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Low Levels Of Radiation Found In Bay Area Milk, Water

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(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

CBS SF Bay (con't)

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BERKELEY (KCBS) – Minuscule amounts of radiation from Japan’s nuclear disaster are being detected in milk and tap water in the Bay Area.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration are stepping up monitoring of milk, tap water and precipitation as a result of similar findings in Spokane, Washington.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Dr. Kai Vetter, a nuclear engineer at the University of California, Berkeley, said that while higher than normal levels of Iodine-131 are being detected, they are not at dangerous levels.

“We just concluded some measurements from tap water and milk and we do see very small levels of radiation in them,” Vetter said. “But they are really small levels.”

Vetter said people should not go to extremes when it comes to milk.

“No, you should not stop drinking milk. It’s really important to emphasize. As far as I can tell, these are extremely small amounts,” he said.

The EPA’s RadNet program regularly monitors milk.  In the Bay Area, the agency monitors milk in Oakland and rainwater in  Richmond.

The United States has already halted imports of dairy products and produce from the affected area of Japan.

Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power complex began leaking radiation after it was damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami earlier this month.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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