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article imageLow levels of radiation detected in Massachusetts' rainwater

By Adeline Yuboco     Mar 27, 2011 in World
Boston - Officials from Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) confirmed on Sunday that traces of radioactive iodine-131 have been detected in samples of rainwater taken from an undisclosed location within the state.
Comparable findings have also been detected water samples taken in the states of California, Nevada, Washington state and Pennsylvania.
According to Reuters, the trace amounts of radiation detected in the rainwater samples from Massachusetts are most likely to have originated from Tokyo Electric Co. (TEPCO) Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was severely damaged by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeastern region of Japan last March 11, 2011.
Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach assured the public that despite the slight increase of radiation levels detected in the state's rainwater samples, "the drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation." He disclosed that the concentrations of radioactive iodine-131 detected in these rainwater samples have only a short life span, lasting only for eight days. In addition, concentrations in rainwater samples have a significantly higher concentration than those found in bodies of water.
Nevertheless, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr. has ordered the Department of Environmental Protection to collect additional samples from different bodies of water located within the state of Massachusetts for further testing. Results will be made available to the public within the next few days.
More about rainwater, radioactive iodine131, radiation levels, Daiichi nuclear power plant, Tokyo Electric Co
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