After finding low levels of radiation in milk samples in the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency is increasing its monitoring of radiation in milk, precipitation, and drinking water. Both Spokane, Washington, and San Luis Obispo County, California, reported radioactive iodine in samples of milk, though the level was 5,000 times lower than the FDA’s limit. The half-life of the I-131 isotope is about eight days, so the levels of radiation are expected to go down fairly quickly. So far, at least 15 states have reported radioisotopes in their air or water as a result of the radiation leaking from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which was damaged in the March 11 quake and resulting tsunami.
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