LOS ANGELES (AP) — Government experts in the United States are keeping a close eye on any radioactive particles that could travel from Japan, and they may already be seeing trace amounts.

   A diplomat who has access to radiation tracking by the U.N.’s Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization told The Associated Press in Vienna that initial readings show tiny amounts of radiation have reached California. But it’s not dangerous in any way — “about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the organization does not make its findings public.

Californians with questions about radiation exposure can contact the California Department of Public Health’s Emergency Operations information line at 916 341-3947.

   U.S. government experts also insist there’s no threat to public health from the plume, but they are still closely monitoring the situation with detection monitors deployed along the West Coast.

   The new California reading came from a measuring station of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, and the monitor was apparently located in Sacramento.

   “Radiation is one of those words that get everybody scared, like `plague,”‘ said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, director of public health for Los Angeles County. “But we’re 5,000 miles away.”

   The amount of any fallout that wafts across the Pacific Ocean to the U.S. coast will be so diluted that it will not pose any health risk, officials say. Wind, rain and salt spray will help clean the air over the vast ocean between Japan and the United States.

   Nuclear experts say the main elements released are radioactive cesium and iodine. They can combine with the salt in sea water to become cesium chloride and sodium iodide, which are common and abundant elements and would readily dilute in the wide expanse of the Pacific, according to Steven Reese, director of the Radiation Center at Oregon State.

   “It is certainly not a threat in terms of human health” added William H. Miller, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Missouri.

   Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deployed extra radiation detectors throughout the country to allay public concerns. On Thursday, President Barack Obama said “harmful levels” of radiation from the damaged Japanese nuclear plant are not expected to reach the U.S.

   The radiation stations will send real time data via satellite to EPA officials, who will make the data available to the public online. The monitors also contain two types of air filters that detect any radioactive particles and are mailed to EPA’s data center in Alabama.

   That information, as well as samples that numerous federal agencies are collecting on the ground and in the air in Japan, also will be sent to the Department of Energy’s atmospheric radioactivity monitoring center in California, where teams are creating sophisticated computer models to predict how radioactive releases at Fukushima could spread into the atmosphere.

   Inside Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco, scientists, engineers, and meteorological experts were analyzing those charts and maps to help policymakers predict where radioactive isotopes could travel.

   “The models show what happens if the situation gets worse, if the winds change, or if it rains to predict what could happen,” National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Damien LaVera said. “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has said they see no radiation at harmful levels reaching the United States, and we’re not seeing anything that is inconsistent with that.”

   In the unlikely event that the situation escalates, the California Emergency Management Agency would coordinate emergency response efforts with state public health officials and local officials.

   “Worst-case scenario, there is no threat to public health in California,” said the agency’s acting secretary, Mike Dayton.

   The California Department of Public Health, which set up a hotline for concerned residents, also has its own network of eight monitors sampling the air, water, and soil for harmful substances, including radiation, said agency spokesman Ron Owens.

Comments (27)
  1. lili says:

    Yes but what about the undetectable plutonium emissions from the MOX fuel and water spray? There is no cure at all and the tiniest trace once inhaled…

  2. Chris says:


  3. Swim says:

    So funny when people are surprised when the government lies to them.

    1. Son of a CHiP says:

      you mean like “change you can believe in”

  4. Dirk Diggler says:

    Worrying is like a rockiing chair, Chris, — it gives you something to do for a while but it doesn’t get you anywhere…

    1. Chris says:

      Not worried. My hope is for everyone to get prepared with three weeks of supplies. It is not “if” the big one hits, but when.

  5. scopedope says:

    A luminous wrist watch dial has more radiation than that.

    1. Starbarker says:

      So that’s why I have seven fingers on that hand.

  6. Esnesnon says:

    People should worry more about the cell phones that are constantly attached to their heads.

  7. Ken says:

    I understand about the radiation in the air may be at very low levels but what about the fish, seafood around Japan or in the water between here and Japan? I have not heard anything about that……

  8. Barbara says:

    The Govenment doesn’t care about you, it wants your MONEY!
    If you can’t pay taxes it want to incarcerate you to get Federal monies for inmates. Government wants to enslave you, that is all.
    I’m not going outside for a couple of days, it’s not like we can afford to move but whatever the Government says IS A LIE!
    The U.S. Government experimented on people without their knowledge once what’s to stop them from doing it again.

    1. Esnesnon says:

      You should probabay refrain from posting on the internet as well. Thy’re monitoring you, you know.

  9. Jim says:

    Can you imagine the economic catastrophe if everyone left California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona? No wonder the government wants to keep us ignorant!

  10. Biba says:

    “Do as I say not as I do” explain what form of Govermnet we have now. I am confused

  11. Carrie says:

    Well, since the real truth is something we may never hear, we may need to take precautions to keep our family and pets safe. I am not trying to become an unwilling guinea pig.

  12. Rene Walker says:

    AND…WHAT is OBAMA doing??????? Playing GOLF…of course……..

  13. NukeTown says:


    1. SadieMay says:

      Your name is nuketown… Do you play black ops?

  14. NENA says:


  15. old fart says:

    If they kill off all us old farts they don’t have to pay us social security even though we paid into it for 40 years.

  16. old fart says:

    If abortion was legal 50 years ago & a married man from Africa knocked up a school girl from Kansas?

  17. old fart says:

    If we didn’t have term limits on the president we could have still had Bill Clinton & never got Bushwhacked. Whould I still have a good job with health insurance my own home & a bank account?

  18. Vic Button says:

    it is NOT LIKE background radiation plutonium from nuclear power stations is man made- minute particles if ingested can kill. It is said that there is enough contamiinants in a a mass of plutonium the size of a grapefruit to kill every person on this planet if it could be devided so finely.

  19. Vic Button says:

    it is NOT LIKE background radiation plutonium from nuclear power stations is man made-. It is said that there is enough contamiinants in a a mass of plutonium the size of a grapefruit to kill every person on this planet if it could be devided so finely.

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