Radiation From Japan Is Not Harmful To U.S. | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: April 14, 2011

Radiation From Japan Is Not Harmful To U.S.

EPA director tells Congress that data from air and water samples show no basis for concern
Department: Newscripts
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: Japan, nuclear, radiation

Very low levels of radioactive material linked to the crisis at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have reached the West Coast of the U.S. But analyses of air and water samples for radiation contamination show that America remains safe, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Tuesday.

"Let me be clear, EPA has not seen and does not expect to see radiation in our air or water reaching harmful levels in the U.S.," Jackson said. "All of the data that we have seen, which we continue to make public and available on our website, indicates that while radiation levels are slightly elevated in some places, they are significantly below problematic levels."

EPA has 164 monitoring stations spread throughout the 50 states, and the agency measures radioactive substances in air, precipitation, drinking water, and milk. Recent air samples have contained very small amounts of iodine, cesium, and tellurium, which are consistent with possible releases from the damaged Japanese reactors, Jackson testified. The largest amounts were found in samples from Alaska on March 19 and 24, she said, but all of the radiation levels detected “are hundreds of times below levels of concern.”

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