Feds Refuse Extra Radiation Testing Of Milk, Water
Routine measurements will resume; nuclear expert calls decision “staggering”
By JOHN UPTON
The U.S. government has abandoned efforts to monitor elevated levels of radiation that infiltrated the nation’s water and milk in the wake of a nuclear catastrophe in Japan.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has faced stiff criticism for its slow and spotty monitoring of radioactive iodine, cesium and other materials that were ejected into the atmosphere after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was struck by a tsunami in early March. The material fell on the United States in rainwater and was ingested by cows, which passed it through into their milk.
Radiation levels in some milk and rain samples have exceeded normal long-term federal drinking water standards, but EPA officials have described the levels as almost completely safe. Anti-nuclear power activists have accused the federal government of downplaying the health risks in an effort to protect the nuclear power industry and predicted that the radioactive isotopes will lead to a rash of cancers.