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EPA: Boise rainwater has highest levels of radioactive material in US… 80 times amount of I-131 allowed in drinking water — “Officials had no explanation”

Published: April 3rd, 2011 at 6:17 pm ET
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EPA RadNet Precipitation Results, EPA, April 2, 2011:

Elevated levels of radioactive material in rainwater have been expected as a result of the nuclear incident after the events in Japan since radiation is known to travel in the atmosphere – precipitation data collected by EPA in the states of California, Idaho and Minnesota have seen elevated levels of radiation in recent precipitation events.

In all cases these are levels above the normal background levels historically reported in these areas. While short-term elevations such as these do not raise public health concerns – and the levels seen in rainwater are expected to be relatively short in duration – the U.S. EPA has taken steps to increase the level of monitoring of precipitation, drinking water, and other potential exposure routes to continue to verify that. …

Read the EPA report here.

Boise, Idaho rainwater 3/22/2011:

  • 11.2 pCi/L of Cs-134
  • 11.6 pCi/L of Cs-137
  • 242 pCi/L of I-131

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry for Iodine, CDC, April 2004:

EPA has set an average annual drinking water limit of 3 pCi/L for Iodine-131 so the public radiation dose will not exceed 4 millirem


EPA releases new radiation numbers for Boise, say levels pose no health threat
, Idaho Statesman, April 2, 2011:

[Emphasis Added]

Boise’s levels were higher than any other U.S. city in the report; most U.S. cities in the study had levels of cesium and iodine 131 that were not detectable. Officials had no explanation Saturday for why Idaho would have higher levels, but said the levels that were detected were far below levels that would warrant public-health concern.

Radiation in precipitation is measured because it affects not only the air, but vegetation, including grass eaten by cows that produce milk for human consumption.

Read the report here.

Published: April 3rd, 2011 at 6:17 pm ET
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