Radiation levels not dangerous, Virginia officials say
As radiation readings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan worsened Sunday, health officials said Virginians are not in any danger.
Monitoring systems across the commonwealth “continue to show no levels of public health concern,” according to the Virginia Department of Health.
State Health Commissioner Karen Remley said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been monitoring the air in the United States since a March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated northeast Japan and crippled nuclear plants there.
“As a result of the incident with the nuclear power plant in Japan, several EPA air monitors have detected very low levels of radioactive material in the U.S.,” Remley said. “To date, none of Virginia’s multiple monitoring systems has detected a level of radioactive material that would pose a public-health concern.”
Remley said the EPA has found “elevated levels of radioactive material in rainwater in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.” But that had been expected, “since radiation is known to travel in the atmosphere,” she said.
“However, we are not seeing that in any of the monitoring data for the state.”
Even so, the Virginia Department of Health is taking steps to address concerns in Virginia:
The VDH was scheduled to conduct routine quarterly radiological health division monitoring and is moving up that schedule by one week to begin on Monday [March 28]. This routine monitoring checks radiation levels in air, drinking water, vegetation and milk at multiple sites throughout the state.
The department is working with the state’s laboratory to implement the proposed baseline testing plan for rainwater, drinking water, vegetation and milk. Further testing will follow if warranted by the baseline testing and ongoing monitoring. This is a standard VDH response when routine monitoring indicates a need to test further.
The VDH is advising residents that the state’s drinking water supplies are safe but that, “out of an abundance of caution,” Virginians should avoid using rainwater collected in cisterns as drinking water.
Besides the VDH’s routine radiological monitoring, studies are being conducted in Virginia by the EPA, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Dominion Virginia Power and the U.S. military.
The VDH also continues to advise the state’s secretary of health and human resources, Bill Hazel, and Gov. Bob McDonnell on the status of monitoring and levels of radiation detected.
For more information about radiation monitoring in Virginia, visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov.
On June 13, the Short Pump Rotary Club partnered with Schnabel Engineering for a day of volunteer work with Rebuilding Together Richmond. Team members (among them [from left] Chris Rufe, Melissa Abraham, Rick Naschold, and Micky Ogburn) completed a variety of repairs and home improvements ranging from painting and landscaping to cabinet installation and fence building.
“It was a privilege to be involved in this project," said club president Melissa Abraham. "The homeowner kept thanking the volunteers, but I think all of us would agree we are the ones who actually benefited. It was an opportunity to help a community member, fellowship with great people and improve our handyman skills." > Read more.
Dr. Even Alexander, a New York Times best-selling author who has been featured on Oprah and Dr. Oz, was in town last week to promote his June 27 talk, "Proof of Heaven," at Glen Allen High School.
Alexander (pictured, at right, while Unity of Bon Air church member Harry Simmons interviews him) has written about what he considers to be his journey through the afterlife.
Tickets to this month's event are $25 and will support the new Bon Secours Hospice House being built later this year. > Read more.
Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ is a magnificent, emotional ride
Explaining the nuts and bolts of Pixar’s new, exciting, innovative Inside Out – really digging into the film’s shape-and-color explanation of the human mind – would take up the entirety of this review. And probably three or four more (if movies had instruction manuals, Inside Out’s would be the size and general poundage of a cinder block).
It’s a complicated movie. So here’s the gist, in as simply-put terms can be. > Read more.
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