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Radioactive cesium detected in more regions

BEIJING Trace levels of radioactive isotope cesium-137 and -134 were detected in the air of 17 of the Chinese mainland's 31 provincial-level regions on Tuesday, up from 13 regions on Monday, according to China's National Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee.

Cesium-137 and -134 were detected in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Hebei, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan and Ningxia on Tuesday.

"Extremely low levels" of radioactive iodine-131 were detected in the air over some areas of 29 provincial-level regions, with Guangxi and Guizhou being exempted from the list.

The levels of cesium-137 and -134 were even lower than those of iodine-131.

They pose no threat to public health or to the environment, according to a daily statement issued by China's National Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee Tuesday. Food and drinking water have been tested for contamination and found to be safe, according to the statement.

The materials are believed to have traveled by air to China from the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

No protective measures need to be taken against contamination from these materials, said the statement.

The committee's conclusion was based on monitoring and analysis results from the Beijing-based Regional Specialized Meteorological Center affiliated with the World Meteorological Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the State Oceanic Administration, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Health, according to the statement.

Low levels of iodine-131 were first detected in northeastern China's Heilongjiang Province on March 26.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said Tuesday that it had detected radioactive seawater in the Pacific Ocean with a concentration of radioactive iodine many million times the legal limit.

The operator of the striken Fukushima Daiichi (No.1) nuclear power plant said that samples taken from seawater near one of the reactors contained 7.5 million times the legal limit for radioactive iodine on April 2.

Trace amounts of radioactive iodine has been found in drinking water samples in two northwestern U.S. states, but the levels detected have been far below levels of public-health concern, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said late Monday. Xinhua

Trace levels of radioactive isotope cesium-137 and -134 were detected in the air of 13 of the Chinese mainland's 31 provincial-level regions on Monday, up from eight regions on Sunday.

Cesium-137 and -134 were detected in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Inner Mongolia, Jiangshu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Ningxia on Monday.

 
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