March 24, 2011
Radiation from the ongoing disaster in Japan is spreading throughout the United States, and while the EPA says the levels are not dangerous, it also admits that some of its radiation-tracking air monitors may not even be working.
Colorado and Oregon are the latest states to report detection of radioactive particles that have drifted over the North Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima plant, some 5000 miles away.
The EPA announced late yesterday that small amounts of iodine-131, a radioactive form of iodine, has been detected by monitors at Grand Junction, Denver, and Colorado Springs in Colorado.
Iodine-131 was also picked up yesterday by monitors in Portland, Oregon.
Hawaii, California and in Washington State previously reported finding trace amounts of radioactive iodine, cesium, and tellurium.
Three air monitors in California at San Francisco, Riverside and Anaheim, as well as one monitor in Seattle, have identified the isotopes and other radioactive particles.
EPA officials, as well as local public environmental health authorities, have dismissed the notion that there is any serious health threat from the findings.
“Our finding is consistent with findings in Washington and California. We have expected to find trace amounts of the isotopes released from the Japanese plant. There is no health risk,” Gail Shibley, administrator of Oregon’s Office of Environmental Public Health, Oregon Public Health Division, said in a statement.
“The levels we’re measuring are extremely low,” Mike Bandrowski, manager of EPA radiation programs in San Francisco, said in an interview Wednesday. “They’re a fraction of natural background radiation. People should not be concerned.”
“The radiation levels detected on the filters from California and Washington monitors are hundreds of thousands to millions of times below levels of concern.” an EPA statement also suggested.
However, earlier this week, the EPA suggested that some of the air-monitors it is using to obtain radiation readings are “undergoing quality review”.
Out of a total of 124 stationary air-radiation monitors across the country, 22 were described as not working and listed as out of service, according to Ronald Fraass, director of the EPA’s National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory in Montgomery, Alabama.
Out of a total of 18 air monitors in California, Oregon and Washington state, the areas of the US most at risk from any spreading radiation, the EPA says 8 are not functioning.
“If a monitor in one area is being repaired, EPA’s network will still be able to detect any fluctuation in background radiation levels,” Brendan Gilfillan, an EPA spokesman, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg News.
As we reported earlier this week, authorities, and even the president himself, first claimed that any radiation from the stricken nuclear plant would completely dissipate, and would not reach the US at all.
Those predictions have proven completely inaccurate as the mainland United States has been blanketed with radioactive Xenon 133 particles and is to be exposed to more dangerous caesium-137 particles.
Health authorities have gone from ambivalently telling Americans not to worry about the situation, to actively discouraging them from obtaining protective potassium iodide pills.
In practically every news article covering the detection of radiation inside the US, the following EPA statement has been quoted:
“In a typical day, Americans receive doses of radiation from natural sources like rocks, bricks and the sun that are about 100,000 times higher than what we have detected coming from Japan. For example, the levels we’re seeing coming from Japan are 100,000 times lower than what you get from taking a roundtrip international flight.”
Earlier in the week, nuclear energy critic and author Hirose Takashi wrote about how asinine this type of statement is:
Around Fukushima Daiichi Station they measured 400 millisieverts – that’s per hour. With this measurement (Chief Cabinet Secretary) Edano admitted for the first time that there was a danger to health, but he didn’t explain what this means. All of the information media are at fault here I think. They are saying stupid things like, why, we are exposed to radiation all the time in our daily life, we get radiation from outer space. But that’s one millisievert per year. A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760. Multiply the 400 millisieverts by that, you get 3,500,000 the normal dose. You call that safe? And what media have reported this?
While the Japanese government continues its blatant cover up of the severity of the situation, the US government is literally telling Americans they are more at risk from a bag of rocks than they are from breathing in some nuclear fallout.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.