State Issues Radiation Fact Sheet
The State of Alaska Dept. of Health and Social Services responds to Alaskans' queries regarding health and safety in the aftermath of the tsunami which has devastated Japan.
How much radioactivity do you expect to come to Alaska from Japan’s reactors?
We don’t expect significant levels of radioactivity in our state, and there’s no health risk at this time. Japan is thousands of miles from our state, and if radioactivity from the reactors is released it would be expected to be thinned-out by the winds before it could reach us. We could see a very small increase in radiation levels — well below levels that would be a health concern. We’re working with federal, state, and local agencies in a coordinated effort to monitor radiation levels in Alaska.
Would increased radiation levels cause health effects?
There is no indication at this time that enough radioactive material would cross the ocean to cause any health effects to Alaska residents.
Is there any indication that radiation could impact our food supply?
No, there is no immediate or anticipated indication of harmful radiation reaching Alaska or its waters, therefore all seafood and other food items produced in Alaska are safe to consume.
Does the State stockpile Potassium Iodide (KI)?
The events in Japan do not indicate a need for anyone in Alaska to take protective action like using KI. The state does not stockpile KI; there are federal stockpiles of medical supplies including KI for distribution to all states if an emergency made that necessary. There are no conditions at the nuclear plants in Japan that would require people in the U.S. to take KI.
How can I buy KI on my own?
KI is available over the counter; some pharmacies carry it in stock or will order it. The state doesn’t monitor or track private inventories of such products. Again, there’s no indication of any need to use KI based on the nuclear events in Japan.KI is not an “anti-radiation pill;” it’s only helpful in very specific conditions, and protects only against radioactive iodine. More information on KI is available online from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What action should I be taking now?
The best action for the citizens of Alaska to take at this time is to be prepared for the event of an earthquake or tsunami event. Update and refresh your home preparedness kit and family preparedness plan. To learn more about being prepared go to: http://www.hss.state.ak.us/prepared/kit.htm