Use the same Disclaimer above!]Fukushima internal radiation exposures are declining.
[color=darkred More than 20,000 examinations have been given to Minamisoma residents since the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
This is about 50% of the population now living within the community. None of the results in 2012 show levels that would exceed the government’s 1 millisievert per year limit.
With adults, 92% of the 7,000 examinations since April 1, 2012, have no detectible levels of radioactive Cesium. This can be compared with the examinations between Sept. 2011 and March 2012, where 67% showed nothing measurable. In addition, 99.9% of the nearly 1.700 children examined since April, 2012, also show no detectible Cesium.
The lowest level the detectors can measure is about 4 Bq/kg. The highest single exposure measured in adults was 141 Becquerels per kilogram, and one child topped out at 26 Bq/kg. Both translate to well below the 1 mSv/yr standard.
The three adults who measured at over 50 Bq/kg say they regularly eat wild mushrooms they find in the area. Dr. Masaharu Tsubokura makes many of the examinations. He says that as the number of detectibly contaminated persons goes down, the number of people who come in for their free examinations also decreases.
He attributes this to the general decrease in radiation fears since the Fukushima accident happened. He said, “I'm surprised to see such a dramatic loss of interest in just about a year and a half."
Considering the chaotic, near-hysteric public condition soon after the nuke crisis began, Tsubokura feels the current situation is remarkable. He suggests many feel they initially over-reacted, “To be honest, local people have almost no worries (about radiation exposure because of eating contaminated food) these days. . . .
They are satisfied with their results from last year (where many were below detectable levels).” He adds that there are a small number of people who may feel they are being used as guinea pigs, so they never came in for check-ups. Others not taking advantage of the free examination probably felt there was little to worry about given the small levels of contamination outside the part of the town that was not evacuated.
Tsubokura has been running the tests since May, 2011. (Japan Times)
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