BOSTON, March 27 Trace amounts of radioactive
iodine linked to Japan's crippled nuclear power station have
turned up in rainwater samples as far away as Massachusetts
during the past week, state officials said on Sunday.
The low level of radioiodine-131 detected in precipitation
at a sample location in Massachusetts is comparable to findings
in California, Washington state and Pennsylvania and poses no
threat to drinking supplies, public health officials said.
Air samples from the same location in Massachusetts have
shown no detectable radiation.
The samples are being collected from more than 100 sites
around the country that are part of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency's Radiation Network monitoring system.
"The drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected
by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation," said
Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach.
"We will carefully monitor the drinking water as we
exercise an abundance of caution," he said.
At concentrations found, the radioiodine-131 would likely
become undetectable in a "relative short time," according to a
statement issued by agency.
Trace amounts of radiation believed to have originated from
damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors in the aftermath of Japan's
devastating 9.0 earthquake on March 11 have also been detected
in air samples in several western U.S. states, but at levels so
small they posed no risk to human health.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Steve Gorman and Todd