U.S. experts are keeping an eye on radioactive particles traveling from Japan to California, but they insist there's no public health threat coming from a plume that is moving toward the state.
“A diplomat who has access to radiation tracking by the U.N.'s Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization told The Associated Press in Vienna that initial readings show tiny amounts of radiation have reached California. But it's not dangerous in any way — ‘about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening,’ the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the organization does not make its findings public,” the Associated Press reports.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deployed extra radiation detectors throughout the country that will send real time data via satellite to EPA officials, who will make the data available to the public online.
Austria’s Federal Ministry for Science and Research has released a map showing radioactive material from the nuclear disaster in Japan as it heads across the Pacific Ocean.
In the event the situation escalates, the California Emergency Management Agency reports that it will coordinate emergency response efforts with state public health officials and local officials.
On Thursday, President Obama said "harmful levels" of radiation from the damaged Japanese nuclear plant are not expected to reach the U.S.
The California Department of Public Health, which set up a hotline for concerned residents -- 916-341-3947 -- also has its own network of eight monitors sampling the air, water, and soil for harmful substances, including radiation, said agency spokesman Ron Owens.