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Trace radiation from Japan reaches Washington, but no health risk

The Washington Department of Health announced Monday trace levels of radiation from the nuclear crisis in Japan were recently detected in the state, but do not present a health risk.
/ Source: KING5

SEATTLE -- The Washington Department of Health announced Monday trace levels of radiation from the nuclear crisis in Japan were recently detected in the state, but do not present a health risk.

According to Tim Church with the Department of Health, "the minuscule amounts of radioactive iodine are millions of times lower than levels that would be a health concern."

Health experts expected some radiation from Japan to reach the west coast of North America, but the radiation "is so diluted there is no health risk here, making protective action unnecessary," wrote Church in a press release.

Friday, Governor Christine Gregoire stressed there is no need for anyone in Washington to take potassium iodide as a precaution. The Department of Health maintained that, saying only people who work directly with nuclear power plants during an emergency should take it.

The Department of Health takes hourly measurements for radiation in four places throughout the state -- Richland, Seattle, Spokane and Tumwater.