WEDNESDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- In an update to its
ongoing radiation monitoring following the Fukushima Daiichi
reactor crisis in Japan, U.S. government officials announced late
Wednesday that milk sampled March 25 in Washington state contained
low levels of radiation not likely to cause harm to humans.
In a statement released jointly by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, the two
agencies said that their screening of milk from Spokane, Wash.,
showed levels of iodine-131 that were "more than 5,000 times lower
than the Derived Intervention Level" set by the FDA.
The level of iodine-131 found in the Spokane milk is "far below
levels of public health concern, including for infants and
children," the FDA and the EPA both said. The agencies also noted
that iodine-131 has a short half-life of just eight days, so even
this low level is expected to dissipate quickly.
Patricia Hansen, an FDA senior scientist, said in the statement
that, "radiation is all around us in our daily lives, and these
findings are a miniscule amount compared to what people experience
every day. For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of
radiation on a round trip cross country flight, watching
television, and even from construction materials."
EPA monitors radiological levels of milk under the RADNET
program while the FDA oversees milk and milk product labeling and
There's more on efforts to ensure food safety following the
crisis in Japan at