San Luis Obispo County residents should not be concerned about radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, officials say, because the amounts detected locally are within normal background levels and there's no risk to public health.
Larry Allen, the county Air Pollution Control Officer, said that “extremely trace amounts” of radiation were detected this morning in San Luis Obispo County, but the levels were so minuscule that they were barely above the detection limits of the instruments used to measure them.
Local information is being gathered from three monitoring networks: the Environmental Protection Agency's RadNet, the California Department of Public Health, and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
The EPA and the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission have indicated that no harmful levels of radiation are expected to reach the United States.
“The important thing for people to know is that we are exposed every day to low levels of radiation from natural occurrences,” Allen said. “They are always present and don’t represent a health threat. The normal fluctuation in those background detections can be a lot larger than the very small levels expected to reach us from the incident in Japan.”
For updates on radiation levels, visit the South Coast Air Quality Management District website at http://www.aqmd.gov.