Mar 23, 2011 6:32 PM by Greg Boyce

Tiny amount of Japanese radiation detected in Colorado

Minute levels of radiation have been detected in Colorado's air by the state health department.  The air sample shows a "minuscule" amount of iodine-131.

The sample has been sent to the EPA for more testing.

"Levels detected in Colorado are minuscule and represent no risk to human health," said Dr. Chris Urbina, chief medical officer and executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "Radiation can be detected at levels millions of times lower than the level that would cause health impacts. Radiation levels detected in Colorado are consistent with those reported for other states."

According to an EPA news release, "In a typical day, Americans receive doses of radiation from natural sources like rocks, bricks and the sun that are about 100,000 times higher than what we have detected coming from Japan. For example, the levels we're seeing coming from Japan are 100,000 times lower than what you get from taking a round trip international flight."

Dr. Urbina added, "There is no need for people to seek potassium iodide, as there is no risk to public health from the trace amounts of radiation being reported in the United States. Potassium iodide may have side effects. Using potassium iodide when it is unnecessary could cause intestinal upset (vomiting, nausea and diarrhea), rashes, allergic reactions, soreness of teeth and gums, and inflammation of the salivary glands. Pregnant women and the developing fetus are particularly sensitive to the health risks of taking potassium iodide."




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