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No increased radiation so far in Southern California, air quality agency says

No increased levels of radiation have been detected in Southern California since a nuclear power plant was damaged in Japan, the local air quality agency said Thursday.

“As of right now, we have not seen any change in the background levels of radiation,” said Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The agency monitors radiation on behalf of the federal government for the Southern California area at three regional stations.

“We’re going to monitor it minute by minute,” Atwood said. “Nobody is predicting anywhere near hazardous levels of radiation on the West Coast of the United States. But because our instruments are extremely sensitive, it is very likely the instruments will measure some increase.”

Experts working with the agency estimated it would take at least five days for radiation released in Japan to reach the Los Angeles area, and the radiation would be substantially diluted by that time.

Even under regular circumstances, radiation levels fluctuate significantly, with readings sometimes four times greater than at other times, Atwood said.

The agency will publish a daily update and provide alerts of any notable changes, Atwood said.

“We understand that people are concerned, and we are committed to providing the latest information,” he said.

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Comments () | Archives (17)

Wow! Nothing to report. Let's all scare the paranoid even more.

I am not sure if anybody is looking into this but what about the steam that is being evaporated into the atmosphere from the nuclear reactors? There may not be any radiation in the air but what up in the rain that we have been getting over these last couple days?

I have always thought the SOAQMB has been a bit too sensitive on everything over the last few years.

Dan

Let monitoring continue all the way till the situation is completely contained...Good one

Imagine that, you mean there isn't a conspiracy going on here?

I work at a Army Surplus store and our gas masks are selling out quickly. People are truly panicking over this situation. Well I guess we will figure out if we will be damaged. God be with us.

Not yet... But give it some time. It will show up.... Really no way around it....

The whole coverage on the radiation in california is ludicrous. Even if the reactor would explode it is impossible that the radiation would be a direct threat to people on the other side of the ocean. It only frightens people - because this radiation is an invisible enemy what makes it much more frightening - and causes unnecessary panic. Imagine this: even the amount of harmful radiation the Tokians get at the moment is still less than a human being receives when it's travelling by airplane. It is a dangerous situation in Japan, period, but please make it not more dangerous than it actually is.

The sky is falling!

But, but Obama says no chance of radiation here.................

From what I understand the particles will not likely travel that far, especially the most dangerous plutonium particles(from the MOX fuel in the drained pool) which are quite heavy. We really need to be worrying about the Japanese people's health tho.

I think what you should be saying is "IT WILL TAKE YEARS TO KILL YOU", so you can't blame it on Japan!

""Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author?""

Heck, he or she has already left the area and is headed to the east coast on sick-leave to get as far away as possible!

Don't you find it odd that this article was posted on March 17, 2011 | 11:28 am
and only 9 comments have been left and its almost 7PM PST?

You are either stupid or just plain dumb. Look up the information on the meltdown in Russia. They have maps showing that radiation from there travelled all around the northern hemisphere. All of Europe was poisoned, Italy for 6 months refused to eat fresh food due to the Radiation being stuck in the area. LA has the same issue. The whole area is surrounded by mountains which trap radiation. Also look into EPA reports on normal stuff in the air showing that 25% of the bad stuff in the air is from china. Which I now ask you that you might want to rethink your thoughts.

What bothers me about all these reassurances is that they are about the background radiation levels caused by this escape, the average radiation endured external to the body. Yes, particles floating past you have no worrisome effect. But what if you actually inhale a few particles of say, radioactive cesium?

What causes paranoia is withheld information. The government should just release their data as they acquire it through RADNET sites. They've yet to define what they mean by "no harmful levels." I think the public should be let in on the science. Or are they not telling us "for our own good"? There may truly be no issue. If so, what's the harm in sharing the facts with the public?


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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