Water In Tokyo Tested

Kyodo and NHK (in Japanese) report that tap water in Tokyo has been tested for radioactive materials:

The Tokyo metropolitan government warned Wednesday that infants should not drink tap water as radioactive iodine exceeding the limit for them were detected in water at a purification plant. According to the metropolitan government, 210 becquerels of radioactive iodine were detected per 1 kilogram of water against the limit of 100 becquerels.


The levels are lower today Wednesday (190 becquerels/liter). For adults, the legal limit is 300 becquerels/liter. These are not dangerous levels, but parents should not let their infant babies drink tap water or use it for powder milk formula, according to NHK.

Official data here (measured in Shinjuku-ku) do not yet mention these levels. The elevated levels were detected at a water plant in Katsushika-ku, which supplies water to all 23 wards (-ku) in Tokyo, as well as Musashino City, Mitaka City, Machida City, Inagi City and Tama City in Tokyo.

Like I am doing with the Tohoku food post, I will update this if I learn more.

Update 1: Kyodo says the Tokyo Metropolitan Government decided to distribute a total of 240,000 bottles of water, each containing 550 milliliters, to families with infants. Officials said three bottles will be given per infant.

Update 2: Kyodo also notes that in a survey of the Kanamachi water plant in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo, and two other purification plants on Tuesday, the metropolitan government also detected 32 becquerels of the substance at a plant in Hamura in western Tokyo, but the substance was not detected at a plant in Asaka, Saitama Prefecture.

Update 3: On Wednesday, slightly higher levels were also detected in Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture and at a plant in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, according to Kyodo.

Update 4: Meanwhile Kyodo also reports that as of Thursday, levels in Tokyo have fallen to 79 becquerels, and levels in Kawaguchi, Saitama have also fallen below the Japanese safety standard limit of 100 Bq/kg for infants (300 Bq/kg for adults). Note that Japan's safety standards for Iodine I-131 are actually stricter in Japan than in Europe, where levels up to 500 Bq/kg for adults and 150 Bq/kg for infants are permitted (EU legislation pdf). We are all fast becoming radiation experts these days...

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