The following is a press release from the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District, dated March 18, 2011:
Many of us have heard news reports about high levels of radiation escaping from the damaged nuclear power plants in Japan following the recent earthquake and tsunami. Concern has been expressed that potentially harmful levels of radiation could impact California after traveling across thousands of miles of ocean. The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District (NCUAQMD), in cooperation with the USEPA, has been monitoring the levels of radiation in Humboldt County for several years. The monitoring data show that there is no increased risk of harmful levels of radiation exposure to the citizens of Humboldt, Del Norte or Trinity Counties. Medical professionals and air quality experts believe that there is little chance of high levels reaching the California Coast. However, the NCUAQMD will continue to monitor local radiation levels for any indication of increased levels.
Many people believe that by taking potassium iodide tablets now it will help provide protection from any potential increased radiation. However, taking any medication without a need to, including potassium iodide, could be more harmful than helpful. It is strongly recommended that no one take any medication without first discussing it with your physician, as there are potential side effects and the chance of toxicity.
For additional information please visit the following websites:
- Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services: http://co.humboldt.ca.us/hhs/phb/documents/fact%20sheet-3-15-11.pdf
- California Department of Public Health: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/RadiationFAQS2011.aspx
- United State Nuclear Regulatory Commission: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2011/
- South Coast Air Quality Management District: http://www.aqmd.gov/
- United States Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/