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posted on March 17, 2011 08:59
Idaho Works with National Partners and Other States to Monitor Radiation  
 
Idaho public health and environmental safety officials are closely monitoring information on the radiation release reported from Japan’s damaged nuclear power facilities.
 
According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the situation does not pose a radiation health threat to the United States. Given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.
 
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is monitoring information from their network of highly sensitive radiation detectors, which provide hourly reports of ambient radiation. The monitors are part of a national network run by the EPA called "RadNet." There are EPA radiation detectors located in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, along with additional non-EPA detectors being monitored by the Department of Environmental Quality located at the Idaho National Laboratory.
 
None of the RadNet detectors have measured any elevated radiation levels at the United States monitoring stations and all air samples remain normal. Idaho will continue working with federal and state partners to monitor the situation and inform the public of any changes that may occur.
 
There is concern among public health officials about the inappropriate use of potassium iodide, an over the counter iodine supplement that can be taken orally to block the absorption of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland. Potassium iodide is not an ‘anti-radiation pill,’ and because of side-effects, should only be used when an individual has been in the immediate vicinity of a nuclear release. There are currently no conditions at the power plants in Japan that would require people in the U.S. to take potassium iodide.
 
Information will be updated on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s website, www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov. 
 
Other information that may be helpful includes:

  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission: http://www.nrc.gov/
 
General Idaho earthquake and preparedness information prepared by the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is available by clicking here.

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