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Traces of radioactive iodine are found in herd’s milk

Trace amounts of radioactive iodine have been found in the milk of cows in a herd used for teaching purposes at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, state officials said Friday.

The levels of iodine-131-- a substance that does not occur naturally -- are very low, officials said.

"People need to realize these are trace amounts that do not pose a threat to public health," said Mike Sicilia, a spokesman for the California Department of Public Health

Similar amounts of iodine-131 have been detected in milk from the Spokane, Wash., area.

Milk is tested every month for radioactivity in San Luis Obispo, where dairy cows graze not far from the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. But since the radiation leaks at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, testing has been performed weekly.

The state tests milk every three months in Humboldt County, the site of a defunct nuclear facility.

Sicilia said the trace amounts of iodine-131 were not surprising, given the increased radioactivity that had previously been found in California air samples -- also at levels deemed harmless by government and academic experts.

Michael Payne, director of the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at UC Davis, said there was nothing to fear in the milk.

"I would drink these milk samples without a second thought," he said.

-- Steve Chawkins

Comments () | Archives (11)

Yeah, no risk it only kills your thyroid!

Still, we should be allowed to grieve for these so-called subtle, yet long-term, negative changes to our world and our health. Must the media hurry us along to forget or ignore the better world we had before this happened? This is sad. If we don't have a chance to grieve, will we get angry enough to protest and prevent worse outcomes?

I-131's short half-life of 8 days means that it will decay away completely in the environment in a matter of weeks.

It vanishes!

Better find another nuclide if you want to be concerned. I suggest aggravacium or linoleum.

He would drink the milk. What about his kids?

Got radioactive milk?

Got radioactive milk?

How about some numbers so that people can evaluate the risk for themselves? Generalities are useless.

This is the same government that told us the economy is fundamentally sound. Wait till it becomes a much bigger problem when the rest of the radiation comes floating on in.

"very low" is not enough or too much information. It would be very nice to give numbers, and then a little comparison scale would be even better. May I suggest the BED (banana equivalent dose?)
Thank you!

One millionth of a gram of plutonium causes cancer. The I 131 can reach SLO and SEA, but not the plutonium? Please no one worry.

I agree lets have the numbers not assurances.


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