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Thursday
Mar312011

Radioactive Iodine Found in Washington State Milk; Levels Safe

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Government officials say radioactive iodine particles have made their way from Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to Washington state, infiltrating milk.

Traces of radiation have been detected in samples of milk taken in the state, but the levels are low enough that they do not pose a health threat.

"It's hard to hear about radiation in milk and not be concerned but let me put it in perspective," says Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' senior health and medical editor.  "The amount of iodine in milk from Spokane is five thousand times below the level of concern for iodine -- five thousand times -- so while it is concerning that there's radiation there, this is not a threat to health."

"The level of radioactive iodine in milk is safe," adds Besser, who says he would drink the milk and give it to his children.

Besser says although the level is safe now, "it's worth paying attention [to] to make sure the levels don't continue to rise," and the government is doing just that -- the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration are stepping up their radiation monitoring.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio