A researcher at Case Western Reserve University has detected tiny amounts of Iodine 131 from Japan in rainwater collected from the roof of a campus building.
Gerald Matisoff, professor of geology, said the presence of the isotope presents no danger to human health. He estimated the level of radiation is about one-tenth that of natural background radiation.
"In theory, the Iodine 131 could have come from any radioactive waste processing facility," Matisoff said. "But, we know it's from Japan. The isotope is being seen worldwide."
Matisoff and graduate student Mary Carson collect water on the roof of the A.W. Smith Building, on the campus quad, to monitor the particulates being carried in rain into Lake Erie.
Carson ran the analysis Friday and Matisoff verified the findings today.
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