Boston: Health officials said that sample of Massachusetts rainwater has registered very low concentrations of radiation, most likely from the Japanese nuclear power plant damaged earlier this month by an earthquake and tsunami.

John Auerbach, the Massachusetts commissioner of public health, said that the radioactive isotope iodine-131 found in the 100 samples has a short life of only eight days. He said the drinking water supply in the state was unaffected and officials do not expect any health concerns.

Nevada, California, Hawaii, Colorado and Washington State have also reported tiny amounts of radiation from the Japan accident. Officials have said those levels presented no health risks.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the in-state sample was taken in the past week, but they did not say where. The testing is part of a US Environmental Protection Agency network that monitors for radioactivity.

State officials said similar testing was done in California, Pennsylvania, Washington State and other states, and showed comparable levels of I-131 in rain.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K Sullivan Jr directed the Department of Environmental Protection to collect additional samples for testing from several water bodies across Massachusetts. Results will be available over the next several days.

(Agencies)