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Still no radiation from Japan quake detected in Southern California, air officials say

There's been no increase in radiation levels in Southern California's air since last week's earthquake and tsunami in Japan, local air quality control officials say.

Monitoring at several sites has not picked up any radiation above typical background levels, said Tina Cherry, a spokeswoman for the Air Quality Management District. AQMD is continuing to assess radiation levels on an hourly basis across Southern California.

Health officials in other parts of the state, and across the United States, are doing the same thing, she said. Updates can be found at www.aqmd.gov.

A minuscule amount of radiation from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan was detected in Sacramento but at such a low level that it posed no threat to human health, the environmental protection agency said Friday afternoon.

One station in Sacramento detected "minuscule quantities" of a radioactive isotope, xenon-133, that scientists said they believed came from the reactors at the Japanese plant.

But the level detected would result in a "dose rate approximately one-millionth of the dose rate that a person normally receives from rocks, bricks, the sun and other natural sources," according to an EPA statement.

Xenon-133 is a radioactive gas created during nuclear fission.

The detection of the xenon-133 came from a radiation monitoring system run by the U.S. Department of Energy able to "detect tiny quantities of radioisotopes that might indicate an underground nuclear test on the other side of the world," the statement said. "These detectors are extremely sensitive and can detect minute amounts of radioactive materials."

A separate detection system run by the EPA, known as RadNet, has also shown no harmful levels of radiation coming to the United States. The system was developed in the 1950s during the Cold War.

-- Catherine Saillant and Rong-Gong Lin II

Comments () | Archives (6)

But what about all the uneducated, know-it-all LATimes readers who INSIST that there was going to be fallout? That we were going to be covered with radiation?

The choice of title is interesting. No radiation in Southern California, but read the article and radiation from the first day of the incident has reached Northern California. This means in a couple days some will reach Southern California. The article then talks about no "harmful levels" entering the US, glossing over that detectable levels are in fact entering the US. And the radiation is on a 7 day delay. What happens in another 7 days when the radiation from the plant 3 meltdown and plant 4 fire and pond burn off reaches the west coast? Perhaps run some more articles that all is fine, using carefully chosen words.

well said, scott.

..and what if these emissions and floating plumes of cesium 137 and plutonium (reactor3) continue for weeks, months or... ?

and mr. lopez...go on back to your channel 7 news team...everything's fine.

What if, what if, what if???

Does anyone remember how we were all gonna due from SARS, anthrax, swinwe flu, Ebola virus, etc etc etc? The people freaking out over radiation need to take a chill pill, not an iodine pill.

It's the times you don't freak out when the problem actually becomes serious.

Such a lie, when there is a full on melt down of all the 6 reactors blow it will be big time rediation coming in our way and it will couse cancer

i do not trust one thing our news organization telling us,


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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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