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Some South Korean schools are closed over concerns of harmful radioactive rain from Japan. But medical experts say the levels do not pose a health risk--and are in fact far below the radiation that you would get from an X-ray.
Concerns about radioactive rain from Japan's nuclear disaster prompted some schools in South Korea to close on Thursday... as rain fell over most of the country. But the country's nuclear safety agency played down immediate health risks.
According to an education official, school boards across the country advised principals to use their discretion in scrapping outdoor activities to address concerns among parents.
[Kee Han-seung, Elementary School Vice Principal]:
"It does not matter whether today's rain will harm our body or not. Parents are worried about their children's health, so we have decided to close the school today."
[Kim Hwang-sik, South Korean Prime Minister]:
"Traces of radiation were detected in the rainwater. But it was not enough to cause public health concerns. So you don't have to be worried."
The Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety said it expected to find radioactive materials since iodine and cesium particles have been floating in the air for the past three weeks.
[Yun Cheol-ho, Spokesman, Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety]:
"If we explain it in a simple way -- drinking two liters of this rainwater everyday for two and half years, it has the same effect as taking an X-ray examination once."
But some are worried about the health risks.
[Kang Won-beom, Concerned Parent]:
"At first they said there would be no radioactive influence from Japan, but they've changed their words. So I am worried. I have to work even if traces of radiation are detected in rainwater, but I have to ban my kids from their outdoor activities."