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Radioactive Material Detected In Minnesota Air

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Trace amounts of radioactive material have been found in air samples in St. Paul and two other locations, likely from the damaged nuclear power plants in Japan.

State health officials say the trace amounts are well below levels that would be considered a health concern.

Air samples taken in St. Paul in March detected very low concentrations of a nuclear fission byproduct called Iodine-131. Even lower concentrations were detected in Monticello and Prairie Island.

Radioactive substances exist in the air around us, the food we eat and the water we drink. The mere presence of detectable radioactivity does not necessarily imply a health risk.

The U.S. Environmental and Protection Agency also announced that slightly elevated levels of radioactive material were found in St. Paul rainwater. Those levels are also not dangerous.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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