Traces of radiation found in isle milk, Honolulu Star Advertiser, April 12, 2011:
… [Lynn Nakasone, administrator of Hawaii's Health Department's Environmental Health Services Division] also took some issue with postings by Forbes blogger Jeff McMahon — which have circulated on the Internet — in which McMahon referenced a separate radiation measurement for milk that Hawaii officials said was extrapolated from EPA water radiation limits.
McMahon states, and EPA officials confirmed, that the EPA’s “maximum contaminant level” for iodine-131 is 3 picocuries per liter. … Hilo sample was… 18 picocuries.
What McMahon reported is “technically correct,” Nakasone said.
“The limits for water as derived by the EPA are totally different from how it’s derived through the FDA,” Nakasone said. “The EPA is saying (their limit) is over a 70-year period, whereas FDA is more of a short-term duration.” …
Siobhan DeLancey, an FDA spokeswoman, confirmed there are differences in the EPA and FDA radiation measurements in any given food.
Read the report here.
McMahon wrote on April 11, 2011:
[N]ote that the FDA’s standard for iodine-131 in milk is much, much higher than the EPA’s maximum contamination level, based on the assumption that the milk consumption will be short-term. The pertinent update:
The FDA’s Derived Intervention Level for iodine-131 in milk is 4700 picoCuries per liter. The EPA’s MCL for iodine-131 is 3 picoCuries per liter.
“There are a few reasons that EPA’s MCL for I-131 drinking water is different than FDA’s DIL for I-131 in any given food,” said FDA spokesman Siobhan Delancy by email. “One of them is that EPA assumes a 70 year time period for exposure, so the MCLs are basically for continual, ongoing intake. They are meant to be as low as reasonably achievable while the DILs are meant to assure that no one will reach a specific dose that would warrant protective actions as a result of an event.” …
It’s interesting that FDA goes for 4,700 as an incident dose when EPA goes for 700 as an annual dose… and that EPA does milk testing but FDA does milk decision making. …
When it comes to milk… people should be fully informed, and since the government will not
intervene at these levels, they have to make a personal choice.
Read McMahon’s comment here.
See more of McMahon’s reports on radiation levels in the US here.
Published: April 12th, 2011 at 6:25 pm ET