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Gregoire on Japan: ‘No Health Risk to Washingtonians’

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Governor also uges people not to take potassium iodide.

Gov. Chris Gregoire said Thursday that health officials have assured her there’s no danger for people here from the ongoing nuclear disaster in quake-ravaged Japan.

The governor also urged people in Washington not to take potassium iodide as a precaution: “It is not needed and can cause side effects.”

“I realize there are concerns about radioactivity reaching Washington state due to the impacts of the tsunami on the nuclear reactors in Japan. I want Washingtonians to know that both our federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission and our state Department of Health have assured me that they don’t expect significant levels of radioactivity in our state, which means there is no health risk to Washingtonians,” the governor said in a statement.

Gregoire said the Department of Health monitors air samples for radiation around the state. She said since the Japanese reactors started to fail on Friday, “we’ve stepped-up our air monitoring and have seen no readings above what is normal for our state… Even if the radiation does reach the upper atmosphere, the combination of wind, rain, and dispersion will dilute the radioactive material to very low levels.

She also asked Washingtonians to keep the Japanese in their “thoughts and prayers.”

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