Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fear outweighs the fallout in America

Gus van Vliet of the Air Quality Division of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation works on a radiation detection monitor that is on the roof of the Floyd Dryden Middle School in Juneau, Alaska.

By Alan Boyle

Americans are being exposed to almost twice as much radiation as they used to get — but not because of fallout from nuclear accidents in Japan or elsewhere. Medical tests, not nuclear accidents, account for the dramatic rise in our radiation exposure. Based on today's readings, the radiation coming from the troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex rates barely a blip.
The Environmental Protection Agency said the readings from its nationwide network of atmospheric air-sniffing sensors showed "typical fluctuations in background radiation levels" that were "far below levels of concern." (You can check the updates on this Web page.) The initial U.N. radiation counts from California were "about a billion times beneath levels that would be health-threatening," one diplomat told The Associated Press.
In a later statement, the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy said none of their detectors picked up "any radiation levels of concern." Full story here

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