Low levels of radioactive iodine likely resulting from the nuclear accident in Japan have been detected in a sample of rainwater in Massachusetts, state health officials said today.
The amounts of radioiodine are very low concentrations and should have no impact on state drinking water supplies, John Auerbach, commissioner of the Department of Public Health, told reporters.
The rain sample was taken during the past week in Boston as part of regular monitoring of radioactivity on the environment by the US Environmental Protection Agency. No detectable increases in radiation have been discovered in the air, Auerbach said, and there are no expected public health concerns.
“The drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation,” he said. “However, we will carefully monitor the drinking water as we exercise an abundance of caution.”
The full text of the state Department of Public Health release:
Subject: STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS FIND LOW CONCENTRATIONS OF RADIOIODINE (I-131) IN RAINWATER SAMPLE COLLECTED; NO PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN EXPECTED
STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS FIND LOW CONCENTRATIONS OF RADIOIODINE (I-131) IN RAINWATER SAMPLE COLLECTED; NO PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN EXPECTED
No impact on state drinking water supplies
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced that very low concentrations of radioiodine-131 (I-131), likely associated with the Japan nuclear power plant event, have been detected in a precipitation (i.e. rainwater) sample. The sample location is one of more than 100 locations around the country that are part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Radiation Network (RadNet) monitoring system that routinely monitors for radioactivity in environmental media. Air samples at the same location have shown no detectable radiation. There is no health impact to state drinking water supplies as a result of these findings, and state and federal health officials emphasized that there are no anticipated public health concerns. Continue reading