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posted on March 22, 2011 14:37
The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) began publishing radiation data online from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) RadNet system of radiation detectors on Tuesday. Although no harmful levels of radiation are expected to reach the United States from the damaged Japanese nuclear reactors, DEQ is reviewing radiation levels on a daily basis.
 
The EPA RadNet system has monitors in all the western states, including units in Spokane and Idaho Falls. Over the last few days, EPA also installed a portable monitor in Meridian to collect information from southwest Idaho. DEQ plans to publish data from the Meridian monitor when it becomes available over the next few days.
 
DEQ also has independent state monitors at the Idaho National Laboratory near Arco that provide more specific information than the EPA RadNet system. During the last week, DEQ detected miniscule levels of radioactive gasses. The detected levels pose no public health risk. Monitors in both California and Washington have detected similar readings.
 
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 on Idaho’s monitoring efforts is available at: www.deq.idaho.gov/radiation-monitoring.
 
Additional state information is available at 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
 
General Idaho earthquake and preparedness information prepared by the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is available by clicking here.
 
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