PORTLAND An air monitor in Portland has detected some radiation linked to the plume from Japan s damaged nuclear reactors, but the levels are scant and nothing to worry about, state health officials said Wednesday.
Other experts agreed that there was no cause for concern.
All of the levels that they have been detecting would have to be hundreds of times higher to pose any small threat to the public. So for now, the air in Oregon is 100-percent safe, assured Dr. Eric Hansen, a Radiation Oncologist at Providence St. Vincent Hospital in Portland.
Oregon Public Health officials have been studying levels measured by an Environmental Protection Agency air monitor located in Portland. They said it detected minuscule levels of iodine 131, which is radiation connected with Japan's nuclear emergency.
This more-detailed analysis confirms there continues to be no health risk to people in Oregon. The tiny amounts of radioactive iodine are far lower than levels that would be a health concern, explained state spokeswoman Christine Stone.
Oregon and Washington residents can track the radiation levels themselves online, if they would like to get added assurance. The latest radiation levels recorded by the Environment Protection Agency s monitors will continue to be posted daily on Oregon s Public Health Web site. The measurements have been tabulated in gross beta, a term that refers to all radioactive materials which emit beta radiation.
Washington residents can monitor radiation in that state through the Department of Health Web site.
Data collected Tuesday showed levels in Portland at just 18.76. Corvallis at 21.73 and Seattle at 15.
The EPA reports that in a typical day, Americans receive doses of radiation from natural sources such as rocks, bricks and the sun that are about 100,000 times higher than what has been detected coming from Japan. For example, the levels coming from Japan are 100,000 times lower than what you get from taking a round trip international flight, Stone explained.
Health officials also wanted resident to be aware that there is naturally occurring radiation in the environment at all times, which will also be reflected in the monitoring station data. However, these low levels were not considered dangerous.
Oregon s Public Health preparedness Web site also explains the safe levels in further detail or people can call the Radiation Information Hotline at 1-877-290-6767 for more information.