Elevated radiation levels in Ontario

Damage control? Or should you believe the mainstream rhetoric about low levels of radiation not being important or harmful for your health? They conveniently ignore the DNA binding effects of internally absorbed radiation. What do you think?

Radiation being detected in Ontario from the Japanese nuclear disaster in Fukushima is no cause for alarm, says the province’s chief medical officer of health.

“Based on current information, I am of the view that there is no health risk for Ontarians from the damaged nuclear facility in Japan,” Dr. Arlene King said in a release Tuesday.

“Canada and Ontario have strong systems in place to protect the safety of our food supply.”

Earlier in the day, Energy Minister Brad Duguid announced that for the first time, slightly elevated levels of radiation have been detected in the province.

Health Canada, the Canadian Food Agency and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission monitor radiation on a regular basis, he said.

“I understand that there is and there has been some detection of some minor increase in radiation but it’s not anywhere close to something that would be of any impact in terms of human health,” he said Tuesday. “And it’s not something that Ontario residents need be overly concerned about.”

Duguid said he’s asked federal officials to ensure Canada is learning every lesson that it can from the situation in Japan, where tsunami-stricken nuclear reactors continue to leak radiation.

“We need to be vigilant … In particular with what’s happened in Japan,” Duguid said.

The Ontario NDP raised the issue of radioactive monitoring, pointing to Environmental Protection Agency reports out of Vermont and other states that milk and drinking water show higher levels of contamination following the nuclear crisis in Japan.

“Our neighbours to the south have found radioactive iodine and cesium in their milk,” said NDP health critic France Gelinas.

“They reported their findings publicly. This is the basis of health promotion: Give the people the transparent access to the information they need so they can protect their health.

“My question is very simple: Is the government testing for radiation levels in the milk, the drinking water and the rain water across Ontario, yes or no?”

Health Minister Deb Matthews said while the federal government is in charge of overall monitoring, she would be checking with the province’s chief medical officer of health to “get a better understanding” of what Ontario knows about radioactive fallout here.

Environment Minister John Wilkinson and Agriculture Minister Carol Mitchell said the water, milk and food Ontarians are consuming is safe.

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