Portlanders are still not in danger from radiation released at several nuclear plants in Japan as a result of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on Friday, March 11th. The Portland Office of Emergency Management and Portland Fire & Rescue are coordinating with other City bureaus, state and federal partners to monitor the situation to ensure there is no threat to the community.
According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the radiation is not a health concern to Oregonians given the thousands of miles between the two countries. Any radioactive material released would be diluted through wind and air streams before reaching the West Coast.
Public health officials are monitoring information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's network of highly sensitive radiation detectors, which provide hourly reports. There are two monitors in Oregon – one in Corvallis and one in Portland. There have been no elevated radiation readings detected at this time.
Potassium Iodide or KI has been in the media as a pill that provides thyroid protection from radioactive material. Public health officials do not recommend using KI and urge caution for pregnant or lactating women, children, and kidney disease patients. Although the federal government has stockpiles of KI, there are no plans to use it because of the very large distance between Japan and Oregon.
Please visit the Oregon Health Authority at http://public.health.oregon.gov/Preparedness/CurrentHazards/Pages/index.aspx for the latest information on the situation or call the State’s information line at 1-877-290-6767.
Portland Fire & Rescue
We Respond: Always Ready, Always There
March 21, 2011