Vienna: The UN atomic agency said "very low levels" of radioactive iodine-131 had been detected in the air in the Czech Republic and in other countries, but posed no risk to human health.

The Czech nuclear safety office said on Friday that the source of the contamination was "most probably" outside the Czech Republic, and that its information suggested the cause was not an accident at an atomic power plant.

Poland and Slovakia also said that they had detected abnormal levels, although Poland said they had been "100 times higher" in March after Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said it had received information from Czech authorities "that very low levels of iodine-131 have been measured in the atmosphere over
the Czech Republic in recent days."

"The IAEA has learned about similar measurements in other locations across Europe," it said, without saying which other countries were affected.

"The IAEA believes the current trace levels of iodine-131 that have been measured do not pose a public health risk and are not caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan," it added.

The Vienna-based agency said it was working with its counterparts to determine the cause and origin of the iodine-131, which has a half-life of around eight days, and that it would provide further information as it becomes available.

(Agencies)