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Radiation Not a Threat to Western North America

Radiation Not a Threat to Western North America

Health officials from Los Angeles to British Columbia have publicly stated that radiation released in Japan is not a threat to the health of people living in the western-most parts of California, Washington and British Columbia, where the leaked radiation potentially could have been carried by winds. British Columbia’s health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall said, “Modeling of possible scenarios suggest that any release into the atmosphere of nuclear particles would take five to six days to reach British Columbia, by which time it would be so dispersed as to be not considered a health risk.”  Source: (bclocalnews.com)

The Washington State Department of Health has published related information online taking the same position. In their Frequently Asked Questions page they said, “We don’t expect significant levels of radioactivity in our state, and there’s no health risk. Japan is thousands of miles from our state, and if radioactivity from the reactors there is released to the upper atmosphere it would be thinned-out by the winds before it could reach us.” (Source: DOH.wa.gov)  The Los Angeles County health officer, Dr. Jonathon Fielding said, “We do not consider that there is a significant risk of exposure to harmful levels of radiation in the United States at this time.”  Source: (surfsantamonica.com)

Some people living in California were buying potassium iodide pills in a rush, but they have been said to be unnecessary by the State of California, and potentially harmful if taken without being properly informed, “Cal EMA, along with its state and federal partners, would like to assure the public that there is no threat posed to California or the U.S. as a result of this situation and no need to take potassium iodide, which could cause undue health risks. ” (Source: ema.ca.gov)

Santa Clara County’s health officer, Dr. Martin Fenstersheib said, “I understand that people are afraid of the unknown. Even with earthquakes, we’re used to them. It’s a scary thing when people say ‘nuclear contamination.’ It’s something you can’t see, and because you can’t see it, people are afraid. It’s a normal human reaction. But there’s no risk at this point.” (Source: Mercurynews.com) Santa Clara County is part of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Even in Hawaii, which is hundreds of miles closer to Japan, there is no health risk yet. Their state Health department interim director said, “There is no increased risk of harmful levels of radiation exposure in Hawaii based on the situation to date at the nuclear power complex in Japan.” (Source: bigislandvideonews.com)

In response to the release of radiation several thousands of miles away in Japan, the US federal government has deployed more radiation monitors in the West for earlier detection should any radiation appear there.

Image Credit: NASA

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74 comments

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7:28AM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

Reassurance is good

6:35PM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

The capitalists in charge will not stop until there is nothing left of the planet or the human race.

1:16PM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

I heard yesterday - Tuesday 22nd March that radiation had been detected in Iceland - Thay are expecting it to circle the globe - BUT our government as well as others are playing this event down by not telling us the levels.
Radiation contamination has ben found in food in Japan.
The heavier element born up and into the slip stream have fallen in to The Pacific and is will also affect fish and seafood off of Canada - Now they are keeping us distracted with yet another contrived war.

9:57AM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

Reassuring news.

5:53PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Thanks

5:53PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

I sure hope this starts a HUGE outcry against kind of energy, as well as an equally big push for alternative energy....

7:11AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Actually geothermal is CHEAP ..Iceland heats itself with geothermal .80% is heated with geothermal except for the houses in far flung regions.Americans are not too smart otherwise they would push for clean energy .

7:03AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Time for the prez to actually get serious about representing the US citizens and CREATE Jobs in wind, solar and geothermal .

7:01AM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Oh really ? Government says no danger ?
Since the USA has not always been so honest with it's citizens and motives , I think I will take precautions against the threat of radiation.
Japan was telling their OWN people there was no radiation problem in the beginning . I wonder how many people ventured out into the cloud and into a death sentence .

10:16PM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

Add this to my other comment.

At age 76, I have seen a lot of pronouncements from Public Health officials that have turned out to be strongly misleading so as not "to panic the public" that have turned out to be harmful to folks who believed them. There are political pressures and economic pressures upon the media--trust me--that cause them to report half-truths and untruths.

It's pretty much a knee-jerk response now for me and my family to raise the level of skepticism whenever we hear a government agency say very mollifying things in emergencies, especially when they say "there is no danger to the public expected". It's called CYA.

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