‘Minuscule’ Levels of Radioactive Iodine Found in American Milk


Researchers in Washington and California decided to test some American milk samples for the presence of radioactive iodine and, sure enough, they came back positive. But don’t freak out: Even though the iodine hails from Fukushima Daiichi, the melting nuclear plant in Japan, its present in U.S. milk is “at levels far below those at which action would have to be taken.” In fact, it would need to be present at levels 5,000 times higher to even reach the minimum “intervention level” set by the FDA. Tests confirmed that the milk is still safe to drink.

The iodine was most likely blown over in the air from Japan and then deposited on grass eaten by cows, ending up in our milk supply. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is increasing its nationwide monitoring of radiation from here on out, although FDA senior scientist Patricia Hansen said the iodine findings are “minuscule” compared to what people experience every day. Huh, we’re experiencing levels of radioactive iodine daily? This is news to us.

Low Levels of Radiation Found in American Milk [NYT]
EPA boosts radiation monitoring after low levels found in milk [CNN]