26 Décembre 2014
December 25, 2014
Dec. 25, 2014 - Updated 12:44 UTC+1
Health officials in Japan's Fukushima Prefecture say 4 local young people may have thyroid cancer, even though they cleared a screening shortly after the nuclear power plant accident there in 2011. A panel of experts on Thursday announced the results of the latest round of screening, which started in April. The 4 people were 6 to 17 years old at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Fukushima Prefecture has been conducting thyroid checkups regularly on more than 380,000 residents who were younger than 18 at the time of the disaster. Some scientists say radioactive isotopes of iodine released in the accident may accumulate in children's thyroids and cause cancer. The first round of screening in 2011 found 108 confirmed or suspected cases of cancer. The panel says it doesn't have enough data to prove nuclear fallout caused those cases or the 4 found in the latest screening. The experts say that's because radiation levels in areas where those people lived are not thought to be high enough to cause thyroid cancer. The panel also says the cases are not concentrated in any particular areas with high radiation levels. It says much is unknown about how children develop thyroid cancer, and that it will keep monitoring the situation closely.