Agencies: No harmful radiation has hit Arizona - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

Agencies: No harmful radiation has hit Arizona

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Posted: Friday, March 18, 2011 3:44 pm

Three state agencies are watching air currents coming toward the southwestern U.S. coast from Japan and have concluded that the amount of radiation in the plume is not much different than people experience on a cross-country flight.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear problems by knocking out power to cooling systems at the Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear plant on the northeast coast of Japan. Since then, four of its six reactor units have seen fires, explosions or partial meltdowns.

The Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA), the Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) and the Department of Health Services (ADHS) say people in Arizona are safe from dangerous radiation and need to be aware of potential dangers of taking potassium iodide when there is no danger.

Potassium iodide can be dangerous to people with allergies to iodine, shellfish or who have thyroid problems. It can have major side effects, including abnormal heart rhythms, nausea, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities and bleeding.

Federal officials say there is no risk expected to Arizona or its residents as a result of the situation in Japan.

Information: www.azein.gov or e-mail questions to azein@azdema.gov.

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