Tokyo Water: Now With 200 bq/l of Radioactive Iodine

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    N-H-K has just reported that radioactivity readings in the water at Tokyo’s Katsushika purification plant now exceed the legal safety limits for infants.

    Yesterday, the reading for radioactive iodine 131 was 210 becquerels per liter. Today it was 190 bq/l.

    The legal limit for infants is 100 bq/l. For adults and other children, the legal limit is 300 bq/l.

    According to the government, a small amount of the contaminated water is not dangerous, but continued consumption of it could cause health problems.

    [Possibly relevant note: It rained yesterday in Tokyo.]

    Update: TimeOutTokyo has pointed out that Japan’s standards for iodine-131 in drinking water are much stricter than those of the European Atomic Energy Community and International Atomic Energy Agency. Euroatom recommends a limit of 500 Bq/kg for adults, while the IAEA recommends 3000 Bq/kg.

    Update #2: Radiation levels in Tokyo have dropped back to safe levels for infants, but Chiba prefecture has some problems now.

    Chiba prefecture, adjacent to the capital, has detected radioactive substances in its water purification system in amounts above what is considered safe for infants (131 becquerels per liter of iodine-131), Kyodo said. On Wednesday, radiation levels in Tokyo’s tap water exceeded a safety level for infants and the government urged residents to not give tap water to children under 12 months old. Earlier on Thursday radiation levels above safety norms for infants were detected in another neighbouring prefecture, Saitama, but Kyodo said some two hours later that they had fallen back again.

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