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

Too early for cancer

September 12, 2012


1 case of thyroid cancer found following Fukushima nuclear crisis



FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- A Fukushima prefectural government panel on the health impact from last year's nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant said Tuesday that one young person has been found to be suffering from thyroid cancer.

The finding was reported at a meeting of the eight-member panel that organized thyroid gland screening for 360,000 residents aged 18 years or younger as of March 11, 2011, when the earthquake and tsunami crippled the power plant.

Of the total, the results of medical checks on 80,000 have been made available.

Shinichi Suzuki, professor at Fukushima Medical University and an observer on the panel, said at the meeting that there was no confirmed link between the case and radiation released during the nuclear crisis.

"Even in the case of Chernobyl, it took at least four years" before residents developed thyroid cancer symptoms, Suzuki said.

"In the Fukushima disaster, neither external exposure to radiation similar to that in Hiroshima and Nagasaki nor internal radiation exposure similar to that in the Chernobyl disaster occurred," he said.

Radioactive iodine released in nuclear accidents can accumulate in thyroid glands as a result of breathing or ingestion.

In the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a dramatic increase in thyroid cancer was detected among children in the affected area.


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