Japan Earthquake: Water deemed safe after further radiation scares

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TOKYO, Japan, Mar. 24, 2011 -- Radioactive iodine levels in Japan's water have now been classed suitable for consumption days after reports suggested levels were unsafe for babies under one year old.

New findings from the Kanamichi Water Purification Plant, which supplies water to Tokyo as well as five other cities, showed 79 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kilogram of water, according to ABC News.

While the acceptable level for infants under the age of one is 100 becquerels and adults 300 of iodine-131, reports yesterday exacerbated fears in the country by suggesting tap water in downtown Tokyo was measuring 210 becquerels.

Tokyo's governor, Shintaro Ishihara, was reported to have said: "We advise against using tap water for drinking and for making infant formula for babies under one year old."

The reports followed the U.S. Food and Drug Administration officially announcing certain restrictions on food imports from Japan. In a statement, it said: "The great quantity of water in the Pacific Ocean rapidly and effectively dilutes radioactive material, so fish and seafood are likely to be unaffected. However, FDA is taking all steps to evaluate and measure any contamination in fish presented for import into the U.S.."

The new scares over nuclear contamination to the country's water followed Japan's government ministries downplaying fears earlier this week that pollution from the failing Fukushima nuclear plan had reached water supply (see Water & Wastewater International (WWi) Story).

Last week WWi reported how the Japan quake impacted on groundwater levels as far away as America, affecting the states of Texas and Virginia (see WWi story).

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