NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Very low levels of radioactive material have been detected on the east coast, the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed.
“We want to make clear that there is no health impact,” said John Auerbach, Public Health Commissioner of Massachusetts.
The increased levels of radiation were detected in rainwater collected in Boston and federal environmental officials were urging Americans not to panic, Demetra Ganias reports.
The EPA issued a statement saying “these detections were expected and the levels detected are far below levels of public-health concern.”
Radioiodine 131 from the quake-stricken nuclear facility has also been detected in several western states and Pennsylvania as well.
It’s an isotope with a relatively short half-life. It’s radioactivity decreases within days, meaning it becomes less dangerous more quickly.
Massachusetts state officials were telling residents to keep drinking water from the tap. “We want to emphasize that the sampling results indicate no risk to the state drinking water supplies,” Auerbach said.
The idea was that rainwater was diluted in bodies of water long before it ends up in our drinking water. The EPA expected the higher radiation levels to be temporary.
However, the agency said it’s collecting samples at 100 sites across the country and taking steps to increase that nationwide monitoring.
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