SoCal Radiation Monitors Find No Increase in Radiation Along Coast

“We have not detected any increased levels of radiation exposure"

By Jack Noyes
|  Thursday, Mar 17, 2011  |  Updated 12:44 PM PDT
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It was developed to monitor weapons testing in the 1950s. There are now stations in several SoCal communities.

It was developed to monitor weapons testing in the 1950s. There are now stations in several SoCal communities.

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The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) reported in an e-mail Wednesday evening that monitors have not detected an increase in radiation along the SoCal coast.

Japan Disaster: The Radiation Concern, Meltdown Timeline, Health Risk

"Based on their continuous monitoring of radiation at three Southland sites, officials have not detected any increase in radiation levels since last week’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Starting today (Wednesday), the South Coast Air Quality Management District is posting daily updates of monitored radiation levels on its website at www.aqmd.gov," officials said in the e-mail.

Small amounts of radioactive isotopes were expected to reach California Friday. The isotopes are blown toward the United States over the Pacific Ocean.

The amount of radiation is not expected to reach dangerous levels, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

"Some radiation has escaped from a damaged nuclear power complex in Japan and some West Coast residents have expressed concerns that this radiation could travel thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean and impact California," AQMD spokesman Sam Atwood said.

“We have not detected any increased levels of radiation exposure in Southern California,” said William A. Burke, Ed.D., Governing Board Chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “This is based on a detailed review of monitored radiation levels by AQMD officials as well as other public health and technical experts,"  the e-mail noted.

Atwood said the AQMD has operated three radiation monitors in Southern California for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for several years.  Radiation levels at these sites and many others around the country are monitored every hour and the information is sent immediately to U.S. EPA.

Further information on RadNet can be found at EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/narel/radnet/. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s response to the situation can be found at its website at http://www.nrc.gov/.

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