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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Radiation Levels Monitored on Japan-California Flights

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 1:42 PM

click to enlarge Old-school decontamination
  • Old-school decontamination

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is monitoring radiation levels on airplanes, cargo, and passengers on flights inbound to West Coast cities from Japan, federal officials said today.

In a statement, Customs and Border Protection said officials were seeking to "evaluate the potential risks posed by radiation contamination on inbound travelers and cargo," although harmful radiation levels had not yet been detected on incoming aircraft.

Edward Low, a spokesperson for the agency, would not comment in detail on the measures being taken to detect radiation, and would not say whether passengers are being checked at San Francisco International Airport.

However, KGO-TV reported that passengers on their way into SFO this morning said they were not screened for radiation. The station reported that incoming flights at Los Angeles and Seattle were being monitored.

As Japan hovers on the brink of nuclear catastrophe in the wake of last week's deadly tsunami, which damaged nuclear reactors, most believe that California and other Western states are safe from contamination.

However, the federal government has deployed extra radiation monitors to the Pacific coast, just in case.

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Peter Jamison

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