(CBS/AP) - Radioactive iodine from Japan's quake-crippled nuclear reactors has wafted its way across the U.S., with traces showing up in Western states including California, Washington and Nevada, as well as in North and South Carolina, Florida, and Massachusetts.
Should Americans be concerned?
Health officials and nuclear experts say no, given the tiny amounts of radiation being detected. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says people are exposed to much more radiation on an international airline flight.
John Auerbach, the Massachusetts commissioner of public health, said that radioiodine-131 found in a sample of rainwater - one of more than 100 that have been taken around the country - is short lived. He said the drinking water supply in the state was unaffected and officials do not expect any health concerns.
"I would advise the public to do nothing differently than they currently are doing,'' Auerbach told the Boston Globe.
But there are health concerns over certain foods produced in Japan. In the aftermath of the nuclear crisis, the U.S. government decided to ban importation of dairy products, fruits, and vegetables produced or manufactured in the four Japanese prefectures most affected by the radiation leak.
For updated information on radiation safety, see the FDA website.