Photo: f mafra via flickr
Tests show that about 45 per cent of children in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture have experienced thyroid exposure to radiation.Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission conducted the testing on 1,080 kids from infants to 15 year-olds and maintains the exposure is minimal and doesn’t warrant further examination.
In an attempt to explain the exposure to the public, officials are making comparisons to the atomic bombings of World War II.
Among children who tested positive for thyroid exposure, the amounts measured 0.04 microsievert per hour or less in most cases. The largest exposure was 0.1 microsievert per hour, equivalent to a yearly dose of 50 millisieverts for a 1-year-old.
Scientific surveys of hibakusha from Hiroshima and Nagasaki have indicated that exposure of 100 milisieverts in total could increase cancer morality risk by 0.5 per cent.
The Fukushima nuclear reactor was thrown offline on March 11 by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Japanese officials continue their struggle to contain and evaluate the damage.
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