Radioactive rain reported from West Coast to New England

Put your lead galoshes on — the rain is radioactive (but not very, the EPA says).

EPA says levels are well below any threshold triggering health concerns

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — EPA air monitors continue to detect low levels of radioactive rain in various locations across the U.S. from the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan. So far, the detected levels are well below thresholds that would raise public health concerns. West Coast monitors have detected radioactive iodine, cesium, and tellurium.

While the EPA says there is no cause for concern, not everyone agrees. Click here to read an alternative viewpoint from the Canadian Centre for Global Research.

The most recent reports of elevation radiation in precipitation events are from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. EPA is reviewing this data — however, in both cases these are levels above the normal background levels historically reported in these areas. Click here to get the data from the EPA monitors.

EPA’s recommendation to state and local governments is to continue to coordinate closely with EPA, CDC and FDA – EPA will continue to communicate our nationwide sampling results as they come in.

EPA’s RadNet filter results for San Francisco, Seattle, Riverside and Anaheim, California have detected minuscule quantities of iodine isotopes and other radioactive particles that, according to the agency, pose no health concern at the detected levels. Below are the results of the detailed filter analysis.

All of the radiation levels detected during the detailed filter analysis are hundreds of thousands to millions of times below levels of concern — the levels we’re seeing coming from Japan are 100,000 times lower than what travelers would be exposed to from taking a roundtrip international flight.

The detailed analysis of the four west coast RadNet air monitor filters showed trace amounts of radioactive iodine, cesium, and tellurium consistent with the Japanese nuclear incident. These levels are consistent with the levels found by a Department of Energy monitor last week and are to be expected in the coming days.

As a result, the agency is stepping up nationwide monitoring of precipitation, drinking water, and other potential exposure routes to continue to verify that that the increased radiation events are of short duration.

EPA’s West Coast samples were captured by three monitors in California and one in Washington State on Friday, March 18 and sent to EPA scientists for detailed laboratory analysis. The data was reviewed over the weekend and the analysis was completed Monday night.

Additionally, preliminary monitor results in Hawaii last week detected minuscule levels of an isotope that is also consistent with the Japanese nuclear incident. This detection varies from background and historical data in Hawaii. This isotope was detected at our fixed monitor in Hawaii. The sampling filter from this monitor is being sent to our national radiation lab for further analysis.


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