UPDATE: Current rains and airborne radiation in atmosphere from Japan nuclear disaster presents NO CONCERN OR PROBABILITY for contamination of California agricultural crops. ( i.e. eat your fruits and veggies with no worries! )
NOTE: There is NO expected danger of radiation in Los Angeles from the Japan Nuclear disaster.
Austria’s Federal Ministry for Science and Research has released this map showing radioactive material from the disaster in Japan moving across the Pacific Ocean toward California.
As The Times’ Ralph Vartabedian reported, small amounts of radioactive isotopes from the quake-crippled Japanese nuclear power plant are being blown toward North America. Though they could reach California by Friday, officials said they see no health danger and stressed that any radiation reaching here would be well within safe limits.
Federal officials are monitoring radiation levels in places such as Anaheim, Bakersfield and Eureka.
Some Californians concerned that radiation from the damaged power plant could reach the U.S. have rushed to protect themselves by stockpiling potassium iodide. Molly Hennessy-Fiske talked to Dr. Glenn Braunstein, director of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s thyroid cancer center and chairman of the department of medicine, about the potential risks and benefits of the drug. Read her Q&A here.
– Shelby Grad
From KTLA Los Angeles:
The United Nations projected Wednesday that the radioactive plume coming from failed Japanese reactors could come to across the Pacific by the end of the week.
The forecast explained that the plume will lose radioactive force as it travels and may not even be detectable by the time it reaches Southern California.
The projection, made by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization in Vienna, is based on patterns of Pacific winds and gives no information about actual radiation levels. It is likely to change if the weather shifts over the next few days.
The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 also made its way to the West Coast in 10 days, but radiation levels were too low to register.
In the case that the plumes do make it ashore, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said it will deploy additional electronic monitors to measure radiation levels in the air.
The monitors, which detect gamma radiation and radioactive particles, will be set up in “parts of the Western U.S. and U.S. territories,” the agency said in a statement.
But the agency is refusing to say exactly where those monitors will be placed.
The EPA has 124 air monitors, which provide hourly readings, already in place in its “Rad-Net” system to measure radiation.
There are already 12 stationed across California, including Los Angeles, Riverside, Anaheim, San Bernardino and San Diego.
Many of these sampling stations have been in place since the 1950s.
The monitoring system was upgraded in the wake of 9/11.