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California Dept of Health Monitoring Radiation Fallout

March 14, 2011

This post will be updated as new information is gathered.




UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2011: AQMD Spokesperson Sam Atwood and Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County Health Officer, discuss the health risk posed to Southern Californians from the damaged nuclear power plants in Japan.

UPDATE: MARCH 16, 2011: NY TIMES — A United Nations forecast of the possible movement of the radioactive plume coming from crippled Japanese reactors shows it churning across the Pacific, and touching the Aleutian Islands on Thursday before hitting Southern California late Friday. Click here to view interactive graphic. [see separate complete post]

UPDATE: MARCH 15, 2011 2:30 PM PST: SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that the nuclear emergency in Japan has dimmed the future of any new nuclear plants in California.

“I think this causes more of a problem,” Brown said as he entered the Sheraton Grand Hotel in downtown Sacramento. “I did oppose nuclear when I was governor because of the earthquake faults along the coast of California. And I’ve said I’m open to discussion on the topic. But I would say that partial meltdown and whatever it’s going to be will give pause to a lot of people.”

Brown said his experts tell him there is no threat at this point to California from radiation escaping from the Japanese site.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says there’s no threat to California, or the U.S. because of distance. But we’re monitoring it closely,” said Kelly Huston of the California Emergency Management Agency.

Huston says his agency, along with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the California Energy Commission, are watching the situation. He said people who buy potassium iodide tablets don’t need to.

One of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s radiation monitoring instruments is located in Sacramento. If there were any unusual readings, they would be passed on to local air quality officials.

“We monitor for ozone precursors,” said Christina Ragsdale of the Sacramento Air Quality Management District. “If there was concern, EPA would notify local districts.”


UPDATE: MARCH 14, 2011 4:30 PM PST: No word today on California monitoring efforts or results regarding potential radiation drift, jet stream drift, or black rain. I think it is time to demand some answers from our officials.

This is from yesterday, March 12, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – California is closely monitoring efforts to contain leaks from a quake-damaged Japanese nuclear plant, a spokesman said Saturday, as experts said radiation could be blown out across the Pacific.

While officials downplayed any immediate danger, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission deployed two experts to Japan, where the Fukushima plant, which was rocked by a large explosion earlier in the day in the aftermath of Japan’s strongest-ever earthquake.

“At present there is no danger to California. However we are monitoring the situation closely in conjunction with our federal partners,” Michael Sicilia, spokesman for California Department of Public Health, told AFP.

“California does have radioactivity monitoring systems in place for air, water and the food supply and can enhance that monitoring if a danger exists,” he added.

  1. robert
    March 15, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Is there a public site with real time radiation monitoring information?

  2. March 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Cannot locate one for public viewing. I think at this stage everyone is on a need to know basis and that just ratchets up the concern. CNN is reporting about the fuel spent pools now and how critical those are to not releasing cesium, iodine, etc into the atmosphere. Serious business, all of it.

  3. Tiedyeman
    March 16, 2011 at 6:43 am

    If the information is there, which we know it is, then we should have an official map with radiation counts with live updates. Stop telling us not to worry and show us the numbers and let us decide when it’s time to worry. Any information the state or federal government has should be made public immediately.

  4. guitarbetty
    March 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    we’ll all have to stay drunk on red wine, ha!

  5. kathy perry
    March 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    kathy perry :I think when the news is telling us that the radiation and fallout wont make it to the west coast of United States. There telling us not to worry. THATS THE TIME YOU WORRY. The Japanese autorities are covering up how bad things really are,not giving us the real truth. So obviously things are a lot worse than were being told. And lets be real our government is not always that forthright with us either……………..

  6. March 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    No doubt about it; i agree; people are smarter and more well-informed these days; news — facts — travel with lightspeed; now that many companies like Bayer, SAP, Alcatel-Lucent are relocating to Osaka, that tells alot about the facts of the matter; whether precautionary or not, people are responding with decisions based on their self-preservation instinct;

  7. Barbara
    March 16, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    You got it sweetness. That’s the time you worry.

    March 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm


    March 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I agree and what are they going to do wait unit the last min and have everyone panic and run? Wow, where is it safe to go then? How long?

  10. gerta
    March 17, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Government will always hide information from the public. We all need to demand honesty and teach our leaders to stop dumbing down Americans.

    Also, more people need to request documents from their local government. It is all public information. Don’t accept avoidance by your officials.

  11. Amy
    March 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Absolutely, we need to demand information from our public officials. We need the CA Dept. of Health and Cal-EPA to give us this info.

  12. robert
    March 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Some info that was passed on to me……

    The South Coast Air Quality Management District, your local air pollution agency, has operated radiation monitors for several years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AQMD monitors radiation levels at three sites in Southern California and sends the radiation measurements every hour to EPA.  The California Department of Public Health also operates an additional radiation monitor in Southern California. 
    Starting today, you can get a daily update regarding levels of radiation in Southern California at AQMD’s website at http://www.aqmd.gov.  Monitors operated by AQMD/EPA will detect any change in outdoor radiation levels.
    Further general information on EPA’s radiation monitoring network can be found at http://www.epa.gov/narel/radnet/. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s response to the situation can be found at http://www.nrc.gov/.
    Monitoring radiation is a very small part of the many activities AQMD does to protect public health and clean the air that we breathe. For more information on how you can help clean the air, go to http://www.cleanairconnections.org .
    William A. Burke, Ed.D., Chairman
                South Coast Air Quality Management District

  13. March 18, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Excellent information – thank you; i will research and update as deemed appropriate;

  14. March 18, 2011 at 12:10 am
  15. Lefty
    March 18, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Four days ago they told us that there was “no chance” radiation could hit the US. Two days ago they said there was “little chance” radiation could hit the US. Now they are saying that “yes, it will hit the US, but don’t worry, it wont harm you”! WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO TELL US IN TWO DAYS? Is Obama’s vacation in Rio well timed or a mere coincidence …………….hmmm?

  16. Karen Bell (ChayaFradle)
    March 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    This is SUCH a lie. Radiation reached California EARLY this morning, on Friday. It is mild, but to me, poison is poison, right? I found detox methods, including bathing in Epson salt for the skin and eating non-affected seaweed, etc. but what I want to know is WHEN will the radiation LEAVE California? The heaviest amount of radiation will be carried by the wind to Canada and Alaska, per geologists.

  17. dawn
    March 18, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    “Small Amount of Radiation”??? There is no such thing as a small amount of Plutonium – just 1 isotope can kill you! That’s the problem with all these radiation monitors and detectors going off everywhere – they don’t tell what the radioactive source actually is – Cesium, Plutonium, etc. etc. And just because the radioactive particles are “dispersed” to “minuscule” levels they don’t just disappear with half-lives from 30-years to 24,000 years.

    Again just takes 1 particle to cause cancer so really just a game of Russian roulette with every breath you take and whether that head of lettuce you just ate or glass of water you just drank contained one of these particles – good luck!

  18. March 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    I wrote a separate piece this morning that expresses my opinion; the concern is the concentration and accumulation levels of radiation as this drags on for what, months, years? Overall eco-system impact is of concern. Fish, birds, whales, etc; Heard any reports on that yet? None. The Japanese officials this morning are considering burying the reactors in concrete and sand like they did at Chernobyl.

  19. March 18, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks for your comment. I wrote a piece earlier this week: What is Cesium 137? I know the risks, you know the risks; I write so more people know what the risks are…

  20. Antonio
    April 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm
  21. Antonio Borelli
    April 4, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Also EPA sampling results here; despite what it says, you may sign-up and view:

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