Can The Japanese Nuclear Radiation Reach The US?

Posted by: MelissaRN (March 14, 2011)

With the tsunami threats to Hawaii and California seemingly gone, is there a new threat looming?  With the radiation levels rising in Japan, many in North America worry about the effect the radiation will have here. Is this something we should be concerned about?

Will Radiation from Japan Threaten the U.S.?

  • “Experts contacted by MedPage Today generally agreed that radioactive particles will eventually reach the U.S., but at levels too low to measurably affect people’s health.
  • In an update today, the International Atomic Energy Agency said winds have been blowing eastward from the Japanese coast — toward the U.S. and Canada — in a pattern expected to continue for the next three days.
  • But the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it is unlikely that harmful levels of radiation leaking from Japanese reactors will reach any part of the U.S., including Hawaii, Alaska, and various territories in the Pacific, considering the vast distances between Japan and those areas.
  • Reports indicate that any release of radioactive materials has been largely confined, and that explosions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have not breached their outwardmost containment buildings.
  • James Thrall, MD, radiologist-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and president of the American College of Radiology, told MedPage Today that the chances of a consequential radiation exposure from the Japanese disaster anywhere in the U.S. is “essentially zero.””

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