Long Islanders concerned over radiation from Japan

SHOREHAM - State health officials say traces of radioactive material from the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan have been detected on the East Coast, including in New York, and now concerns are rising that it could impact Long Island.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency previously confirmed elevated levels of radioactive materials in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North and South Carolina, and Florida, while at the same time insisting the levels aren't dangerous.

Dr. Terry Button, the director of medical physics at Stony Brook University's School of Medicine, says super-sensitive monitoring equipment is a double-edged sword. It allows small increases in radiation to be picked up, but it also causes panic.

"It's a very small amount of radiation we're talking about here," he says.

While experts say at this point and at these levels, there is no public health threat, some Long Islanders remain skeptical.

Dolores Cummings, of Shoreham, is among those who don't believe the levels of radiation are safe. She says after Sept. 11, government health officials also insisted the air at Ground Zero was safe.

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