Video: Japan nukes crisis heightens fears in U.S.

  1. Closed captioning of: Japan nukes crisis heightens fears in U.S.

    >> morning again.

    >> reporter: in the news, airline passengers arriving in the u.s. from japan are being tested for radiation. nbc's george lewis has more from los angeles international airport . george, good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning. if you're coming from japan you may get greeted at the airport by an inspector with a radiation detector . so far these added checks have found only trace amounts of radiation on passengers and lugga luggage. in one case it was a shipment of medical supplies that triggered the detectors. passengers arriving from japan are getting extra scrutiny when they land in this country as radioactive waste spews out of the japanese power plant authorities here are watching the air over the pacific. this new york times animation based on data from a united nations monitoring agency shows how the plume of radioactive pollution might spread to the west coastal although by the time it gets here it will be highly dispersed.

    >> it gets pulled apart and turns into a huge volume of air and essentially gets diluted.

    >> reporter: experts say it will be barely detectable on the monitors run by the epa and other agencies. from the white house , this assurance.

    >> we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the west coast , hawaii, alaska or u.s. territories in the pacific.

    >> reporter: people on the west coast have been stocking up on iodine pills that can ward off thyroid cancer in case of radiation exposure although doctors have been saying it's unnecessary and the pills can have harmful side effects . this as people continue to flee japan to get away from the threat of radiation there. now, authorities say the added radiation checks at the airport are being done out of an abundance of caution but there is no concern right now.

    >> all right, george lewis at lax this morning. thank you.

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