Hawaii Department of Health says no elevated levels of radiation detected

Information compiled by Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

Hawaii residents should not be fearful about elevated radiation levels from the nuclear reactor facility in Japan reaching the aloha state.

In an advisory released by the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) on March 14, it explained, “The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has not detected any elevated radiation readings, and air samples remain at ambient or normal background levels following a small release of radiation Saturday at a nuclear reactor facility in Japan.”

The release of radiation occurred from two nuclear reactors in Japan that were damaged in the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

“With the current size of the release and the distance from Hawaii, no public health risk to the state is expected,” the release noted.

Cmdr. Daniel J. Hohman, Navy Region Hawaii public health emergency officer, reiterated the DOH information and provided some additional guidance to Hawaii residents. “As stated in the Hawaii State Department of Health news release,Hawaii is not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity. There is no anticipated threat of any increase in radiation levels for the Hawaiian Islands, nor is there a need to take potassium iodide,” Hohman said.

DOH explained that their Indoor and Radiological Health Branch (IRHB) is closely monitoring information on the radiation release. The agency, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has a system in place for ambient monitoring for radioactive dust.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released a statement on March 13 stating,”All the available information indicates weather conditions have taken the small releases from the Fukushima reactors out to sea away from the population. Given the thousands of miles between the two countries, Hawaii, Alaska, the U.S. Territories and the U.S. West Coast are not expected to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity.”

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos addressed the concerns of American citizens, especially those who remain in Japan.

“We understand that many of you are anxious and have questions in the shadow of the Fukushima emergency, since we are in the midst of a complex, constantly changing, and unpredictable situation. In this fluid situation, our commitment to our citizens is to accumulate accurate information and assess it sufficiently in order to make important judgments,” Roos said.

“Let me also address reports of very low levels of radiation outside the evacuation area detected by U.S. and Japanese sensitive instrumentation. This bears very careful monitoring, which we are doing,” Roos explained.

For more information, visit the DOH website at www.hawaii.gov/doh or the following sites:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://emergency.cdc.gov/radia tion/ U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/r ert/monitoring.html http://epa.gov/narel/radnet/ (Information provided by Hawaii Department of Health, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a statement from U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, and Naval Health Clinic Hawaii.)

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Category: News