EPA: Radioactive Iodine-131 levels in PA & MA rainwater “exceed maximum contaminant level permitted in drinking water”

Published: March 29th, 2011 at 7:56 pm ET


UPDATE: Radioactive Iodine-131 in Pennsylvania rainwater sample 3300% above federal drinking water standard

EPA: Expect More Radiation in Rainwater, Forbes Blog, March 28 2011:

[Emphasis Added]

… The levels [of iodine-131 in rainwater in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts] exceed the maximum contaminant level (MCL) permitted in drinking water, but EPA continues to assure the public there is no need for alarm:

“It is important to note that the corresponding MCL for iodine-131 was calculated based on long-term chronic exposures over the course of a lifetime – 70 years. The levels seen in rainwater are expected to be relatively short in duration,” the [EPA] states in a FAQ that accompanied yesterday’s brief news release. …

EPA said it is receiving “verbal reports” of higher levels of radiation in rainwater… “We continue to expect similar reports from state agencies and others across the nation given the nature and duration of the Japanese nuclear incident.” …

Read the report here.

Published: March 29th, 2011 at 7:56 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Nuclear policy expert: “Striking” that radioactive iodine-131 in California rainwater is so far above level permitted in drinking water April 2, 2011
  2. Canadian Official: Iodine-131 in rainwater was above recommended level for drinking water during March — “It should not exceed the guideline” — Gov’t failed to disclose findings January 14, 2012
  3. Radioactive Iodine-131 in Pennsylvania rainwater sample over 3,000% of federal drinking water standard March 29, 2011
  4. Radioactive Iodine-131 in rainwater sample near San Francisco 18,000% above federal drinking water standard March 31, 2011
  5. Vancouver, Canada radiation tests show iodine-131 in rainwater at almost 100 times above US drinking water limit April 8, 2011

79 comments to EPA: Radioactive Iodine-131 levels in PA & MA rainwater “exceed maximum contaminant level permitted in drinking water”

  • xdrfox

    Guess they will be visiting the barns !

    • Karen

      I am so sick of people crying about the Japanese. Yes, I am so sad and sorry for the innocent people there who died in the tsunamii. However, no one ever told them to use nuclear energy! What about the rest of the world? How is it our fault that those idiots were using MOX fuel which is highly ILLEGAL due to its insanely uncontrollable potency? I think the Japanese need to be held accountable by the nations of the world and prosecuted by authorities.

    • Please bear in mind that geiger counters do not and can not register uranium and/or plutonium particles, which, if ingested, guarantee you’ll be leving this planet.

      Over 500,000 spent uranium/plutonium rods were stored in tanks on reactor roofs.

      When reactor roofs blew, those tanks and their contents were blown sky high.

      • Slick Vick

        I agree, yet nobody seems to be talking about this..

        The news is actually talking about whether or not they are going to be able to repair the cooling system for the pools and reactors, when it’s blatantly clear that the whole structure isn’t much more than a pile of shrapnel..

        In my opinion, the MOX fuel has been leaking since the explosion in reactors 2 and 3.

      • Wheel

        BS. GM tubes detect ionizing radiation which Plutonium produces all three and uranium produces 2 of the 3. What they cannot do is tell you what kind of radionuclide you are measuring.

        In addition the spent fuel rods are contained in cooling pools above the containment vessels, which did not blow. The outer buildings which are there to keep the weather out and nothing in blew off during the hydrogen blasts. No tanks or rods were blown sky high. You have no idea whatsoever of what you are talking about.

      • Afu


        It’s not the *reactor roofs* that blew up but the building roofs.

        There’s no information that used fuel was * thrown away * out of the pools. Some of it was carried away by (three) fires and near constant steam.

    • Hiskid

      Been there done that…Depends where I stand
      I am able to see the steam from TMI(18 mi.) when it’s running..I worked in a dairy lab at that time..

    • X

      It has been raining in Texas…

    • Dave Ringley

      Remember, Fukushima fallout is IN ADDITION to the normal everyday Asian brown cloud that has been delivering industrial contaminants to North America for decades.

      BUT…you have to wonder though when high readings show up in the eastern US, halfway around the planet from Japan. Why are the “authorities” so quick to blame them all on Japan. It’s as if all the hundreds of US reactors are performing at 100% perfection, and there is absolutely zero native release. To me, that stretches credibility in an industry that pathologically lies and covers up all its’ frequent mistakes, errors, accidents and carelessness.

      Never has there been a better opportunity to “blow of a little steam” at US reactors!

  • Jean

    The EPA is saying don’t worry, since if this article I just read is true, they want to increase the maximum levels. For iodine-131, this would be a 3,000 to 100,000 increase.


    • jean…i agree..and that’s why our great national leader of “change”…is also so so very very silent on the entire episode…he hasn’t mentioned Fukishima in the last six public speeches hes made in the past two weeks…

      its a complete cover up…..and its about the rule changes and making sure…the issue….is buried along with the victims….years from now

      btw…its raining and snowing near pittsburgh…and i am just frozen for my 9 yr old son…..does anyone think he ought to be taking the iodine pills? i think he ought to be…but want some others input on this

      • xdrfox

        9 yr old son and you..
        One can use regular iodine 2% by painting on the abdomen or forearm each day the size of a dime, “Do not take internally.” The skin will absorb, and the thyroids will take in any needed iodine, if you have a good diet the thyroid will be full and not require any. Morton’s Iodized Salt has Iodine in it as well, check container, some bloggs are suggesting that as of late they have stopped putting it in their salt ! Do the dime each day to keep the thyroid full, Iodine 133 when present will go to the thyroid if it is lacking in iodine, the thyroid does not differ between good iodine and bad such as Iodine 133.
        I am not a medical doctor, but this info is on-line.(please check) It is not Potassium Iodine but will help.

  • Joe

    I thought Obama said we shouldn’t worry about the radiation? Shouldn’t we all be watching basketball and having a good time? I’ll just take a Paxil and everything will be ok.

    • Kathleen

      Really Joe..what did you expect any government official to say, “run for your life, stop going to work, everyone run to the grocery stores and get as much water and canned goods as you can carry?”
      You have to read between the lines and do your own internet research on these things.
      It really isn’t that bad right now, because, actually, not too many people drink RAINWATER, but, animals do and if you are out in the rain you can get it on your skin.
      Drinking Water in PA showed NO, Zero, ZIP radiation.
      It washes off with soap and water and shampoo. This is a miniscule amount of radiation, will dissipates after 8 days.
      However, the JAPAN meltdown is NOT OVER, so, new Testing may show something else, who knows?
      Yes, I am stocking up on some bottled water and trying to stay out of the rain until this crisis is over. that is all I know to do.

      • Kathleen…

        its critical that AT LEAST a cabinet level official OUGHT TO BE OUT IN FRONT ON THIS ISSUE…

        and…here’s what can be stated not to cause panic but to make sure…as the esteemed japanese nuclear physicists in Cornell and quoted elsewhere on this site did say….”a proper panic is clearly in order here and this is not a normal situation”…

        but he is what can be said…”we have a clearly serious situation happening and our EPA and mililtary and scientists across the nation are monitoring the exposure to all US key regions and they are reporting directly to our agency heads…..and i’m in touch with teh Japanese leaders and i’m making a public position that this facility needs to be concreted over, yesterday…”

        that’s is…Kelly…that’s what he ought to be saying and have said, last weekend…while in Brazil….

        but then again…he was in …Brazil…making deals for Big Oil….and keeping silent for Nuclear industry giant GE …his campaign mainline donor

  • WindorSolarPlease

    How do they come up with these dangerous level numbers?

  • oz-10

    Don’t worry Obama has it all under control….you poor sheeple

    • mike

      you are a complete idiot if you think obama is worthy of being anything but a lying bastard…I feel sorry for you…a-hole

  • xdrfox

    Well didn’t EPA Increased Allowable of oil contamination during the oil gusher in the Gulf also.

  • xdrfox

    And some :
    EPA Lies About BP Gulf Oil Spill Water Samples Exposed
    by Alexander Higgins – July 21, 2010

  • xdrfox

    EPA plans to boost radioactivity safety limits up to 100,000-fold increase
    Posted on March 28, 2011

  • Don’t worry.
    You’ll just get cancer.
    Or your kids will.
    And then buy chemotherapy.
    It will be an economic “recovery”!

  • Tess In Japan

    Well, it’s not a “100,000-fold increase”, it’s a 100,000 times normal amounts – just to be specific. And this article is only talking about Iodine-131 with a half-life of 8 days. The “100,000 times” is “radiation levels” and doesn’t specify the material. Although in water that bad there will probably be some uranium, plutonium, the various forms of iodine (131, 132, 133, and 134) and maybe some cobalt-60 with the lion’s share being cesium-137.

    That’s only a guess but I think they would all be present in a spill this bad.

    Here’s some facts that may put think in perspective:

    On March 27th they measured 100 times Cherynobl levels at 30km out from the plant and 2 times Cherynobl levels at 75km out from the plant all at 14 days from the respective accidents. That’s Fukushima. 🙁

    • sacredappleseed

      Thank you for this fabulous comment. I would like to ask you that since its already 100x Cherynobl 30km & still spewing as the first cloud has circled the globe & the next global jetstream pass will have more death particles to distribute everywhere not less… correct?

      woweather dotcom

      The rain and snow is bringing it down on people globally already…

      • Wheel

        There were 100 above ground nuclear bomb tests in Nevada, in other words right in the US itself. With 100 tests dumping large quantities of radionuclides in the air one would think that we would have suffered a lot more issues. With that in mind given that the amount reaching the US is nowhere even near what we did right in the country ourselves it goes to reason that the affects will be insignificant.

  • xdrfox

    Yes their there, the Iodine-131 dies off in short half life, but some of the others are almost infinity and move/spread out with the environment even from host to ground to host to water to host to ground to plant to host ~~~~ !

  • Fukinpissed

    If plutonium blankets the U.S., even lightly, crops and livestock will absorb most of it…Plutonium’s half-life being 24,000yrs-ish could be catastrophic…Why aren’t people being warned not to drink rainwater, and how far away has plutonium been detected from Fukushima. At what elevations and headings?

  • So the EPA are still covering up the dangers of this, nice timing that the illegal Libyan invasion is distracting people from this.

    Keep up to date with breaking news from 15 different sources at http://newsblok.blogspot.com

    infowars, godlike productions, above top secret and more all on one simple page.

  • Christina

    What can we do to help ourselves?

    • Wheel

      See my post above. There is not enough material reaching the US to be an issue except in rare cases where some particles are concentrated. The main issue is longer lived particles which will be around a longer time. Luckily they are a smaller portion of the total materials reaching the US and should not be in quantities large enough to concentrate much in the food chain.

  • Jay

    This has to be from another source. Links?

  • xdrfox

    Wag the Dog !

  • me

    Yeah, um Spain it telling people to not drink to water and stay out of the rain because it is dangerous.

  • Nate Smate

    just use cannabis to cure your cancer. Which means, grow more cannabis now so we have it when we really need it. Everybody on the planet grows one plant we could have all we need!

  • robert

    If the levels don’t matter and nothing is harmful what in the hell do they put them out there for? Stop wasting our money if they don’t mean a thing…Stupid A$$ government agencies….Your time is near…I got my eye on a few of you….

  • Serpahinah Qureshi

    It is disheartening that this article fails to mention the potential link to hydraulic fracturing. Is it not obvious that when the radioactive wastewater is put back into the environment and mixing with other parts of the watershed that it will show up in the rainwater. Again, I find it so disheartening that this connection is not being made.

    • IneptUser

      Agreed. The major problem is ignorance. I had not even heard of the issue until Gasland, and a major state pipeline runs right through a friends field.

  • bummed

    The gov won’t tell the truth! People collect rainwater to drink and water gardens (food). Ground contamination is a real threat here, which equals food contamination. FEMA has bought up most all of the emergency food packs being sold… for what? Take care of yourself cause it’s everyone for themselves soon!

  • xdrfox

    If one goes back through first weeks articles, they were all mentioned !

  • xdrfox

    Watch Out ! He says !
    Distraught australian for accurate perspective/ magnitude of japanese crisis”

    The French agree with the Germans.
    The United States is getting covered up!
    To see what the French Say It Looks Like In The U.S.

  • Andrew

    My head is feeling very pressed and a slight urge to want to stay awake. Ears are ringing and slight cough. Bought a very fast car and it may contain radioactive materials around its shell.

  • xdrfox

    In a nuclear explosion the radioactive solids and radioactive gases both escape into the environment. In an operating nuclear reactor, steel vessels, corrosive-prone cladding and pipes and the containment building itself keep some, but not all, gaseous radioactive chemicals from escaping into the air and the soil and water.

    But every single radioactive gas produced at the containment-less Fukushima reactors and outdoor swimming ponds for fuel rods has escaped. These gases escaped via leaky or manually opened pipes and vents and from cracked or melted fuel rods that blew out gases created via low or re-criticality fissioning or neutron activity from plutonium or uranium.

    The leaked gases are no different in nature than what is released into the environment if you conducted an open air hydrogen nuclear (thermonuclear) explosion in the rain – the solid radioactive chemicals mostly would be suppressed, but the gases would leak out and float around an entire country or hemisphere. The gases would later precipitate into radioactive solids – or stay as radioactive gas in air.

    Since all of the above radioisotopes are or once were gases, they had (and as long as they are being still released at Fukushima, they still have) the potential to travel large distances from the reactors, even further than Tokyo. Radioactive solids attach to dust particles and can travel across the globe with ease. That even includes plutonium.

    • Wheel

      Luckily, if we can call it that, most of the gases are extremely short lived. Still, the quantities involved are bad but should not contribute to widespread disaster. Locally however…

  • xdrfox

    It is not just iodine-131 and cesium-137 that are in the ocean, in Japan’s foods, in the water supply, in the air, etc…There are *dozens* of radioisotopes floating about. This is a partial list of isotopes that are most certainly in and around Tokyo:

    Krypton 85, Krypton 85m, Rubidium 86, Krypton 87, Rubidium 87, Krypton 88, Strontium 89, Strontium 90, Strontium 91, Yttrium 91, Yttrium 92, Yttrium 93, Zirconium 93, Zirconium 95, Niobium 95, Zirconium 97, Niobium 97, Ruthenium 103, and Ruthenium 105. [To visualize the decay-chain of the mass 83 through 105 isotopes … see trilinear chart of nuclides] http://www.idealist.ws/trilinear2.pdf

    To complete the list of radioactive pollutants in Japan’s biosphere, we must add radiotelluriums, radioiodines, radioceriums, radiocesiums, radiobariums, and other radioactive gases such as Argon 39, Argon 37, Carbon 14, radioactive carbon dioxide (14CO2), and tritium, and finally sea-salt-transmuted chlorine-36.


  • Nemo

    Karen. You are a douchebag. Their “fault?” Yes, it was their fault that they were hit with a 500 year earthquake and tsunami that overwhelmed the engineering at a nuclear plant designed to handle an 8.1. Each and every person that died was personally responsible for the decisions made by the corporatocracy that allowed the mistakes to be made…. serves ’em right! Right? According to your petty, small minded world view. MOX, while very hazardous, is used all over the world. Made in USA, so if the same thing happened here, it would be YOUR fault.

    I truly hope you never have tragedy strike in your life, because it would be YOUR fault. Perhaps in your next life, you will experience enough suffering to learn compassion and loving kindness.

  • scott

    If you follow the link the journalist makes the statement that it exceeds the level but it you go to the EPA press release linked in that article it doesn’t mention it.?

  • O' Bummer hissef

    not to worry! Janet ‘the dyke’ NaPOLEtano and her new found internet friend, Ann Cooter, will go down dere and suck up as much of that ‘benefishul radeyayshun’ az dey can standz.

    nuff said. now back to ‘Dancing with da Queers’ and NBA Blowoffs. 🙂

  • Collateral Damage

    We are all freaking doomed! Great!

  • Shaggette

    @Karen Yes, I’m sure the Japanese will be prosecuted by authorities. Are you effin’ kidding me?! We have multiple nuclear reactors too, all in which I’m sure the government knows the consequences of having them but they don’t care. These nuclear reactors are all over the world, we hold most of them here, so maybe our government should be held accountable for it as well? Especially being as how they were stupid enough to put 3 of them on the shore line of California, thinking nothing devastating could happen to it and cause a nuclear disaster here. They coulda put a little more thought into that at least.

  • Marie

    I think Japan has been punished enough for any guilt for having nuclear energy. An earthquake and tsunami were not created by the nuclear power plants. And I am sure many people didn’t think fire was all that safe when mankind started using it for fuel! I think all the people that want to get rid of the fuel sources that we have should all go to the jungle and live with no outside help like on survivor for a year. The will be so glad to get back on the grid!

  • Bah

    Go back to sleep. Your vote counts. You are a good citizen. Thank you. TV is on 24/7. Please turn it on and get off this thing called the internet. It will make you fat and lazy. Oh wait, I just offended the majority of the boards readers. Sorry

  • NobodyKnows

    Being in a small local Health department and seeing all the politics that goes on behind the publics back to make the rich richer and the sick sicker you would be surprised to know All the things that go on. To put into a better view take for instance the maximum “Level” at which the workers at the Fukushima plant were allowed to be exposed to per year. And noticed how that has changed now to a higher dose by a wave of a wand. This is because if they kept the same level they couldn’t get anyone to clean it up and if they happened to be still alive after they could sue the company for getting sick. They needed to raise the level so Industry would not suffer and the good ole economy stays good. I’ve seen so many times how these things work. Let me ask you this. Has anyone ever heard of any level of Plutonium being acceptable or safe? Yet if you look on the EPA’s website in the archives online, you will find levels of Plutonium and all the rest in the air and rain close to ALL the reactors in the US of A, of course until they stopped monitoring them or shut down the ones that always had the levels. We are slowly dying. Why do you think so many children have cancer? Clusters? The Epidemeologist paid for by the government (state health dept) can’t find a reason EVER. It would scare everyone away. Why do you think new modern technology at the hospitals use nuclear medicine? Why do you think our health care is so much? These are questions everyone in America or anyone in a country that ever tested nuclear devices should be asking. Or better yet demanding answers to. Oh did I forget to mention that usually when you have a nice dose of radiation over a period of time it’s a real pocket drainer for the average citizen to prove, litigate or ever really know why perfectly healthy children are getting rare cancer?

    • Jean

      NobodyKnows: Those of us who have been suffering through the BP Gulf oil disaster know what you’re saying. We know how the media is going to ignore the danger of radiation from Fukushima, and we know how the feds are going to say everything’s okay. The EPA never found anything wrong with the air quality during the oil spill.

      The federal government is headed by idiots, Lisa Jackson of the EPA being one of the worst. No one should believe anything the EPA says, but with no other source of information, it’s a very scary situation.

  • NobodyKnows

    Jean…I feel bad about the BP spill and all that you are going thru…Money seems to be the root of all Evil these days. I’m not sure how some people can sleep at night or they have become so money/power hungry they don’t care who it hurts. There is a ratio used to calculate benefits/over health/death rates, betcha didn’t know that? Some industry calculate its ok for the public of x amount of people to reap the benefits of say a toxin if it only affects the health of x number of people. Including deaths….Nice huh? I think one death is too many, how about you?

  • But Wait, There IS MORE!

    you guys just don’t get it, do you? a few years ago when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started to buy land far from Seattle, in an area where they could go subterranean and, in essence, create a nice fallout shelter, nobody noticed that construction project much.

    Across the globe, the illiminati have begun to build the same kind of shelters that Bill and Melinda Gates have created. They are in effect, ready for the mass ‘kill off’ of as many of us ‘useless eaters’ as they can possibly mass murder thru the Gates ‘eugenics’ plans, the Warren Buffett ‘eugencis’ plans, and the George Soros ‘eugenics’ plans. This is not conspiracy theory, this is fact.

    Either the Fukushima mass radiological accident was a blessing in disguise for these Rothschilds slime, aka, the Buffett’s and the Gate’s of the world, or it was helped along with G.E.’s “BRING GOOD THINGS TO LIFE” crew that were in the plant that day, or perhaps, just maybe, the STUXNET ladder logic attacking virus that goes after SIEMENS controllers, actually helped and is also helping with ‘2’ other plants the Japanese are struggling with that are not in Fukushima at all…and were not damaged in the earthquake.

    Whatever it is, these turds like the idea that radioisotopes are circling the globe now, and poisoning the world’s agriculture and fresh water supplies with a vengeance.

    These hyena’s couldn’t have asked for a better way to kill off a significant amount of the globe without having to cause a massive nuclear exchange between the superpowers. They got it with a handful of G.E. reactors poisoning the atmosphere of the planet for centuries.

    Take a look at the expenditures of the real rich illuminati in land deals and shelter building. The data is out there. This is not a joke or a hoax, but reality. They truly think they can weather hundreds if not thousands of years off barren, killed off, Chernobyl like conditions, globally.

    and they intend to do just that.

    • IneptRuse

      If anyone 1. reads this far , 2. still cares.
      check the TED conference/bill gates/vaccine speech. he announces his favorite way to lower the global pop. – its a 3 bullet powerpoint slide.
      good luck to us all.

  • xdrfox

    I am still working on your other post, “Pyramid in Iraq” ?
    Didn’t know there were Pyramid/Pyramids in Iraq, Egypt yes !

  • kathleen looks like you dont do any home work just spout out dissinformation, you may be shocked to hear this but we dont get water from cows in pa. we get in from the rivers and then it is purified through filtration.and take a guess were the river water comes from ,THE RAIN.oh and by the way epa study this week shows radation levels 3,300 above safe levels in rain water.fyi research before you txt just saying

  • Latest EPA sampling results: http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet-data-map.html#results

    EPA’s FAQ about this post: http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/japan-faqs.html#levels

    Do the levels found in rainwater exceed EPA drinking water MCLs? If so, why shouldn’t people be concerned?
    While the levels in the rainwater exceed the applicable MCL of 3piC/L for drinking water, it is important to note that the corresponding MCL for iodine-131 was calculated based on long-term chronic exposures over the course of a lifetime 70 years. The levels seen in rainwater are expected to be relatively short in duration.

    • xdrfox

      The current FDA Derived Intervention Levels (DILs) for Iodine-131 in food is 170 Bq/kg., which, for milk, works out to about 4,590 picocuries or more per liter. This is the level at which the FDA may begin to warn the public not to use milk and/or issue an order to seize or detain milk products.

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  • Scorp19

    Karen. What exactly are you trying to say? Do you think Americans don’t use nuclear power? Do you think the Japanese public has any more say in the matter of whether or not they use nuclear energy than we do? Do you think Americans are not using MOX fuel as well? According to Wikipedia:

    The United States is building a MOX plant at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The Tennessee Valley Authority and Duke Energy are interested in using the reactor fuel from the conversion of weapons-grade plutonium.

    Oh, and let’s not forget that it was G.E. that made the Fukushima plant, not a Japanese company. General Electric, a company as American as you can get.

    Your comment blaming the Japanese people for the mistakes of their government, and claiming that they don’t deserve our sympathy, smacks of straight-up racism.