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Radioactive traces from Fukushima have been found in the UK. The radioactive iodine, discovered in Glasgow, is not thought to be of a level that could cause harm.

Traces of the radioactive fallout were detected by an air sampler in Glasgow and match the levels already found in Switzerland and Iceland.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said that the public need not worry.

"The concentration of iodine detected is extremely low and is not of concern for the public or the environment,” Sepa’s Dr James Gemmill said.

"The fact that such a low concentration of this radionuclide was detected demonstrates how effective the surveillance programme for radioactive substances is in the UK.”

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The UK checks radiation levels after incidents like Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant disaster by monitoring air samples 92 sites every hour. These are checked by the Met Office for any abnormal radiation readings.

Fukushima plant was damaged after Japan was struck by a tsunami in the aftermath of a huge earthquake on March 11.

Teams have since been working a round the clock in an attempt to halt radiation leeks.

What does radiation do to you?

Atoms become radioactive when they are split into smaller pieces in a process called "decay" during which the atom releases a lot of energy.

Subatomic particles emitted during radioactive decay include gamma rays, neutrons, electrons, and alpha particles.

Some of these can travel through and damage the human body.

High levels of radiation (above 500 millisieverts) has been associated with increased risk of cancer.  According to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, leukemia, breast, bladder, colon, liver, lung, esophagus, ovarian, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancers may also be caused by exposure to radiation.


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