Things are bad enough in Japan and around the world without cranking up the baseless rumor mill.
Jeff Schogol at Stars and Stripes debunks a radiation scare map being circulated on the web:
Japan is facing the very real possibility of a massive release of radiation following three explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, where workers are frantically trying to cool the overheating reactors before they completely melt.
Perhaps more alarming to our readers in the United States is a map circulating on the Internet that purportedly shows the fallout from the ongoing disaster will expose the U.S. West Coast to 750 rads of radiation. The map, allegedly from the Australian Radiation Services, doesn’t say what exactly that means, but it sure sounds bad.
Fortunately, the map is a hoax, according to the real Australian Radiation Services, which has put a disclaimer on its website letting readers know it had nothing to do with the map.
One of the giveaways is that the “rad” is an outdated unit of measurement and is no longer widely used, said Joe Young, managing director for the service.
…THE RUMOR DOCTOR’S DIAGNOSIS: This map is a fake, but the situation at Fukushima is real. Still, U.S. citizens — like those in Japan — should remain calm.