Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Fukushima Assessment

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Fukushima Assessment

Article excerpt

The health risks associated with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident are not expected to increase for the general population in Japan and outside the country, but the risk of certain cancers among those exposed as infants in the most contaminated part of the Fukushima Prefecture is higher than would normally be expected, according to a new report.

The WHO Health risk assessment from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami was released at the end of February, two years after the disaster occurred.

The assessment, conducted by international experts, called for long-term continued monitoring and health screening of the people most affected.

For leukaemia, the life-time risks are predicted to increase by up to around 7% over baseline cancer rates--i.e. those that would normally be expected in the course of a lifetime--in males exposed as infants. For breast cancer, the estimated lifetime risks increase by up to around 6% over baseline rates in females exposed as infants; for solid cancers, the estimated lifetime risks increase by up to around 4% over baseline rates in females exposed as infants; and for thyroid cancer, the estimated lifetime risk increases by up to around 70% over baseline rates in females exposed as infants.

For people in the second most contaminated part of the Fukushima Prefecture, the estimated risks are approximately one-half of those in the location with the highest doses. …

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