Feds Accused of Covering up Japan Radiation Threat

The federal government is being accused of covering up the <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Radiation-Exposure-Environmental-Contamination-Dumping-Spill-Lawsuit">Japan radiation threat, here, in the United States.

Heart of America Northwest
, a nuclear watchdog group located in Seattle, Washington, alleges that the feds did not advise the public about Fukushima nuclear disaster radiation, said news station, King 5. Immediately following the recent tsunami in Japan, the U.S. monitored radiation leaking from Japan’s power plants, said King 5, with the bulk of the concern on air monitoring, which revealed minimal or no radiation making its way to the U.S.

On the rainwater side; however, there was a different situation. “The level that was detected on March 24 was 41 times the drinking water standard,” said Gerry Pollet of Heart of America Northwest, quoted King 5. Pollet reviewed Iodine 131 data that was released by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last year. “Our government said no health levels were exceeded. When, in fact, the rain water in the Northwest is reaching levels 130 times the drinking water standards,” said Pollet, reported King 5.

The rainwater samples indicating elevated levels were collected in Portland, Olympia, and Boise, Washington; Boise tested with the highest levels, said King 5.

EPA officials argue that the information is publicly available on its website. “Since Iodine 131 has a very short half-life of approximately eight days, the levels seen in rainwater were expected to be relatively short in duration,” said an EPA spokesperson, quoted King 5.

King 5 said that state health agencies pointed out that public drinking water sources are under constant monitoring and no levels were found in the unhealthy range. Heart of America said that while the brief exposure will likely not lead to heath issues, the public has a right to be told about the exposure, said King 5. According to the EPA, the elevated rainwater radiation period was brief, added King 5.

We’ve been following the issue about radiation from the Japan nuclear disaster making its way into U.S. milk and involving the radioactive isotope of strontium. The dangerous isotope was detected in a milk sample from Hilo, Hawaii, according to the EPA, previously. Levels were deemed lower that the Derived Intervention Level (DIL) set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said the EPA. Radioactive material that likely originated from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was detected in milk in Arkansas, Arizona, and Vermont, as well as in drinking water in several U.S. cities.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant, built by General Electric, was damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11. The failure of the venting system allowed hydrogen explosions to occur that sent large amounts of radioactive materials into the air. While use of the venting system still would have allowed radiation to escape into the atmosphere, it would have been much less than what was released in the explosions.

Concerns about radiation from Japan prompted the FDA to halt the import of produce and dairy products from areas of Japan near the damaged reactors, and to screen seafood and other products imported from that country. The EPA also stepped up monitoring of radiation in air and water here.

Meanwhile, trace amounts of radiation from Japan have been detected in air and rainwater in several U.S. states including Alaska, Alabama, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, South Carolina, and Washington. Traces of radioactive iodine-131 also turned up in samples of milk in Spokane, Washington and San Luis Obispo County, California. The EPA also detected the radioactive material iodine-131 in drinking water samples from 13 more U.S. cities.

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