A powerful earthquake struck Japan on March 11, 2011. The quake triggered a tsunami a short time later which, in turn, set into motion the events leading to the failure of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. This resulted in radioactive contamination of the local environment. The health consequences will likely continue for decades and may well extend beyond the borders of Japan. Disasters frequently lead to such cascading events though are usually less dramatic and far reaching. As Christians, our response to a disaster should be one of compassion, but as health planners, we must anticipate potential problems and communicate the associated risks of those problems without producing unwarranted fear. By March 24, 2011, the concern of a radioactive cloud reaching the United States sparked debate on whether Californians should begin taking iodine tablets. Determine the realistic risk of radiation from food, water, or air, and write an advisory of the risk and actions to be taken by Californians to protect their health against the risk of radiation.

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