Monday, May 09, 2011
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has faced stiff criticism for its slow and spotty monitoring of radioactive iodine, cesium and other materials that were ejected into the atmosphere after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was struck by a tsunami in early March. The material fell on the United States in rainwater and was ingested by cows, which passed it through into their milk.
Radiation levels in some milk and rain samples have exceeded normal long-term federal drinking water standards, but EPA officials have described the levels as almost completely safe. Anti-nuclear power activists have accused the federal government of downplaying the health risks in an effort to protect the nuclear power industry and predicted that the radioactive isotopes will lead to a rash of cancers.
Now, less than two months after the nuclear disaster began to unfold, the EPA is abandoning most of its additional radiation monitoring activities. Recent monitoring has continued to detect the radiation in the North American environment, though at declining levels. Read More