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Radiation monitors show no radiation levels of concern reaching U.S.

By March 23, 2011

WASHINGTON — During a detailed analysis of four West Coast RadNet air monitor filters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified 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.

EPA’s samples were captured by three monitors in California and one in Washington State 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.

The radiation levels detected on the filters from California and Washington monitors are hundreds of thousands to millions of times below levels of concern.

In addition, March 22 preliminary monitor results in Hawaii 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 the EPA’s fixed monitor in Hawaii, and it is far below any level of concern for human health. The sampling filter from this monitor is being sent to the national radiation lab for further analysis.

In a typical day, Americans receive doses of radiation from natural sources like rocks, bricks and the sun that are about 100,000 times higher than what the EPA has detected coming from Japan. For example, the levels curretnly seen coming from Japan are 100,000 times lower than what you get from taking a roundtrip international flight, according to the EPA.

EPA is in the process of conducting detailed filter analyses for fixed monitors located in Oregon.

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

Press Release

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