Saturday, March 19, 2011

Radiation Detected in Japanese Food and Tap Water

TOKYO, March 20, Kyodo

Radioactive iodine beyond Japan's regulated standard was detected in tap water in a town in Fukushima Prefecture on Thursday, apparently due to the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the government said Saturday.

The health ministry said levels on Friday and Saturday in the town of Kawamata were below the limit but milk there has been found to contain radioactive iodine above the country's standard, raising concern about radioactive contamination in the region.

Kawamata is located around 45 kilometers northwest of the nuclear power plant.

Meanwhile, slight amounts of radioactive iodine have been detected in tap water in Tokyo, its vicinity and most prefectures neighboring Fukushima, the government said the same day.

While the substance was found in Tochigi, Gunma, Niigata, Chiba and Saitama prefectures as well as Tokyo, traces of cesium have been also found in tap water in Tochigi and Gunma, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said, adding the levels would not affect human health even if ingested.

Tochigi, Gunma and Niigata prefectures border Fukushima Prefecture.

The Gunma prefectural government said it had detected the substances for the first time since it began testing tap water for radioactive materials in 1990.

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