Radioactive cesium detected in more Chinese regions amid Japan nuclear crisis

11:15, April 05, 2011      

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Trace levels of radioactive isotope cesium-137 and -134 were detected in the air of 13 of the Chinese mainland's 31 provincial-level regions on Monday, up from eight regions on Sunday.

Cesium-137 and -134 were detected in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Inner Mongolia, Jiangshu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Ningxia on Monday.

"Extremely low levels" of radioactive iodine-131 was detected in the air over some areas of the 31 provincial-level regions.

The levels of cesium-137 and -134 were even lower than those of iodine-131.

They pose no threat to public health or to the environment, according to a daily statement issued by China's National Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee Monday.

Food and drinking water have been tested for contamination and found to be safe, according to the statement.

The materials are believed to have traveled by air to China from the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

No protective measures need to be taken against contamination from these materials, said the statement.

The committee's conclusion was based on monitoring and analysis results from the Beijing-based Regional Specialized Meteorological Center affiliated with the World Meteorological Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the State Oceanic Administration, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Health, according to the statement.

Low levels of iodine-131 were first detected in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province on March 26.

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