WASHINGTON – Traces of radioactivity from damaged nuclear power facilities in Japan have been detected in rainwater in the northeast United States, but pose no health risks, officials said.
The Environmental Protection Agency, in an update Sunday, said it had received reports of “elevated levels of radiation in recent precipitation events” in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and that it was “reviewing this data.”
The EPA has been monitoring radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, and had previously detected “very low levels of radioactive material” in the United States, while saying that these “were expected” and that “the levels detected are far below levels of public health concern.”
“Elevated levels of radioactive material in rainwater have been expected as a result of the nuclear incident after the events in Japan since radiation is known to travel in the atmosphere,” the EPA added.
The agency has stepped up its monitoring of precipitation, drinking water, and other potential exposure routes for radiation as a precaution.
Last week, EPA cited “minuscule levels of an isotope that were consistent with the Japanese nuclear incident,” that also posed no “concern for human health.”