Above or Below “levels of concern”: USA vs. France

Very strange, isn’t it, how “data are data”, yet what they mean differs tremendously depending on who you ask?

  • For instance, the U.S. EPA, in their “Daily Data Summary”, states the damn same thing… pretty much EVERY DAY, without even mentioning any actual measurements in their summaries:

“EPA’s RadNet radiation air monitors across the U.S. show typical fluctuations in background radiation levels. The levels detected are far below levels of concern. Today, EPA also released new data for milk, drinking water, precipitation and laboratory air analyses. Results have detected low levels of radioactive material consistent with estimated releases from the damaged nuclear reactors. These detections were expected and the levels detected are far below levels of public-health concern.[repeat every day]

[SOURCE: [http://www.epa.gov/radiation/data-updates.html] 4/9-10-11-12, etc./2011

  • Yet…, same day: 4/11/2011,  The French independent CRIIRAD (Commission de  Recherche  et d’Information  Indépendantes  sur la Radioactivité),  based on measurements In France (diluted even more than what’s coming down in the USA; after traveling the Pacific AND North America AND the Atlantic ocean):     “[…] In order to assess the radioactivity fallouts on the soils, the CRIIRAD Laboratory has analyzed 8 rainwater samples collected in different regions in France. Activities in iodine 131 (sole radionuclide detected) were measured between 0,24 Bq/l and 4,9 Bq/l. These low level activities do not imply that there was any risk for people who might have been under the rain without protection. However, the use of rainwater as main source of water supply for the alimentation is not recommended, particularly if consumers are young children. Note that the regulation does not consider rainwater as potable water.  Water channeled from underground supplies or via large rivers should not present a problem.  However it would be wise to take a closer look at water bodies such as hillside lakes receiving water from one or several drainage basins.”  […]  “POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS FOODS — There are two probable categories of food to consider: long leaf vegetables like salads, spinach, cabbage, chards, sorrel… (except when they are cultivated in a greenhouse) ; dairy milk and cream cheese (in particular goat and sheep), meat, except for herds still in stalls. Risks are indeed quite low but if we take into consideration the duration of the contamination, the diet habits and the vulnerability of some groups of the population, we are no longer within the trivial risk, it seems prudent to avoid certain behaviors: ensuring that foods at risk do not constitute the basis of the family alimentation on the forthcoming weeks. This is a good-sense precaution directed namely to youngsters, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

SOURCE: http://www.criirad.org/actualites/dossier2011/japon_bis/risks_in_France_v4.pdf

Draw your own conclusions.

More on how the EPA basically sucks, see also: (4/4/2011) http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/bay-area/2011/04/radiation-bay-area-rainwater-high-weakening :

“Bay Area rainwater tested last month exceeded federal standards for radiation in drinking water by 46 times, but a federal agency downplayed the potential health effects because the radiation is weakening rapidly and short-term exposure brings minimal risks. […]  “We have an emergency network that’s supposed to help us know whether to take emergency action and it’s not working,” said Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at UC Santa Cruz. […]”

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