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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Got Radiation?

On Wednesday the Food and Drug Administration said it detected a small amount of radioactive iodine-131 in a sample of milk from Spokane, Wash.

The radiation found — only about 0.03 becquerels per liter of milk — is more than 5,000 times smaller than the level that would require FDA to act. The FDA says this is "far below levels of public health concern, including for infants and children."

We checked in with Robert Henkin, professor emeritus of radiology at Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine, who agrees that there is nothing to worry about. He likens the infinitesimal uptick in radiation to an accounting rounding error.

"If you balance your books and you're 2 cents off a $30,000 budget, is anyone concerned about it? No," he told Shots.

Even tainted Japanese milk, one sample of which reportedly had over 1,500 becquerels per liter (50,000 times the amount found in Washington), would only be dangerous if you drank 58,000 glasses.

In response to the disaster, the EPA and the FDA have stepped up their sampling of air, precipitation, drinking water and milk. This testing led to the discovery of trace radiation in Spokane milk. The EPA said that cows most likely picked up the radioactive isotopes from their drinking water or the grass they eat.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 8:15 PM


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