2011 Japan Nuclear Incident

Radiation Monitoring: No Health Risk in Vermont from Reactors in Japan

Trace amounts of radioactivity coming from nuclear power stations damaged by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11 are being measured in the U.S. These are tiny amounts of radioactivity – hundreds to thousands of times below the amounts we experience in everyday life. There is no health risk at this time, and no reason to take any special actions. Do not take potassium iodide (KI). Taking KI when it is not needed will not help, and can harm you.

The Vermont Department of Health is using its environmental radiological monitoring stations around Vermont Yankee, and an air sampling station installed in Burlington, to measure radioactivity changes in the air. The Health Department, Agency of Natural Resources and Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets continue to take other samples – such as surface and drinking water, milk, vegetation and maple products – for analysis. Results are reported here.

The EPA also continues to test and report on air and milk in Vermont.

Radiation is all around us – from environmental sources, medical procedures, air flights – and naturally in our own bodies. To understand some of the sources of radiation that you may be exposed to in your everyday life, you can calculate your annual dose at the EPA's website.

February 23, 2012

US Geological Survey and the National Atmospheric Deposition Program released its report which studied fallout from Fukushima in the U.S., including Vermont.

"Levels measured were similar to measurements made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the days and weeks immediately following the March 2011 incidents, which were determined to be well below any level of public health concern."

New Study Confirms Low Levels of Fallout from Fukushima and Enhances Knowledge

A USGS report and article published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, as well as a map of NADP sites with observed fallout can be found online at http://bqs.usgs.gov/fukushima/.

June 16, 2011

The Health Department has returned to routine environmental testing frequencies. The air sampling site in Burlington, added to environmental monitoring program because of the events in Japan, will continue to be sampled on a monthly basis. Additional data will be reported in the annual environmental surveillance report.

As part of its routine testing practice, a collection of air filters gathered between April 19 and May 10 were analyzed by the Health Department. This test combined the individual air filters collected during this time. The grouping of the filters together lets the laboratory detect trace amounts of radionuclides that cannot be detected in individual samples. Trace amounts of cesium-137 and natural radionuclides were detected. The results were expected and are consistent with the events in Japan

Information, Resources & Test Results

Vermont Laboratory Test Results

Earlier Situation Updates
Resources and Information

Emergency Preparedness Resources

Talking to Children about Disasters
Images and information in the news and on the internet about the tragic events in Japan can be very troubling for students, especially younger children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has great resources for talking to children about disasters: http://www.aap.org/disasters/adjustment.cfm

Page last updated: February 23, 2012

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