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Trace Radiation From Japan Triggers Alarm At Chicago O’Hare

Travelers arriving in Chicago from Japan set off radiation detectors at O’Hare Airport on Wednesday. Airport officials described the radiation as a “very small amount,” but significant enough to trigger alarms as the passengers were clearing customs. “We are aware of the radiation,” Chicago Aviation Department spokesman Karen Pride told WBBM radio. “We are adding screenings and precautionary measures.”

WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports radiation was also detected in a plane’s air filtration system, in luggage, and on passengers on flights from Japan. Chicago mayor Richard Daley said the situation was being evaluated by federal officials:

“Of course the protection of the person coming off the plane is important in regards to any radiation and especially within their families,” Daley said at an unrelated event.

The mayor said the city had no set policy for radiation detection at O’Hare or anywhere else:

“That would be up to the federal government. Every city can’t have a policy. One says yes, one says no, you can’t do that. You have to have a federal policy dealing with anyone entering the country in regards to the situations like that,” Daley said. “And they handle it very professionally and it will be up to Homeland Security. We’ve been working with them. They have the primary responsibility.”

Listen to the story, from WBBM:

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