Interview: California Health Dept Interim Director on Japan Radiation in Milk

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”:|titles=RadiationMilk1

Radiation is “thousands of times” below level of concern and dept is “not afraid to pull product” from market if necessary:|titles=RadiationMilk2

Exact level detected given:|titles=RadiationMilk3

Radiocactive iodine has short half-life so expected to be “gone within weeks to months”:|titles=RadiationMilk4



Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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