Bloomberg reports radioactive iodine-131 was found in a March 25 milk sample from Spokane, as well as a March 28 milk sample in California. The first signs Japan’s nuclear accident is affecting U.S. food, state and federal officials said.
Although officials said the amounts detected are “far below levels of public health concern,” advocacy groups such as Public Citizen disagreed.
“There continues to be a significant risk of increased radiation releases that could result in detrimental health and safety impacts to American populations,” Tyson Slocum, research director of the energy program at Public Citizen, said in an interview. “The emphasis appears to be on downplaying the risks.”
As a result of these recent findings, The EPA and FDA said in a statement that they have increased monitoring of radiation in milk, rain and drinking water.
Meanwhile, the Virginia Department of Health has issued a warning to state residents Not to Drink Rainwater.
Virginia officials say that trace amounts of radioactive material have been detected across the country; the Virginia Department of Health is advising residents that the state’s drinking water supplies remain safe, but warns that residents should avoid using rainwater collected in cisterns as drinking water.
And according to Energy News, radioactive Iodine-131 in a rainwater sample near San Francisco was 18,100% above federal drinking water standards.
A few days ago the EPA advised that iodine-131 levels in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts exceeded the maximum contaminant level (MCL) permitted in drinking water. Radioactive Iodine-131 in a Pennsylvania rainwater sample was 3300% above federal drinking water standard.
Arnold Gundersen, a 39-year veteran of the nuclear industry, stated publicly that he’s taking potassium iodine tablets against radiation. Gundersen worked as a nuclear plant operator and served as an expert witness in the investigation into the Three Mile Island accident.
CNN reported that potassium iodide tablets were given to U.S. Naval air crew members flying within 70 nautical miles of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant.
Embassies throughout Japan are passing out potassium iodide tablets as a “precautionary measure” to protect their citizens from radiation exposure in case the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima plant gets worse.