Radiation Levels in San Jose

Commercial Real Estate Agent with Intero Silicon Valley and Rebekah - Two Names You Can Trust!

My honey likes watching drama. Reality TV, Stupid dudes in Alaska, American Pickers – although I have to admit that I like these guys – he watches it all.

This week it’s all about the Tsunami in Japan. It’s horrible. I pray for the people to find peace. I don’t need to see every destroyed house and sad kid and I especially don’t need to see it all day long every day.


Just when the drama seemed played out, they found radiation. I once heard that atoms that were in Jesus once were now in me. Kinda freaky cool stuff. And that’s the way I think of radiation from Japan. Yeah, there’s gonna be a few atoms here and there but overall, big whoop.

Our county Supervisor sent this:

As we have watched the events unfold in Japan over the past several days, we have experienced a full range of emotions, including sadness for the tragic loss of life and concerns about radiation exposure, both for the people in Japan and for ourselves.

At the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) Board of Directors meeting earlier this week, we were given a report on the monitoring efforts here in the Bay Area. There are three permanent radiation monitors in the greater Bay Area. One is in Sacramento, and one is here in San Jose. There is a third in San Francisco on the roof the BAAQMD headquarters, which I had the opportunity to see in person.

These monitoring stations send real-time radiation level updates to the National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory in Alabama. Each also has a filter that is sent to the lab twice a week so that scientists can determine the source of the radiation. There are additional monitors throughout the State and throughout the Pacific region. Extra mobile monitors have also been added at this time.

While dangerous levels of radiation are leaking from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan, the likelihood of harmful levels of radiation making it to the United States remains very low. Although concern is understandable, the problems in Japan do not mean that we are at a higher risk for exposure to radiation. We are about 5,000 miles from Japan and radiation is dispersed and diluted over distance.

According to a report in the Mercury News, UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Professor Ed Morse indicates that the radiation that has reached California is very diffuse. At this time, risk from radiation is greater from a cross-country flight than from what is in the air right now.

Health officials do not recommend that residents take potassium iodide at this time. Since there is no present danger to the residents of Santa Clara County, there is no need for anyone to take potassium iodide. It is important to know that taking potassium iodide may be harmful for some people, particularly those with a thyroid disease and those who are allergic to it. If you have a seafood or shellfish allergy – it can mean that you are allergic to potassium iodide. Also, many people may have an undiagnosed condition, taking potassium iodide may cause them health problems.

Federal, State, and local agencies are all closely monitoring the situation. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department is in contact with the State, and the State will let us know if a significant increase in the level of radiation is detected. If that were to happen, the public would be notified immediately, including any precautionary measures that should be taken.

One way to stay informed regarding local emergencies is to sign up for the County’s AlertSCC system. AlertSCC is a Reverse 911 system that is used to notify residents about local emergencies and give instructions on how to respond.

Those with telephone land lines are already registered. Residents are also urged to register to receive messages by email and on their mobile devices by going to www.AlertSCC.com. Those who want to donate to Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief are encouraged to go to www.siliconvalley-redcross.org. You can also make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999 on your mobile phone. As always, I encourage you to contact my office if you have any concerns or are interested in additional information. You can reach me at 299-5040 or via e-mail at Supervisor.Yeager@bos.sccgov.org.

Continue to pray for the people of Japan, don’t take potassium iodine, and be grateful for the blessings in your life.

Posted by

Rebekah Owen, MBA

SanJose-RealEstate since 1988



CA 00994952. TX 0555675


Comments (2)

Tamara Schuster
Naperville Glen Ellyn Lisle Plainfield Wheaton Illinois - Naperville, IL
Realtor Broker - Naperville

Great informative information. So much going on tips are always useful. My best friend is a Flight Attendant coming home from Japan Tokyo on an American Airlines regular scheduled flight that they kept going t help fly people out. She was there over 24 hours and experienced a 5.9 earhquake. She is on her way back now.

Mar 20, 2011 08:29 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Thanks for all this info...with all the rain that is hitting our coast, we hope that it will wash whatever, came our way, and we have a friend who returned from Tokyo.  He really thought he was going to die.  A

Mar 20, 2011 09:03 AM