Radiation Levels No Concern for Tri-State
by Kristy Kim, Public Relations Specialist
While the radiation risks unfold in the aftermath of the natural and nuclear disasters in Japan, many area residents are left wondering if the effects from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will have an impact on the Tri-State. As part of a nationwide effort to monitor radiation, the Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services operates a rooftop air monitor in Cincinnati that sends real-time data to the EPA Radiation Testing Lab in Montgomery, Alabama. Additionally, the monitoring stationís filter samples are tested twice a week with a Geiger counter, with the data recorded and samples sent to the EPA Radiation Testing Lab. There has been no increase or spike in local radiation levels since the disaster and it is unlikely that there will be any radiation threat in the Greater Cincinnati area.
While there have been detections of trace amounts of radioactive material from the Japanese nuclear plant in the United States, the amounts continue to be far below levels that would cause health problems. The detection is due to the use of super-sensitive equipment that is able to pick up radiation levels from sources as subtle as a patient who has had an x-ray and is in close proximity to the monitor. This highly sensitive equipment was first developed to make sure countries were observing the nuclear test ban treaty. The amounts of radiation detected so far are a fraction of what people are normally exposed to. Professionals such as doctors and pilots are often exposed with much higher concentrations.
The process by which the radioactive material is entering the atmosphere is another point to consider. The radiation from the nuclear reactors in Fukushima are remaining in the lower atmosphere, versus a situation like Chernobyl, where an explosion propelled and sent heavier, dangerous elements up into the atmosphere, reaching much farther distances.
To view data and learn more about the EPAís Radiation
Air Monitoring Program, visit