East Coast city’s tap water has highest radiation in US — Philadelphia only .8 pCi/L below EPA’s maximum contaminant level

Published: April 10th, 2011 at 9:59 am ET


EPA: New Radiation Highs in Little Rock Milk, Philadelphia Drinking Water, Jeff McMahon (Forbes blog), April 10 2011:

… [D]rinking water from Philadelphia contained the highest levels of Iodine-131 from Japan yet detected by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to data released by EPA Saturday. …

The EPA’s [maximum contaminant level] for iodine-131 is 3 picoCuries per liter. …

A sample from the city’s Queen Lane Treatment Plant showed 2.2 picoCuries per liter—the highest concentration in EPA’s drinking water data so far. … Belmont Treatment Plant contained 1.3 picocuries, and… Baxter Treatment Plant contained 0.46 picocuries. …

Read the report here.

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

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Published: April 10th, 2011 at 9:59 am ET


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  1. EPA posts latest radiation data: Cesium-137 in Delaware drinking water above “Maximum Contaminant Level” June 2, 2011
  2. EPA: Radioactive Iodine-131 levels in PA & MA rainwater “exceed maximum contaminant level permitted in drinking water” March 29, 2011
  3. Levels of Iodine-131 spike to highest levels yet in Philadelphia water supply — Almost double permissible limit December 7, 2012
  4. Cesium-137 levels in Vermont milk at 66% of maximum contaminant level allowed by EPA April 9, 2011
  5. Iodine-131 also found in Philadelphia-area sewage plants; Sludge set off radiation detectors at landfills — Experts skeptical it’s from cancer patients’ urine July 21, 2011

14 comments to East Coast city’s tap water has highest radiation in US — Philadelphia only .8 pCi/L below EPA’s maximum contaminant level

  • WindorSolarPlease

    I would have thought all levels would be higher in the coastal States, than any other place.

    • xdrfox

      We should be coming up on a third wave of isotpes with new deposits from Japan as well as isotpes that stayed aloft twice over, All that goes up must come down !

  • whimbrel

    Who knows how these microscopic, invisible particles of radiation (over 200 isotopes?) deposit with time, wind, temperature, precipitation…. it is a science to predict this I would say. One also has to bear in mind we are not getting much if any data about cesium, strontium, and the deadliest, uranium and plutonium. Radioactive Iodine has a short half life, 8 days… the others do not. plutonium is 24, 0000 years. And we are getting deposition day after day after day. Its just invisible so no one gets it.

  • I can’t believe that this radiation has traveled so far so quickly. They are trying to downplay the safety issues and magnifying the less harmful substance. The fact is that the cesium 137 is also approaching maximum safe levels in our drinking water and food supply.

    We need to be sure to rinse our foods in sea salt or nascent iodine and treat our water with reverse osmosis or distillation or get it from a source that does that. This is really important to keeping us all healthy.


    • bill

      There’s a chance that reports are turning up local radiation so fast because local businesses use radioactivity in treatments, mainly hospitals.
      Naturally you’d expect them to discharge their waste into the enviornment.
      Also the local nuclear power plants in the US routinely discharge effluent, but EPA allows this.
      That is how it so “quickly” got here.

      • Northern Exposure

        It only takes the jetstream 3-4 days to travel across the Pacific (ie: from Japan to the US coastline) on average. And from there, another 4+ days to spread to Europe.

        Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days. That translates to about 7-8 months before it completely dies away.

        So there’s no “surprise” to any of this whatsoever.

  • Beta

    Everyone around me is insane I think. You would not believe how just about everyone I know around me is saying that fukushima is no big deal because….

    “They use radiation to cure cancer so it cant be that bad for you”

    My head is about to explode….

    It just amazes me how they think this is a non event and that radiation is good for you and that it will cure cancer.

    The main stream media has brain washed everyone to a mindless dumb lump.

    Radiation can destroy cancer cells, but it also destroys good cells at the same time…..

  • Bluetek 25

    Beta, I am with you. My head is going to explode too!!! I live in Philadelphia and the complacency here is unbeleivable. People here have drunk the media Kool Aid or it’s something just too invisible and too far off to worry about not on their radar screens. They are too busy shopping here, buying shiny trinkets at places like Walmart and paying their others Masters like Visa, Mastercard and American Express. The time will come when cancer is rampant, they will accept it and bury their heads in the sand even further. Sheep to slaughter.
    Take care of yourselves and your families, everyone. I am proud of all of you on these boards. You give me hope.
    http://stretchingminds.wordpress.com/2011/03/31 dr-john-w-apsley-the-petkau-effect-why-prolonged-exposure-to-low-level-radiation-is-harmful-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

  • brian

    What goes around, comes around. Yeehaw !! As they say, opportunity abounds, especially when your religion, called “Democracy”, is about abandonment and little else whilst remembering that the freedom to be nensensical is not freedom but …. you know the rest.

    Whaat? Getting a little peeved already. What about “Others” who have to endured the decades if not centuries of enslavement, genocide and …. you know the rest …

    Now, what most have yet to realised is that you cannot elict Truth from Untruth much like Sincerity cannot be squeezed from Insincerity. Could you now, not even when the privileged, the special and the talented, oka Fame, Fortune & Immortality, are on the ride of their lives. But guess what, when the noon day sky turns pitch black and the oceans are drowning all and the earthquakes are everywheresss, there will still be some out selling “insurance policies”. Now, what comes next you surely do not know. Do you now, you privileged, talented and special thangs you. Yes, you lot might be awful but we all like you. Honest. Cross out hearts and hope ……. naw, you haven’t the foggiest, now do you. Go on, pontificate more and those 2 birds chirping in the bush, Hopeful and Wishful, will be yours too … one fine day.

    What most do not realise [because mere knowledge is insufficient] is that the MO of Humanity, the realm of Relativity [as opposed to Reality] is about ownership issues whilst in reality/Reality, the first is actually the last and not for the creation and the maintenance thereof of its last. Got eet yet? Noo, buy another iDiot then, you might jest get the message which that when there is “Over”, “Under” comes bundled free – without onw single exception. Now that is what Unc. Sammy’s hordes call a reel bargain, like free radiation for the power of the near zero.

    Too de loo .. one’s iSpy is calling.

  • Bluetek 25

    Brian – You are insanely creepy but intruiging at the same time.

  • naked wheels

    i agree. soundbite technology is just as much to blame as peoples lack of foresight and honesty.

  • Jack

    I’ve watched “Parking Wars” and seen that Philly is
    pretty much a HalfWit place….degenerated gene pool.