Low levels of radiation detected over Arkansas skies

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting traces of radiation have been detected in Arkansas.

According to the ADH, air quality samples taken this week have detected a presence of iodine-131, which is an element that's associated with the nuclear power plant accident in Japan.

The EPA says these findings are expected in the coming days across the nation, and are far below levels of human health concerns.

William Mason, MD, Emergency Preparedness branch chief said, "We know that people are very concerned about possible air contamination from the nuclear power plant in Japan. These levels detected in Arkansas are well below the conservative level of concern for human health. Along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and other federal and state agencies, we are carefully monitoring the situation."

"Radiation (including iodine-131) is all around us in our daily lives, and these findings are a minuscule amount compared to what people experience every day from sources other than air, food and water. For example, a person would be exposed to low levels of radiation on a round trip cross country flight, watching television, and medical testing," Mason said.

Because of the disaster in Japan, the EPA has increased the level of nationwide testing of rainwater, drinking water, and other potential exposure routes through its RadNet program.

For more information on RadNet, please click here.

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