NO, there is no danger per se. This isotope decays in 8 days, but the detections have been coming in since Oct. 19th and so the source must be ongoing. The most troubling thing besides everyone’s complacency is the inability to pin point the source.
Riddle of the radiation sweeping across Europe: UN nuclear agency mystified by soaring levels
- IAEA say Fukushima blast not to blame
- No increase reported in U.K despite changes in Europe
Last updated at 5:52 PM on 12th November 2011
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based U.N. watchdog, said it did not believe the radioactive particles were from Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant after its emergency in March.
Germany’s Environment Ministry said slightly higher levels of radioactive iodine had been measured in the north of the country, ruling out that it came from a nuclear power plant.
Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Sweden also reported traces at very low levels that did not pose a health risk.
Experts said the origin of the radiation – which has been spreading for about two weeks – remained a mystery but could come from many possible sources ranging from medical laboratories or hospitals to nuclear submarines.
Iodine-131, linked to cancer if found in high doses, can contaminate products such as milk and vegetables.
Paddy Regan, a professor of nuclear physics at Britain’s University of Surrey, said the suggestion that it may have leaked from a radiopharmaceuticals maker ‘sounds very sensible and totally reasonable.