Radioactive cesium detected in more Chinese regions amid Japan nuclear crisis

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
By Paul Martin

BEIJING, April 5 (Xinhua) — Trace levels of radioactive isotope cesium-137 and -134 were detected in the air of 17 of the Chinese mainland’s 31 provincial-level regions on Tuesday, up from 13 regions on Monday, according to China’s National Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee.

Cesium-137 and -134 were detected in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Ningxia on Tuesday.

“Extremely low levels” of radioactive iodine-131 were detected in the air over some areas of 29 provincial-level regions, with Guangxi and Guizhou being exempted from the list.

The levels of cesium-137 and -134 were even lower than those of iodine-131.

They pose no threat to public health or to the environment, according to a daily statement issued by China’s National Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee Tuesday.

Food and drinking water have been tested for contamination and found to be safe, according to the statement.

The materials are believed to have traveled by air to China from the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

No protective measures need to be taken against contamination from these materials, said the statement.

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