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Japan Reactor Accident Poses No Threat to Public Health in Wisconsin
MADISONThe Department of Health Services (DHS) announced today
that environmental monitoring performed by the Division of Public Health
has detected trace amounts of iodine-131 in precipitation and air samples
taken from sites around the state. Iodine-131 is not naturally occurring
and is one of the radioactive isotopes attributed to the Japanese reactor
accidents. The levels detected are far below levels of public health
concern and similar to results seen from other states.
“It is important to emphasize that the slightly elevated radiation
levels detected in Wisconsin represent no risk to human health at this
time,” said Paul Schmidt, Chief of the DHS radiation protection unit.
“Each day we are exposed to much higher levels of radiation from natural
sources like the sun and materials in the ground.”
Radioactive iodine-131 has a very short half-life of approximately 8
days which should allow the levels detected to drop relatively quickly.
The Division of Public Health will continue to monitor the environment and
is working closely with federal and state agencies.
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Last Revised: March 31, 2011