Yesterday, The California Report’s Central Valley Bureau Chief Sasha Khokha interviewed Dr. Howard Backer, Interim Director of the California Dept of Public Health, about traces of radioactive iodine emanating from Japan’s downed nuclear power plant that have been found in milk samples from cows in San Luis Obispo County.

During this crisis, try as we might, we’ve yet to find a health official or scientific expert who has described the amount of detected radiation as anything but negligible and a non-health risk. Dr. Backer was no exception. Listen below:

Howard Backer: Radioactive amounts in milk “minute” and “just at the level of detection”[audio:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/04/RadiationMilk11.mp3|titles=RadiationMilk1]

Radiation is “thousands of times” below level of concern and dept is “not afraid to pull product” from market if necessary[audio:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/04/RadiationMilk2.mp3|titles=RadiationMilk2]

Exact level detected given[audio:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/04/RadiationMilk3.mp3|titles=RadiationMilk3]

Radiocactive iodine has short half-life so expected to be “gone within weeks to months”[audio:http://ww2.kqed.org/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2011/04/RadiationMilk4.mp3|titles=RadiationMilk4]

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Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor for KQED's daily health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED News Fix.

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