News / USA

    US Experts Assure Nervous West Coast Residents: No Radiation Risk

    Professor Kai Vetter of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley kneels beside a germanium detector which is used to identify radioactive airborne particulates in a filter taken from air samples in Berkeley, Califo
    Professor Kai Vetter of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley kneels beside a germanium detector which is used to identify radioactive airborne particulates in a filter taken from air samples in Berkeley, Califo

    American public health officials are reassuring West Coast residents that radiation from Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant does pose a threat to the United States. Still, some residents are worried.

    Public health and emergency officials say people in California and other Western U.S. states should not worry about radiation that crosses the Pacific Ocean. Charlie Sardou of the American Red Cross said they do anyway.

    "There definitely is local concern about the radiation levels and fallout traveling. At this point in time, there does not look to be a risk here on the West Coast."

    President Obama weighed in on the question Thursday. "So I want to be very clear. We do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the United States, whether it's the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska or U.S. territories."

    Christian Chung, a South Korean immigrant to the United States, thinks small amounts of radiation could still get here. "Could be, slowly, a little bit, tiny problem, a tiny problem." He fears the problem, though, could be bigger in his native South Korea.

    Other nervous West Coast residents have bought out stocks of potassium iodide from many health supplement stories. The drug helps to prevent thyroid cancer by blocking radioactive iodine from reaching the gland. But it has side effects, and health officials say it is completely unnecessary for Americans right now.

    People like Robert Shibao have looked for it anyway. "Actually we tried to do the same thing in case there was a significant amount of radiation, but it's sold out everywhere."

    Fusae Hofer is a Japanese American whose sister has just arrived from Japan, fearful of the possible spread of radiation. She takes seriously assurances that radiation from Japan cannot reach the United States. "That's pretty far away so I don't think so. I just every day pray."

    Both Japanese and American officials say radiation levels in Japan, while elevated in places, are safe except in the immediate area of the troubled nuclear plant.  Japanese officials have ordered a 20-kilometer evacuation zone around the Daiichi plant.  American officials have have been more cautious, urging US citizens within 80 kilometers to evacuate or seek shelter.

    And American officials insist that any radiation released from the plant will drop to negligible levels by the time it travels thousands of kilometers to the United States.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora