Concerns over radioactive iodine in Europe air, none found in Netherlands

Radioactive. Photo: Cawright2007 / Wikimedia Commons

Small amounts of radioactive iodine-131 found in the air above Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, France and Spain last month raised concerns across Europe. But there is no trace of the radioactive substance in the Netherlands, Dutch national health institute RIVM announced after taking careful measurements, ANP reports.

The origin of the radioactive substance is still unclear. Online there are rumors abound that it came from an incident in a nuclear reactor or even tests with nuclear weapons. The RIVM stresses that this is impossible. Only iodine-131 was found in the European air. If one of the above two scenarios were real, other radioactive iodine types, like cesium-137, would also have been released.

Iodine-131 is a manmade radioactive material. It is used for a number of things, including in treatment for thyroid cancer. The amounts of the substance found in other parts of Europe are very low, between 01. and 5 microbequerel per cubic meter.