TAMU Professor Says Not to Worry About Japanese Radiation

By: Michael Oder Email
By: Michael Oder Email

Radioactive particles from a disabled nuclear reactor in Japan are being detected in the United States, but in very small amounts. Not just on the west coast, but as far away as Massachusetts.

People in Japan are already dealing with radioactive drinking water and having to avoid certain foods. Could the radiation from Japan affect the U-S in the same way?

A Texas A&M professor says we shouldn't be worried.

A nuclear power plant reactor in Japan is leaking radiation. It's causing earthquake and tsunami survivors near the plants to avoid the tap water and certain produce.

It's not just affecting Japan's east coast, it's showing up in Massachusetts.

Small amounts of radioactive particles have been detected in rainwater near Boston.

"The levels of radiation are below detection. So, this isotope did not show up in the drinking water supply for Greater Boston," says Kenneth Kimmel, with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

"The amounts we have in the US are measurable, but recognize we have very, very sensitive radiation detectors," says John Poston, a Texas A&M University professor in the Nuclear Science Department.

Poston's specialty is how the human body handles radiation.

The reason air is monitored for radioactive particles is to see where they land. If they land in water or milk, the isotopes are more likely to be ingested.

It's scary to think that radioactive particles from Japan can make their way to the U.S., but the threat of radiation is small.

So far there have been no reported detections of radio-iodine 131 in Texas.

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