San Francisco Rainwater: Radiation 181 Times Above US Drinking Water Standard

Radiation from Japan rained on Berkeley, California, during recent storms at levels that exceeded drinking water standards by 181 times.  A rooftop water monitoring program managed by the University of California at Berkeley’s Department of Nuclear Engineering detected substantial spikes in rain-borne iodine-131 during those torrential downpours.  The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as Maximum Contaminant Levels — or MCLs — by as much as 181 times or 18,100%.  Iodine-131 is one of the most cancer-causing toxic radioactive isotopes spewed when nuclear power plants are in meltdown.  It is being ingested by cows, which have begun passing it through into their milk and radioactivity has been detected. [Multiple Sources]
 

Specific Scientific Data

The iodine-131 level in the rainwater sample taken on the roof of Etcheverry Hall on the campus of UC Berkeley on March 23rd, 2011, from 9:06-18:00hrs Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) states radioactivity levels at 20.1 Becquerels per Litre (Bq/L) = 543 PicoCuries per Litre (pCi/L).  The federal maximum level of iodine-131 allowed in drinking water is 3 pCi/L or 0.111 Becquerels per Litre.  The sample exceeded the federal guidelines for drinking water by 181 times.  The UC Berkeley researchers also discovered trace levels of iodine-131 and other radioactive isotopes, believed to have originated in Fukushima, in commercially available milk and in a local stream within California.  [UC Berkeley

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