EPA’s Excessive Radiation Limits Are Costly, Unattainable, Unjustified

EPA’s Excessive Radiation Limits Are Costly, Unattainable, Unjustified
July 18, 2014

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s restrictions on radiation levels are costly, unattainable, and unjustified, Jon Utley documents at reason.com. EPA’s belated realization of all this is leading the agency to raise its radiation limits.

Unjustified radiation fears proved deadly in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami affecting Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power facility. The earthquake and tsunami killed more than 15,000 people but the damage to the nuclear policy facility killed no one and did not cause a single serious illness. Tragically, 1,600 people died during a chaotic and unnecessary evacuation of the region in response to overhyped nuclear radiation fears.

In the United States, similarly unjustified radiation restrictions are costing our economy billions of dollars and providing no public health benefits. As James Conca explains at Forbes.com, EPA’s background radiation restrictions are lower than natural radiation levels occurring everywhere but the middle of the ocean. Playing on myths and unsupported fears, EPA employees have ensured themselves plenty of money and job security by perpetually fighting radiation levels that are perfectly healthy and incapable of being substantially reduced.

EPA’s proposal to raise its radiation limits does not go nearly far enough, but it is at least a step in the right direction. The Utley and Conca articles are a must-read for a fuller picture.

James M. Taylor

James M. Taylor is managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly... (read full bio)