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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Just as long as there is no additional exposure...

May 16, 2012

Fukushima hospital finds 99 percent of young children below minimum cesium level



Tests in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, have shown that 99.2 percent of tested children junior-high school age or younger and 90.1 percent of tested people high school age or older were below the minimum level for radioactive cesium.

The results were for the half-year until the end of March and compiled on May 15 by Minamisoma City General Hospital. In October of last year, the percentages were 67.7 and 31.1, respectively.

Doctor Masaharu Tsubokura, who was part of the project, says, "Cesium taken into the body has been steadily expelled, and long-lasting radioactive exposure during regular life is being kept to a fairly low level."

There were 1,688 children and 7,814 adults tested, for a total of 9,502 people. For a 60 kilogram person, the minimum level for "detection" was four becquerels per kilogram. Of the children, 1,439 were at or below the level, and the highest value for children for the January to March period was 13.2 becquerels per kilogram. Of the adults, 5,229 people were at or below the level, and the highest value for adults for the January to March period was 25.3 becquerels per kilogram.

Sixty-seven children and 114 adults who showed relatively high values were tested again three months later, and in the retesting all of those children and 112 of the adults showed lowered values. However, two men at 60 or over showed slight increases.

As long as there is not additional outside exposure, radioactive cesium in the body is estimated to halve in adults over a period of around three to four months. In retesting, however, around 10 percent of the adults did not show halving of their cesium amounts over that period. Regarding those people, a hospital spokesperson said, "We cannot say anything for certain, but it is highly likely they ate products such as vegetables from home gardens that had not been checked for radiation."

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