Governor Brown and Director of Public Health Issue Statements on Radiation Safety


3-18-2011

SACRAMENTO – Governor Jerry Brown and the interim director of the California Department of Public Health, Dr. Howard Backer, today assured Californians that public health and safety do not face any threat from radiation released at nuclear facilities in Japan this week.

“As this very tragic situation in Japan unfolds, I want Californians to know that we are closely monitoring any potential impact on our state. I also want to emphasize that there is no threat to the people of California due to radiation in Japan,” said Brown.

“The California Department of Public Health and our Emergency Management Agency are in constant contact with the federal agencies responsible for monitoring radiation levels in California, and we will tell the public if any precautions become necessary. However, there is no cause for alarm,” Brown said.

“The Department of Public Health takes the situation in Japan seriously, and we are monitoring it very closely,” said Interim Director of the California Department of Public Health Dr. Howard Backer. “As both President Obama and Governor Brown have stated, there is no threat to California, and so people should not be taking precautionary health measures.”

“Potassium iodide is only appropriate for much higher levels of radiation that may be generated within close proximity to a nuclear source,” Dr. Backer continued. “Using potassium iodide when inappropriate can result in significant side effects.”

Californians with questions about radiation exposure can contact the California Department of Public Health’s Emergency Operations information line at 916-341-3947.

For updated information on response and relief efforts in California and Japan, please visit the California Emergency Management Agency website at www.calema.ca.gov.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is the lead federal agency responsible for monitoring radiation levels in California. www.epa.gov/radiation.

###