Thyroid cancer plagues Fukushima evacuees, but officials deny radiation to blame — Sputnik

” Seven more young Fukushima Prefecture residents have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, according to a prefectural government statement on Monday. All of the patients were 18 or younger at the time of the 2011 nuclear reactor meltdown.

This bumps the number of Fukushima residents diagnosed with thyroid cancer up to 152. Although many times higher than the national average, the thyroid cancer rates are “unlikely” to have been increased by the reactor accident, according to vice chair of Fukushima’s medical association Hokuto Hoshi.

“Those thyroid cases have been found because we conducted the survey, not because of the radiation,” concurred Akira Ohtsuru, a radiologist who examined many of the patients. “The survey has caused over-diagnosis.”

One of those suspected of having cancer is a 4-year-old boy who hadn’t even been conceived yet when his parents fled Fukushima.

The prefectural government has been conducting thyroid checkups on evacuees every year since 2013.  The number of cases continuously rises every time they do so: five additional cases in 2014 and two additional ones in May 2015. This means more and more evacuees are metastasizing the illness.

Fukushima University researchers have also found that evacuees have markedly higher rates of diabetes, liver and heart disease and obesity than the national average.

A May 2017 study from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research found that the Fukushima nuclear disaster had spread additional radiation across the entire planet, with the same amount of radiation as a single x-ray hitting the average person.

That same month, Penn State Medical Center published a study linking the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster of 1979 to higher rates of thyroid cancer near the Pennsylvania reactor. ”

by Sputnik

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Obesity a growing problem among children in Fukushima — The Asahi Shimbun

” Fears that playing outdoors will risk radiation exposure, and other lifestyle changes brought on by the 2011 nuclear crisis, are being blamed for a rise in obesity among youngsters in Fukushima Prefecture.

An education ministry survey released Jan. 23 calculated the percentage of children on a prefectural basis whose body weight is at least 20 percent heavier than normal.

It carries out the nationwide survey each year by randomly choosing children between the ages of 5 and 17 attending kindergartens, elementary, junior high and high schools.

The latest survey for fiscal 2014 found that 15.07 percent of 9-year-olds in Fukushima Prefecture were 20 percent or more heavier than normal. The figure was much higher than the national average of 8.14 percent, and the highest among all 47 prefectures.

The corresponding figure in Fukushima Prefecture was also the highest among all prefectures for 7-year-olds, 11-year-olds and 13-year-olds.

For 17-year-olds, the figure in Fukushima Prefecture was 13.11 percent, much higher than the 9.48 percent national average and the second highest among all prefectures.

According to the ministry, obese children are most commonly found in the Tohoku region, where winter snow tends to keep youngsters inside.

However, the trend has been especially acute in Fukushima Prefecture since the 2011 onset of the nuclear crisis spawned by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

The ministry said this appeared to be because children in Fukushima Prefecture are restricted from playing outdoors due to radiation fears and other associated lifestyle changes.

It is currently engaged in improving physical education. “(However), it will take time until its effects appear,” a ministry official said. ”

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Fukushima catastrophe: Japanese gene pool affected by radiation, morbidity to rise — Voice of Russia

” Thirty thousand people who took part in the works to liquidate the consequences of the accident at the Fukushima 1 nuclear power plant will be examined in Japan. Doctors have already examined Nineteen thousand liquidators. The data received are disappointing.

In order to precisely determine how the accident affected the people, specialists took into account information about their lifestyle. For example, they took into account whether a person smoked and what the ecology in the region of his residency was. About two thousand liquidators who received the radiation dose of over 100 millisieverts have already been detected. It is a dangerous dose, explains Maksim Shingarkin, deputy chairman of the natural resources committee at the Russian State Duma.

“If they received the total dose in the course of a year, those people definitely were exposed to excessive radiation above the established norm. They are to remain under the doctors observation for the rest of their lives. The mere fact that such levels of radiation energy are registered means that inside a person certain processes have already been set off. And it is impossible to predict when and in what form of disease this will show”.

Neither the liquidators, nor the local population have so far developed diseases directly caused by the accident. However, there is a debate regarding what caused cancer that killed Masao Yoshida, the head of the commission to estimate the size of the damage at the Fukushima power plant.

For the sake of comparison, after the Chernobyl disaster 29 people died in the course of two months. That primarily includes those who got many times the lethal dose of radiation while working on the roof of the destroyed energy unit. According to witnesses, people felt a metallic taste in their mouths, which was a sign of a very high radiation level. Other Chernobyl victims experienced a surge of diseases 5-6 years later. According to Andrey Dyomin, president of the Russian Association for Public Health, the same is to be expected in Japan.

“We cannot say that the problem would disappear in five years. The rise of morbidity will continue as the general gene pool has been damaged. Next generations will carry the burden of that catastrophe”.

The peculiarities of the Japanese national cuisine focused on fish and seafood are one of the risk factors. Of course, it is not necessarily true that all of the food will be poisoned by the radiation coming from the Fukushima spills, but the risk of getting radiation poisoning through food is rising. At the end of last year 40 km from the power plant a fish was caught, in which the level of dangerous elements exceeded the norm by a hundred times. Scientists assume that the poisoned water from the power plant was carried by the sea streams to California. How else would one explain that every blue tuna fish caught near the coast of the state has signs of radioactive poisoning, while brown kelp containing the radioactive iodine level that exceeds the norm by 200 times has been detected on the shore? According to the Bloomberg web site, this year a “squad” of radioactive jellyfish is to be expected at the US West Coast. Californians are worried. It is unclear how the situation will develop in the future, says Prof.Alexey Yablokov, an advisor at the Russian Academy of Sciences and ecologist.

“The fact that so far from the Fukushima plant fish contains radionuclides shows that our view of the circulation of radionuclides spilt into the ocean has proved to be false. Radioactivity in tuna fish has been detected on the American side of the ocean. It turns out that the Fukushima spillage affects the life of the world ocean. I see no other way out other than to establish a constant and very careful radiation control of all seafood caught in the Pacific Ocean without exception”.

According to some experts, until the reactors are dismantled, which can be done only in 20 years, the disaster is not over. Spillage of radioactive water into the sea via the ground waters is possible. It appears that one cannot expect an improvement of the ecological situation around Fukushima in the decades to come. “

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