March 29, 2011

Radiation from Japan Found Locally

In a finding that’s making national headlines, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have detected tiny amounts of Iodine 131 from Japan in rainwater collected from the roof of the A.W. Smith Building.

Gerald Matisoff, professor of geology, said the presence of the isotope presents no danger to human health. He estimated the level of radiation is about one-tenth that of natural background radiation.

“In theory, the Iodine 131 could have come from any radioactive waste processing facility,” Matisoff said. “But, we know it’s from Japan. The isotope is being seen worldwide.”

Matisoff and graduate student Mary Carson collect water on the roof of the A.W. Smith Building, on the campus quad, to monitor the particulates being carried in rain into Lake Erie.

Carson first detected the iodine 131 in a sample she analyzed Friday. Matisoff confirmed the finding yesterday.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, March 29, 2011 09:53 AM | News Topics: Research

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