Iodine 131 - Update 4

  07 April 2011

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has an ongoing comprehensive monitoring programme for radioactivity in Scotland, and has increased the level of scrutiny to provide ongoing public assurance on the effects of Fukushima in Scotland.

To date, this work has shown the presence of iodine-131 in:

  • Almost all of the 11 medium volume air samplers across Scotland and three high volume air samplers at very low levels;
  • Grass samples taken from around Scotland;
  • One freshwater sample in Caithness;
  • One rainwater sample.

The concentration of iodine-131 in these samples is of no concern to human health and all of the concentrations reported to date are below the levels where regulatory control is necessary.

SEPA will continue to monitor the environment, including sampling air, water, food, milk and grass, and will provide the information to the public and, where appropriate the Food Standards Agency, Scottish Water and the Drinking Water Quality Inspectorate. The monitoring data is now available on the Health Protection Agency's (HPA) website here and will be updated weekly.

SEPA has also detected the presence of iodine-131 in sewage sludge in Glasgow. The source could be a combination of the isotope in rainfall, together with authorised releases from hospitals. Analysis of this monitoring data indicates there are no radiological grounds for concern.

Analysis of soil, other freshwater samples, cow and goats milk have, to date, not shown the presence of detectable levels of iodine-131 from Fukushima.