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EPA STATEMENT: Update on Ongoing Monitoring

Release Date: 04/02/2011
Contact Information: EPA Press Office,

WASHINGTON – As a result of the incident with the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, several EPA air monitors have detected very low levels of radioactive material in the United States consistent with estimates from the damaged nuclear reactors. These detections were expected and the levels detected are far below levels of public-health concern.

Elevated levels of radioactive material in rainwater have been expected as a result of the nuclear incident after the events in Japan since radiation is known to travel in the atmosphere - precipitation samples collected by EPA in the states of California, Idaho and Minnesota have seen very slightly elevated levels of radiation.

In addition to iodine-131, EPA monitors have also identified trace amounts of other isotopes, which we expected to see because they are consistent with releases from the damaged Japanese nuclear reactors.

To see results from these precipitation samples, please visit