TUMWATER - Department of Health officials say no elevated radiation levels have been detected in Washington since the explosions at the nuclear plants in Japan.

Radiation Protection staff members are checking the air for radiation using equipmenat at the department's Tumwater facility. Officials said no public health risk is expected in Washington and the monitoring is being done as a precautionary measure.

"We don't really expect any increase in radiation readings," said John Erickson, the head of emergency preparedness for the State Department of Health. "We're ready in case we do."

Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility was damaged in Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake.

The nuclear plant incident has raised concerns about windblown radiation coming to Washington, the Department of Health said.

Even in the event of a significant release from the reactor, officials said, radiation would be diluted before reaching our state and levels would be so low no protective action would be necessary.

If the radiation does become a threat, health officials said the public will be notified.

In Japan, potasium iodine pills are being passed out to people living near the threatened nuclear reactors. The iodine helps combat against radiation poisoning.

But health officials in Washington state say there is no reason to rush out to the pharmacy and buy those pills. Instead, they suggest people get prepared, and make emergency plans, for earthquakes, which are a far bigger threat on this side of the Pacific Ocean.