Japan Radiation Found in US Milk

Very low contamination poses zero risk, FDA says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2011 1:25 AM CDT
Updated Mar 31, 2011 6:30 AM CDT
Japan Radiation Found in US Milk
Milk waiting to be tested sits on shelves in a cooler at the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory in Montgomery, Ala..   (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Traces of radiation from Japan have been found in a sample of milk from Washington state, but the EPA and FDA stress the level is far below that which would affect humans, and there is no need for consumers to worry. The March 25 milk samples showed levels of radioactive Iodine-131 that were 5,000 times below the FDA's level of concern, AP reports. Iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days, and the level found in dairy products is expected to drop quickly.

"This morning I spoke with the chief advisers for both the EPA and the FDA and they confirmed that these levels are minuscule and are far below levels of public health concern, including for infants and children," Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire said in a statement. "According to them, a pint of milk at these levels would expose an individual to less radiation than a five-hour airplane flight." The federal agencies say they are stepping up monitoring of radiation levels in milk, rain, and drinking water. (More Fukushima Daiichi stories.)

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