by Sue Deyoe ~ March 18th, 2011
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services held a press conference today (fri) to discuss the disaster in Japan and possible radiation levels in Alaska. The state of Alaska, along with federal agencies, are continually monitoring air quality.
Bernd Jilly, director of state Public Health Laboratories, says multiple readings are taken throughout the day in Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks and electronically transferred to Anchorage. There is currently no change in levels, nor is there expected to be. Current data indicate total radiation levels in Alaska have not exceeded historical background levels.
They said that FDA is monitoring fish and other foods that could potentially be affected by contamination.
Jilly says that Dutch Harbor and Nome are to receive monitoring devices and one in Juneau. Juneau already has a device and there has been discussion that a better location might be Ketchikan. Nome has received its monitoring device and an EPA technician is on his way to install it. The first readings should be available Monday or Tuesday.
Greg Wilkinson, spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Services said that everyone can use this time to update their home preparedness supplies to be prepared in case Alaska has its own earthquake, tsunami or other disaster.