Low level of radiation detected in China's southeastern coast

"Extremely low levels" of radioactive material have been detected in southeastern coastal areas but the radiation of these levels will not affect public health or the environment, China's National Nuclear Emergency Coordination Committee said in a statement.

Quoting experts it said no protective measures were needed against the materials, which were believed to have been dispersed by air from the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

The committee said the detected levels of radioactive materials were below one-hundred-thousandth of the natural background radiation.

"The incident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant hasn't had any impact on the environment and people's health in China thus far," said the statement.

The conclusion was based on the monitoring and analysis results from the Beijing-based Regional Specialized Meteorological Center affiliated with the World Meteorological Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the State Oceanic Administration and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the statement said.
Earlier, Chinese experts said low levels of radioactive iodine-131 detected in the air of China's north eastern Heilongjiang Province over the weekend were no threat to public health.

However the radiation made people all over China to store large amounts of iodised salt, which virtually disappeared from shelves.

The Ministry of Health has ordered local administrations in 14 places including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and some coastal provinces to test drinking water and food for radiation.

"Based on the current situation, people don't need to worry about the contamination of the air or of food and water here," said Wang Zhongwen, a researcher at the China Institute of Atomic Energy's radiation safety department.

As for the radiation testing ordered by the ministry, Wang said it was part of routine inspections of food and water undertaken in many parts of the country.

To prevent contamination, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has prohibited the importation of some Japanese foods, including dairy products, seafood and vegetables.

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