Japan Nuclear Crises Takes Ominous Turn, More Radiation Detected in Western U.S.

As the Japan nuclear crises worsened today, it was also learned that several more Western states have detected small amounts of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/Radiation-Exposure-Environmental-Contamination-Dumping-Spill-Lawsuit">radiation that apparently made its way across the Pacific Ocean. According to a statement on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the radioactive materials being detected thus far — “are far below levels of concern.”

Colorado and Oregon are the latest states to have detected the radiation. According to CNN, authorities in Colorado said in a press release Wednesday that sampling from a monitor there detected miniscule amounts of iodine-131, a radioactive form of iodine. Oregon public health officials said an EPA monitor in that state also picked up tiny amounts iodine 131.

Sampling of these radioactive particles from these and other monitors will be further analyzed at the EPA’s national lab, the agency said.

According to CNN, the monitors have also picked up radioactive iodine, cesium and tellurium at four RadNet air monitor filters on the West Coast — three in California and one in Washington. As we reported previously, small amount of radioactive materials from Japan have also bee detected in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, work is continuing in Japan to stabilize the severely damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, which has been leaking radiation since Japan was hit with a massive earthquake and tsunami earlier this month. Unfortunately, media outlets are reporting that there has been a serious breach in the core of one of the plant’s stricken nuclear reactors, which could mean more serious radioactive contamination. According to an MSNBC report, the Japanese Prime Minister today called the situation “very grave and serious” and said officials were “not in a position where we can be optimistic.”

Work has now halted at the plant, but earlier two workers waded into water at the turbine building for reactor #3 that was 10,000 times more radioactive than is typical and suffered skin burns. Highly radioactive water was also found in the turbine buildings at Units 1 and 2, MSNBC said.

As we’ve reported previously, since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant began leaking radiation, radioactivity has shown up in vegetables and milk produced in some Japanese prefectures, and radiation has been detected 200 miles away in Tokyo’s tap water. But according to MSNBC, experts still maintain that radiation leaking from the plant is mainly below levels of exposure from flights or dental and medical X-rays.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) said it had halted the import of produce and dairy products from areas of Japan near the damaged reactors. Just a few days prior, the agency had said it would only be screening Japan produced foods for radiation. The ban will not impact seafood or foods produced in other regions of Japan, though those products will continue to be screened.

Less than 4 percent of the food imported into the U.S. comes from Japan. According to the FDA, the most common Japanese imports include seafood, snack foods and processed fruits and vegetables.

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