Fears over radiation-contaminated salt dismissed

By Yan Weijue (
Updated: 2011-03-17 11:02
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Guangdong province has confirmed it has sufficient supplies of salt in a bid to calm anxieties and panic shopping linked to the growing nuclear crisis in Japan, a spokesman for the provincial salt administration Wednesday said in an interview with the Yangtze Evening Post.

The announcement came amid fears seawater in neighboring waters could be contaminated from radiation leaking from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan.

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In some supermarkets salt has sold out, and the price has been raised to absurd levels.

The spokesman said the province's storage of salt is enough for three months, and the government will make efforts in salt management to fully meet the demand of the market. He also believed people are being misled by over exaggerated rumors surrounding nuclear radiation.

An expert of the provincial center for disease control expressed surprise at the panic shopping, saying people do not have to worry about possible seawater contamination by the nuclear radiation to Guangdong, a province that is thousands of miles away from the quake-ravaged Japan.

The metrological department also sent a positive signal, announcing the radiation-affected area does not cover the province which sits upwind of Japan. They will continue to conduct monitoring and inspection.

The fears for nuclear radiation hit some of China's coastal provinces. Aside from the shopping spree for salt, many are snapping up iodine tablets which are said to be capable of protecting oneself from radioactive contamination by the nuclear leaks. Experts say there is no need. Taking iodine tablets should only take place in seriously contaminated areas, and should be conducted at the authorities' direction.