Sean Hannity’s Nuclear Radiation Lie

The Lie?
On the March 18th, 2011 edition of Hannity, Sean Hannity claimed, “The deadly radiation leaking into the atmosphere from Japan’s nuclear crisis isn’t just heading for the United States, it’s already here.”He went further by claiming, “DHS officials have confirmed that two flights departing Tokyo — one bound for Chicago, the other for Dallas — set off radiation alarms when they arrived in the US yesterday. Now in Dallas, tests indicated the presence of low radiation levels in travelers’ luggage, and in the aircraft’s cabin filtration system.”

Hannity’s breathless (and overstated) warnings didn’t end there. “Now this as the Golden State braces for a potentially dangerous radioactive plume coming from Japan,” he claimed.

The Truth
According to a story published in the Chicago Tribuneon March 17th, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was quoted as indicating that, screening passengers and cargo coming into the United States for radiation is an ongoing procedure.In other words, that’s nothing new.

According to a DHS official, “The agency handles more than half a million radiation alarms a year, though many are related to medical procedures.”
“Radiation has not been detected in passengers or luggage. And none of the reported incidents involved dangerous or harmful amounts of radiation,” the Chicago Tribune article stated.

But further, regarding the claim by Hannity that a “plume” of radiation is headed toward the United States, Kirk Smith, Professor of global environmental health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, has clearly stated that, “”Even after the Chernobyl accident, which released a million times more radiation than has been released in Japan and produced a plume that went all over the planet, there was absolutely no risk to people in the United States.”

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