Mar 28, 2011
Radiation in Boston rain linked to Japan nuclear crisis
A sample of rainwater in Boston, Mass., showed very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the damaged Japanese nuclear power power, according to health officials who say the amount does not pose a safety risk.The radioiodine-131 has not affected the drinking water supply and will quickly dissipate, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said Sunday about the sample taken March 22. State officials said air samples from the same location have shown no detectable radiation, nor did water samples from the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs.
"Until the Japan nuclear plant is stabilized, trace amounts of I-131 may continue to be detected as it rains in Massachusetts. However, levels will remain significantly lower and not of any health concern," the state said on its website. It said people should not worry about kids playing in the rain, pets drinking rainwater or people eating vegetables from their garden (although washing them first is always a good idea, it added.)
Trace amounts of radiation have been detected in air samples in several western U.S. states, but again, at levels too small to affect human health. The testing is occurring at more than 100 U.S. sites that are part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Radiation Network monitoring system, which has accelerated its sampling because of the Japanese crisis.
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On March 11, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami knocked out the power needed to cool the reactors and radioactive spent fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant northeast of Tokyo. On Monday, Japanese workers were trying to pump out the plant's radioactive water that's suspected of seeping from the complex and spreading to seawater and soil.