Friday, March 18, 2011

Radiation Monitors Have Been Deployed To Multiple Cities In The U.S. By The EPA.

Feds sending radiation monitors to Santa Barbara

Michelle Cole
SANTA BARBARA – 11:03 a.m. – Santa Barbara has been selected by the  Environmental Protection Agency as one of the cities to locate deployable radiation monitors.
“The is in direct response to the nuclear disaster in Japan,” Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District Director Terry Dressler told THESBNN Friday.
Japan has been in crisis mode since its 9.0 earthquake and tsunami March 11, 2011 events that damaged nuclear reactors at the Fukushima I plant.
Also as a result of the crisis there and the growing concern on the West Coast over potential radiation exposure, SBCAPCD added a link to its website Thursday calledRadiation and our Health.

(Air pollution monitoring station in Santa Barbara County /PHOTO-SBCAPCD)

The agency has been getting a lot of calls about health threats.
But measuring radiological pollution is not a part of its “charter or mandate,” Dressler said.
Santa Barbara relies on information from the radiation monitoring stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Dressler said he was contacted by the EPA this week about its new program RadNet, which will deploy additional radiation
monitors filling in the gaps of cities that don’t have them.
The feds will decide where the monitor will be located in Santa Barbara.
“They want to put them where we already have air quality monitoring stations in Santa Barbara and Goleta,” Dressler went on to say, “and they could choose Vandenburg.”
The monitoring station in Santa Barbara is on Canon Perdido; the one is on Fairview in Goleta.
The EPA’s efforts to get the portable monitors out is on a fast track, with shipment expected within days, something Dressler says is a good thing.

This next story is inconsistent with news that I have seen online and on TV reporting that people that have come to America from Japan have tested positive for radiation, as well as their luggage...

U.S. monitors flights from Japan for radiation

The Customs and Border Protection agency said authorities are monitoring inbound flights from Japan for radiation, but neither cargo nor passengers have tested positive for harmful levels. The agency is "is monitoring developments in Japan carefully and is specifically assessing the potential for radiological contamination."

WHO Warns Against Self-Medication as Antidote to Radiation

Bottles of potassium iodide sit on the shelf of the Texas Star Pharmacy in Plano, Texas, March 15, 2011
Photo: AP
Bottles of potassium iodide sit on the shelf of the Texas Star Pharmacy in Plano, Texas, March 15, 2011

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The World Health Organization (WHO) warns against the indiscriminate use of potassium iodide as a precaution against nuclear radiation.  WHO is issuing this advisory following reports of people in Japan and elsewhere who are using the substance in response to radiation leaks from nuclear plants in northeastern Japan.  

The World Health Organization calls self-medication a bad idea.  It says potassium iodide pills are not antidotes for radiation.  The United Nations agency says they do not protect against external radiation, or against any other radioactive substance.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says potassium iodide should be taken only when there is a clear public health recommendation to do so.

"Indiscriminate use of the product can cause side effects such as inflammation of the salivary glands, nausea, rashes, intestinal upset and possible severe allergic reactions," said Hartl.  "It can also interact with other medications, especially certain types of cardiovascular medications such as ACE inhibitors, receptor blockers and potassium-sparing diuretics."  

On another issue, the World Health Organization says it is safe to eat food produced before the nuclear power plant leakage in northeastern Japan occurred.  But it says food grown and harvested in the 30-kilometer exclusion zone after the emergency might be contaminated and should be avoided.  

WHO says there is no reason to restrict travel to Japan, as there are no dangers of nuclear radiation except in the exclusion zone.  The World Meteorological Organization agrees with this assessment.

The Head of WMO's Aeronautical Meteorological Division, Herbert Tuempel, says there is no reason to fear international air travel unless there is a change in the current radiological situation.

"There is a small exclusion zone of a 30-kilometer radius around the plant where there is no traffic allowed - neither marine nor air traffic is allowed into this 30-kilometer radius," noted Tuempel.  "But apart from this very small area, there is no restriction to international air travel."  

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