You have probably heard news reports about harmful radiation escaping from damaged nuclear power plants in Japan following the recent tsunami. Some have even voiced concern that this radiation could travel across the ocean and impact California. There is no increased risk of harmful levels of radiation exposure in the United States, based on the situation to date and a review of actual monitored levels by AQMD as well as other public health officials and technical experts.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District, your local air pollution agency, has operated radiation monitors for several years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AQMD monitors radiation levels at three sites in Southern California and sends the radiation measurements every hour to EPA. The California Department of Public Health also operates an additional radiation monitor in Southern California.
Starting today, you can get a daily update regarding levels of radiation in Southern California at AQMD’s website at www.aqmd.gov. Monitors operated by AQMD/EPA will detect any change in outdoor radiation levels.
Further general information on EPA’s radiation monitoring network can be found at www.epa.gov/narel/radnet/. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s response to the situation can be found at www.nrc.gov/.
Monitoring radiation is a very small part of the many activities AQMD does to protect public health and clean the air that we breathe. For more information on how you can help clean the air, go to www.cleanairconnections.org .