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UC Davis Medical Center

UC Davis Medical Center

Experts: minimal radiation risk from Japan nuclear crisis

Sources for ongoing health information about Japan’s nuclear crisis:

Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services 

California Department of Public Health

Posted on March 25, 2011

The consensus among a variety of U.S. public-health officials at the federal, state and local levels is that there is no need for concern about dangerous radiation exposure here from the Japanese nuclear emergency, and no need to take potassium iodide — a drug that can pose some health threats of its own. 

The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission has stated that Japan’s nuclear crisis presents no danger to California, according to the California Department of Public Health, which monitors the situation in partnership with other agencies.

The Japanese government has evacuated residents within several miles of the damaged Fukushima plant, which has leaked radiation following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. But America’s west coast is approximately 5,000 miles away, and radiation dissipates over long distances.

At present, all data from state and federal sources show that harmful levels of radiation won’t reach California, according to state public health officials. California's public health department reports that radiation from Japan is expected to be thousands of times less than daily background radiation from natural and human-made sources.

Sources for ongoing health information about Japan’s nuclear crisis: