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Tragedy in Japan: County says radiation risk minimal

Due to the devastating 8.9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan, which left thousands dead and missing, there's been concern in western states about radiation leaking from malfunctioning Japanese nuclear reactors that were damaged during the tsunami.

State and federal agencies have told the county's public health authority that radiation will not pose a risk to residents in the Pacific Northwest.

Anne Parrot, public health preparedness coordinator, warned against people taking iodide/iodine to lessen the risk of future health problems from radiation, saying potassium iodide/iodine can pose serious health risks in pregnant women, women who are nursing and people with diabetes.

The American Red Cross and Mercy Corps are both taking donations for earthquake relief at their websites. Visit www.redcross.org or www.mercycorps.org, or call Mercy Corps at 888-747-7440.

The Spotlight is also looking for local stories of those affected by the earthquake. Please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have something to share.