Radiation from Japan has been detected in drinking water in 13 more American cities, and cesium-137 has been found in American milk—in Montpelier, Vermont—for the first time since the Japan nuclear disaster began, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Agency late Friday.
Milk samples from Phoenix and Los Angeles contained iodine-131 at levels roughly equal to the maximum contaminant level permitted by EPA, the data shows. The Phoenix sample contained 3.2 picoCuries per liter of iodine-131. The Los Angeles sample contained 2.9. The EPA maximum contaminant level is 3.0, but this is a conservative standarddesigned to minimize exposure over a lifetime, so EPA does not consider these levels to pose a health threat.
The cesium-137 found in milk in Vermont is the first cesium detected in milk since the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear accident occurred last month. The sample contained 1.9 picoCuries per liter of cesium-137, which falls under the same 3.0 standard.
Radioactive isotopes accumulate in milk after they spread through the atmosphere, fall to earth in rain or dust, and settle on vegetation, where they are ingested by grazing cattle. Iodine-131 is known to accumulate in
the thyroid gland, where it can cause cancer and other thyroid diseases. Cesium-137 accumulates in the body’s soft tissues, where it increases risk of cancer, according to EPA.
Airborne contamination continues to cross the western states, the new data shows, and Boise has seen the highest concentrations of radioactive isotopes in rain so far.
A rainwater sample collected in Boise on March 27 contained 390 picocures per liter of iodine-131, plus 41 of cesium-134 and 36 of cesium-137. EPA released this result for the first time yesterday. Typically several days pass between sample collection and data release because of the time required to collect, transport and analyze the samples.
Radioactive Iodine-131 was found in drinking water samples from 13 cities. Those cities are listed below, with the amount of Iodine-131 in picocuries per liter. The EPA’s maximum contaminant level for Iodine-131 in drinking water is 3 picocuries per liter.
- Oak Ridge, TN collected 3/28: 0.63
- Oak Ridge, TN collected at three sites 3/29: 0.28, 0.20, 0.18
- Chatanooga, TN collected 3/28: 1.6
- Helena, MT collected 3/28: 0.18
- Columbia, PA collected 3/29: 0.20
- Cincinatti, OH collected 3/28: 0.13
- Pittsburgh, PA collected 3/28: 0.36
- East Liverpool, OH collected 3/30: 0.42
- Painesville, OH collected 3/29: 0.43
- Denver, CO collected 3/30: 0.17
- Detroit, MI collected 3/31: 0.28
- Trenton, NJ collected 3/31: 0.38
- Waretown, NJ collected 3/31: 0.38
- Muscle Shoals, AL collected 3/31: 0.16
In the data released Friday, iodine-131 was found in rainwater samples from the following locations:
- Salt Lake City, UT collected 3/17: 8.1
- Boston, MA collected 3/22: 92
- Montgomery, Alabama collected 3/30: 3.7
- Boise, ID collected 3/27: 390
As reported above, the Boise sample also contained 42 pC/m3 of Cesium-134, and 36 of Cesium-137.
In the most recent data, iodine-131 was found in air filters in the following locations. In the case of air samples, the radiation is measured in picoCuries per cubic meter.
- Montgomery, AL collected 3/31: 0.055
- Nome AK collected 3/30: 0.17
- Nome AK collected 3/29: 0.36
- Nome AK collected 3/27: 0.36
- Nome AK collected 3/26: 0.46
- Nome AK collected 3/25: 0.26
- Juneau AKcollected 3/26: 0.43
- Juneau AK collected 3/27: 0.38
- Juneau AK collected 3/30: 0.28
- Dutch Harbor AK collected 3/30: 0.14
- Dutch Harbor AK collected 3/29: 0.11
- Dutch Harbor AK colleccted 3/26: 0.21
- Boise, ID collected 3/27: 0.22
- Boise, ID collected 3/29: 0.27
- Boise, ID collected 3/28: 0.32
- Las Vegas NV collected 3/28: 0.30
- Las Vegas, NV collected 3/30:: 0.088
- Las Vegas, NV collected 3/29: 0.044
No other types of isotopes were found in the most recent data from air samples, even though EPA is also on the lookout for barium-140, cobalt-60, cesium-134, cesium-136, cesium-137, iodine-132, iodine-133, tellurium-129, and tellurium-132.
In older samples, isotopes of cesium and tellurium were found in Boise; Las Vegas; Nome and Dutch Harbor; Honolulu, Kauai and Oahu, Hawaii; Anaheim, Riverside, San Francisco, and San Bernardino, California; Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; Guam, and Saipan on the Marina Islands.
Online Radiation Detector-Click on the Link below.
Only detectors with readings in the last 24 hours are displayed
Note that these are generally run by individuals, and not all readings may be accurate. Do not panic because you see a high reading. Someone could be getting invalid readings.
Also note that readings do fluctuate over time, this is normal for geiger counters. See Variations in Geiger Counter Readings
- US Radiation Monitoring Sites.