Trace Amounts of Radiation from Japan Found in New York

By Ben Fractenberg on March 30, 2011 11:20am 

Radiation from the Dai-ichi nuclear complex in northern Japan started leaking after a massive earthquake hit the country in March, 2011.
Radiation from the Dai-ichi nuclear complex in northern Japan started leaking after a massive earthquake hit the country in March, 2011.
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AP/Tokyo Electric Power Co.

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — Trace amounts of radiation from the damaged nuclear power plant in Japan were found in New York State, according to the New York State Department of Health.

"New York continues to have safe public drinking water supplies," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav R. Shah in a statement. "Our most recent testing has detected extremely low levels of radioactive iodine in the air. We use sophisticated equipment that can detect minute amounts of radiation. We continue to advise New Yorkers that they do not need to take any precautions because of the radioactive emissions from Japan's nuclear plants."

The amount of radiation is thousands of times lower than imaging procedures, like X-rays, Shah added.

The radiation was detected through testing water and air at 12 separate locations throughout the state, NBC New York reported Wednesday.

The radioactive particles traveled from Japan through air streams, the Department of Health said. Some of the radiation can reach the ground through rain or snow, but in such small amounts it would not be expected affect the soil or drinking water.

"The Department of Health continues to monitor air, water, sediment, milk and fish, and is working with all appropriate state and federal agencies to share data," Shah said in a statement. "Based on our monitoring to date, what we are seeing is consistent across other states. There is no threat to public health."

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