. Earlier precipitation samples collected by EPA have shown trace amounts of radioactivity, so EPA has expected to find results such as these in some drinking water samples. Similar findings are to be expected in the coming weeks.

RESOURCES:

EPA Radnet Drinking Water Results: http://www.epa.govjapan2011docs ertRadNet-Drinking-Water-Data-Public-Release-4-2-2011.pdf <http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/docs/rert/RadNet-Drinking-Water-Data-Public-Release-4-2-2011.pdf>

EPA's precipitation sampling and air filter analyses:

For the latest air monitoring filter data: <http://epa.gov/japan2011/docs/rert/radnet-cart-filter-final.pdf>

For the latest milk sampling data: <http://epa.gov/japan2011/docs/rert/radnet-milk-final.pdf>

For the latest precipitation sampling data: <http://epa.gov/japan2011/docs/rert/radnet-precipitation-final.pdf>

Washington State Department of Health (DOH) information page for the disaster in Japan <http://www.doh.wa.gov/Topics/japan2011.htm>(www.doh.wa.gov/Topics/japan2011.htm

DOH radiation monitoring in Washington, including air monitoring data <http://www.doh.wa.gov/Topics/japan/monitor.htm>

(www.doh.wa.gov/Topics/japan/monitor.htm <http://www.doh.wa.gov/Topics/japan/monitor.htm>).

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