HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - With radioactive iodine already impacting Japan, some people are worried about it arriving here.
"It is something that's possible, something to keep in mind. I think that right now it's sort of early in the game," said Arnold James of Springfield.
Weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere typically move from west to east. With that in mind...the site of the nuclear plant near Fukushima is at 37 degrees north latitude.
In comparison, Springfield is only 5 degrees north at 42 degrees north latitude, almost due east from the radioactive power plant in Japan.
Here in Western Massachusetts, we're about 6,500 miles from Fukushima, Japan, which is the site of the troubled nuclear plant and that distance could help us.
Dr. Frank Welte is a Physicist and Radiologist who practices Medicine at the Holyoke Medical Center. He believes the radioactive iodine coming from Japan will dissipate as it travels east.
"It's then basically deposited continuously as it travels along with the wind so the further you go, the lower the concentration...For us, anywhere in the mainland United States, at this point it's not something to panic about. It's something to be aware of, particularly if you're travelling near Japan," said Dr. Welte.
Radioactive iodine can lead to thyroid cancer, but taking iodine pills saturates the thyroid and can prevent the radioactive iodine from entering the body.