The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued a joint March 30, 2011, statement confirming traces of radiation in domestic cow’s milk, which the agencies have been monitoring since an earthquake and tsunami in Japan compromised the Fukushima prefecture’s nuclear power plant. A screening sample taken near Spokane, Washington, apparently contained 0.8 pCi/L of iodine-131, an amount “more than 5,000 times lower than the Derived Intervention Level set by FDA.” Based “on very conservative assumptions,” this level defines the threshold at which “protective measures would be recommended to ensure that no one receives a significant dose.”

“Iodine-131 has a short half-life of approximately eight days,” said the agencies. “These types of findings are to be expected in the coming days and are far below levels of public health concern, including for infants and children.” See FDA’s Radiation Safety: New and Updated Information, March 29, 2011.