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Radiation from damaged Japanese reactors reaches Portland

State health officials say there is 'no health risk'

Oregon public health officials said Wednesday that very low levels of radiation from the damaged nuclear power plant in Japan have been detected in Portland.

Similar readings have previously been detected in California and Washington.

'Our finding is consistent with findings in Washington and California. We have expected to find trace amounts of the isotopes released from the Japanese plant. There is no health risk,' said Gail Shibley, administrator of the Office of Environmental Public Health, Oregon Public Health Division.

Low levels of iodine 131 have been expected on the West Coast but that more detailed analysis confirms there continues to be no health risk to people in Oregon.

These results are consistent with findings reported by federal, California, Washington and Canadian health agencies. Because of the nearly 5,000-mile distance from Japan, combined with air diffusion, radiation reaching our state is so diluted that there is no health risk here, making protective action unnecessary, the statement said.

The EPA reports that in a typical day, Americans receive doses of radiation from natural sources such as rocks, bricks and the sun that are about 100,000 times higher than what has been detected coming from Japan.

According to the EPA, the levels coming from Japan are 100,000 times lower than what you get from taking a roundtrip international flight.