After the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, many people have become more aware of the dangers associated with nuclear power plants in general and radiation specifically. Many people are now wondering if they live near a source of radiation and if so what the chances are that they could be exposed to dangerous levels. The United States government has been quite proactive in providing resources about radiation safety to help citizens develop a realistic sense of what may be dangerous now because of the release of radiation in Japan as well as information on general radiation safety information.
FDA – The United States Food and Drug Administration discusses the role of the FDA in regulating food and medications imported from areas that may have been affected by elevated levels of radiation. The methods used to monitor imports are discussed as well as the actual risk of exposure to United States citizens.
CDC – The Centers for Disease Control website provides a number of government and civilian resources that focus on a variety of topics relating to radiation. Specific information is available for populations that may be exposed to radiation, fact sheets about radiation, and information about the disaster in Japan.
CRCPD – The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors is a national organization dedicated to radiation protection. This is a map of state resources for medical professionals and the public to access information about specific state requirements for registration or licensure of medical physicist. Many of the state locations also have state specific information about radiation and radiation preparedness.
USDA – The United States Department of Agriculture maintains a radiation safety section discussing monitoring efforts, safety questions, agriculture in Japan, and a variety of other radiation and situation specific resources.
EPA – The Environmental Protection Agency has a number of resources which discuss radiation. This particular page is an interactive map of the EPA’s RadNet. RadNet is the air monitoring system that detects radiation in the air, water, milk, and precipitation. There are fixed and deployable monitors that are color coded on the map. You can click on specific stations to see detailed information for the past two months.
Ready America – This government maintained website discusses a variety of national and manmade disasters that could impact the population at some point. Information about radiation, the delivery methods that could expose the population to the threat, as well as what to do should there be a radiological event are discussed.
While it is terrifying to think something you can’t see, smell, or taste could be negatively impacting your health or the health of the people you know, it is even more terrifying to have limited knowledge about that threat. By learning more about radiation and keeping up to date with the latest information from Japan, it is much easier to react and prepare calmly.
Are you worried about radiation exposure from the nuclear reactors in Japan? Has the natural disaster in Japan made you more concerned about nuclear reactor safety in the United States?