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Tokyo Tap Water Iodine Levels Too High for Infants

Jenny Chen |
March 23, 2011 | 2:32 p.m. PDT

Associate News Editor


Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Tokyo officials said on Wednesday that city tap water was not safe for infants after testing revealed radioactive iodine levels had exceeded legal limits following the radiation leaks from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. 

A water treatment center in central Tokyo found some water with levels of 210 becquerels per liter, twice the legal limit

Officials said it was safe for adults to drink tap water and stressed there was no immediate health risk. The limit for adults’ intake is 300 becquerels per liter, while the limit for infants is 100 becquerels per limit. 

 “Even if you drink this water for one year, it will not affect people’s health,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

This warning is just the latest from the radiation leak from Fukushima Daiichi that has aroused increasing concern. Higher than normal radiation levels have already been found in vegetables and milk. 

Officials have ordered local producers to stop sending locally grown goods to markets due to contamination. 

Hong Kong has banned several food imports from Japan and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has halted the import of milk, milk products, and fresh fruits and vegetables from four Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima. 

The Tokyo municipal government said it would hand out 240,000 bottles of water to households with infants. 

Bottled water was quickly sold out in downtown Tokyo after the announcement, forcing officials to request purchases be restricted and urge citizens to not panic. 

Workers are working to stabilize Fukushima Daiichi and some electricity has been returned to most of the plant’s six reactors. 

Yet, workers were evacuated as black smoke rose from the No. 3 reactor, stalling efforts to fit it. The cause of the smoke is unknown and there has been no report of an increase in radiation levels

Reach reporter Jenny Chen here.
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