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Japan's nuke plant radiation traces detected in US

March 29, 2011 - Washington

Low levels of radiation from Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have now been detected in 13 US states and three union territories, said country's federal and local authorities.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), elevated but low levels of radiation were detected by 12 monitoring stations in Alaska, Alabama, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands, and Washington State over the past week.

Slight amounts of radiation were also reported in Massachusetts rainwater and by state officials and nuclear power plant radiation sensors in Colorado, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania

"Some of the filter results show levels slightly higher than those found by EPA monitors last week and a Department of Energy monitor the week before," the EPA said in its 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 estimates from the damaged nuclear reactors," the statement added.

It also said such findings are to be expected in the coming days and are still far below levels of public health concern, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health revealed one key radioactive particle being detected is Iodine-131. Its trace amounts were trapped in clouds, and recent rains deposited the particle in collection containers.

The EPA, Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration said in a joint statement that radiation level is 25 times below the level that would be of concern for use as a sole source of water over a short period of time.

One key area being watched is the US milk supply. The EPA and Massachusetts authorities said they were monitoring the milk supply at more than 30 stations.


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