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Officials: Low Levels Of Radiation From Japan Found In Mass. Rainwater Sample

BOSTON (CBS) – Low concentrations of radioiodine likely associated with the nuclear power plant issues in Japan were found in a sample of precipitation, state health officials announced on Sunday.

The precipitation sample containing radioiodine-131 (I-131) was taken in the past week, and more than 100 locations across the U.S., including in California, Pennsylvania, and Washington have also reported small concentrations of radiation.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports.

State health officials said there was no health impact to the state drinking water.

“The drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation. However, we will carefully monitor the drinking water as we exercise an abundance of caution,” said DPH Commissioner John Auerbach.

No detectable levels of radiation were found in the air in Massachusetts.

Rep. Ed Markey, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a statement regarding the discovery of small radiation levels:

“The nuclear meltdown in Japan should serve as a wake-up call to us all. I do not believe the levels of radioactive fallout found in Massachusetts rainwater are currently any cause for alarm. However, I am alarmed that my 2002 law to distribute potassium iodide, which protects against high levels of just this sort of fallout, to people living within 20 miles of nuclear power plants has not yet been implemented. As a result, in Massachusetts potassium iodide is only being made available to those living within a 10-mile radius of a nuclear power plant. What is happening in Japan right now is a clear warning to us that accidents can and do happen at nuclear plants, and our government needs to do more to protect the public from the risks.”

Also See: EPA Information on Iodine-131


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