Frequent Questions

How does EPA monitor the air for radiation?

EPA operates more than 130 radiation air monitors across the United States as part of its RadNet nationwide monitoring system. RadNet runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and transmits near real-time measurements of beta and gamma radiation to EPA's National Analytical Radiation Environmental Laboratory (NAREL). The near real-time air monitoring data is continually reviewed by computer, and if the results show a significant increase in radiation levels, EPA laboratory staff is immediately alerted to investigate. The monitors have equipment to collect air samples for laboratory analysis and weather stations to record atmospheric conditions. The RadNet system also has 40 portable monitors that can be deployed to any location in the U.S.

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