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posted on March 18, 2011 15:47

 

Idaho Continues Radiation Monitoring Efforts Idaho and other western states continue to work with the federal government to monitor information and data concerning potential radiation contamination from Japan’s nuclear power facilities. At this time, the federal government does not anticipate any harmful levels of radiation to reach U.S. soils. To monitor the situation, the federal RadNet system, which routinely samples the air for radioactivity, is being monitored daily for any evidence of higher than normal levels of radiation.

RadNet, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, has highly sensitive radiation detectors located throughout the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Idaho. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is monitoring that data and will alert the public of any harmful levels of radiation that are detected. Both the EPA and other states also will analyze and share data as it becomes available from their RadNet sites.

At this time, the only precautionary measure Idaho residents are encouraged to take is to stay informed of the situation. There is concern that people may inappropriately take potassium iodide, an oral supplement that can block the absorption of radioactive iodine in the thyroid gland. Potassium iodide is not an ‘anti-radiation pill,’ and because of harmful side-effects, should only be used when an individual has been in the immediate vicinity of a nuclear release. There are currently no conditions that would require people in the U.S. to take potassium iodide.

Information will be updated on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s website, www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.

Other information that may be helpful includes:

  • U.S. Government Information and Response: http://www.usa.gov
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://emergency.cdc.gov/radiation/
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/rert/monitoring.html and http://epa.gov/narel/radnet/
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission: http://www.nrc.gov/
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov
  • General Idaho earthquake and preparedness information prepared by the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is available by clicking here.

(Editors: For information about public health concerns, please contact Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Public Information Officer Tom Shanahan at (208) 334-0668. For specific radiation information, please contact the Department of Environmental Quality’s Mark Dietrich at (208)) 373-0204.)