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Re: west coast - got iodine?

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warduck Views: 1,179
Published: 10 years ago
This is a reply to # 1,792,016

Re: west coast - got iodine?

Well, I'm at the front line of this thing (Bay Area) and while I should be pretty iodated, I'm still a lot more afraid of cesium and tellurium. So far, it's still okay here.

Japan quake: Tiny levels of radiation in Bay Area
David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

Nuclear engineers at UC Berkeley reported Wednesday they are detecting "extremely small" levels of radiation from the stricken Fukushima power plant in Japan, but the levels barely reach the limits of detection by their highly sophisticated monitoring equipment, they said.

Rainwater in their collector atop Etcheverry Hall on the campus, water samples from Strawberry Creek as it flows through historic Sather Gate, and locally purchased milk all show clear signatures of the radioactive material coming from the Fukushima reactors, said Kai Vetter, UC professor of nuclear engineering, who is leading a team of specialists monitoring the radiation.

The level of radioactivity in the iodine-131 that the scientists detected over an 18-hour period was so low "you would need to drink 632 liters of rainwater to obtain the same radiation effects you obtain on a round-trip flight between San Francisco and Washington, D.C." he said. (632 liters are about 167 gallons, or 668 quarts.)

The gamma radiation collected in Berkeley comes from these four radioactive isotopes, Vetter said: iodine-131, cesium-134, cesium-137 and tellurium-132, the signatures of the nuclear disaster in Japan.

The California Department of Public Health reported that as of March 18 its air monitors in eight cities from Eureka to San Diego, and including Richmond and Livermore, had detected "only trace amounts" of radioactive iodine-131, as well as equally minute amounts of tellurium-132 in Livermore and San Luis Obispo.

The Associated Press also reported that a sample of milk taken March 25 in Spokane, Wash., showed traces of iodine-131 that were 5,000 times below levels of "concern" set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including levels set for infants and children.


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