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Low Dose Radiation From Japanese Nuclear Crisis Found In Maryland

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—There are no signs of improvement with Japan's nuclear crisis.  Engineers at the crippled nuclear power plant have deliberately dumped 10,000 tons of contaminated water to make room for water that is even more radioactive.

Workers are trying to stop water from leaking and ultimately restart cooling systems that would stabilize the plant's reactors.

Radiation from the crippled Japanese nuclear power plants has been found in Maryland.

Mike Schuh traveled to the area where it was detected and has more on if we should be concerned.

It blew into Maryland from 6,700 miles away, across an ocean and a continent. Radioactive iodine 131 is found in four of the state's eight detectors and in Baltimore's rainwater.

The monitors registering radiation are designed to pick up emissions from an accident in Peach Bottom plant in Pennsylvania.

The level of iodine detected at the Whiteford monitor near Pennsylvania and three other sites is thousands of times lower than what would cause health concerns.

"So the answer is no, we're not in any danger from the radiation," said Dr. Clifford Mitchell, Maryland Department of Health.

Nonetheless the word radiation draws concern.

"I'm kind of scared at times," said Joy Walker, who lives near Whiteford.

The health department urges calm.

"Current levels are not dangerous in any way, shape or form," said Bill Wiseman, Howard County Health Department.

They have a stockpile of potassium iodine tablets in case of an accident at a nearby plant. But this detection isn't even close to warranting distribution.

The owner of a restaurant in Whiteford says he's waiting for officials to tell him when to worry.

"When authorities say it's a problem, when we gotta get out of here, we'll get out of here," said Lorenzo Mannio.

"We do not expect this is going to become a public health threat to people here in the United States," Mitchell said.

As long as the reactors continue to give off steam from emergency attempts to cool them, airborne radioactivity is expected to continue.

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