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Monitoring for radioactive materials from Japan continues in state


Fri, Apr 8th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota

As anticipated, routine monitoring by the Minnesota Department of Health has found trace amounts of radioactive material likely from the damaged Japanese nuclear power plants in air samples taken in March from St. Paul and two other locations. The amounts recorded are thousands of times less than normal background radiation and well below levels that would be of health concern, health officials said.

Air samples taken from a monitor in St. Paul on March 22 found concentrations of Iodine-131 that would give the average person a dose of 0.004 millirem of radiation over the course of a year. The average person is exposed to at least 365 millirem per year from background sources of radiation. Iodine-131 is a "man-made" isotope or substance that is only found as a byproduct of nuclear fission or reactions, such as those from power plants.

Results from samples taken in St. Paul on March 29 were slightly higher, at 0.011 millirem per year. Samples from near the Prairie Island nuclear power plant on March 22 yielded an estimated dose of 0.003 millirem per year. Samples from near the Monticello nuclear power plant on March 29 showed a concentration that would give a dose of 0.006 millirem per year.

MDH sampling results, including concentration levels, can be found at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/radiation/index.html.

"The amounts of radiation we are detecting are just a very small fraction of the amount of radiation we are exposed to on a daily basis from a variety of sources," said Sherrie Flaherty, radiation control supervisor with MDH. A standard chest x-ray will give a dose of about 4-10 millirem and a transatlantic plane ride will expose the average person to about 7 millirem.

"The exposure level at which we would begin to have concerns for human health is 10,000 millirem," Flaherty said. "We are clearly well below that."

MDH's findings are consistent with those of other agencies taking samples/conducting testing in Minnesota. Air monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found slightly elevated levels of iodine around March 22. Sampling of rainwater in St. Paul by the EPA found a concentration of Iodine 131 on March 22 of 32 picoCuries/liter. It would take a concentration of 1,000 picoCuries/liter to produce a dose of 50 millirem per year. Sampling by Xcel Energy from sites around its two nuclear power plants has found similar results since the incidents in Japan.

"We fully .....
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Guardrail installation scheduled in Fillmore County

Fri, Apr 8th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota

Motorists can expect brief lane closures as crews install guardrail on various highways in Fillmore, County beginning Monday, April 11. Flaggers will control traffic during the lane closures.

Highway Technologies, Inc., is the prime contract ..... 
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Report Finds Air Pollution Harms Minnesota Fish & Wildlife

Thu, Mar 17th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota



(Saint Paul) - Local sportsmen called for cleaning up Minnesota's dirty air as the U.S. EPA announces new plans to limit mercury and in response to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The NWF report finds that a number o ..... 
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Health officials investigate three more measles cases in Hennepin County

Thu, Mar 17th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota



Three more measles cases have been confirmed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) since state health officials announced a case of measles in an infant on March 4.

MDH is working closely with Hennepin County Public Health staff ..... 
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MDA laboratory testing confirms E. coli O157:H7 in recalled hazelnuts

Fri, Mar 11th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) laboratory has confirmed E. coli O157:H7 contamination of in-shell hazelnuts (also known as filberts) collected from the home of an ill Minnesotan. The contaminated hazelnuts are part of a multi-state re ..... 
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Unemployment rate falls to 6.7 percent

Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota unemployment rate declined to a seasonally adjusted 6.7 percent in January, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The rate, which was 0.2 perce ..... 
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Health officials investigate case of measles in Hennepin County infant

Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota



The Minnesota Department of Health is working closely with Hennepin County Public Health and Hennepin County Medical Center in investigating a case of measles in an infant who lives in Minneapolis.

The child became ill in late Februar ..... 
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Multi-state investigation links E. coli O157:H7 cases to eating in-shell hazelnuts

Fri, Mar 4th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) are working with counterparts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and federal agencies to investigate cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection associated with eating in-shell ha ..... 
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Nine killed in Minnesota traffic crashes in one week

Fri, Feb 25th, 2011
Posted in State of Minnesota

ST. PAUL - According to preliminary Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) traffic crash reports, nine people died during the last seven days (February 17-23), making it the deadliest period on the road in 2011.

DPS officials say the tr ..... 
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