Fukushima Health Effects

There has been a large increase in the number of abnormal thyroid growths found in children near Fukushima1. The normal rate would be less tha 1% 2 but the study found a rate of over 36%.

There has been an increase 12.5% in the mortality rate3 in the area around Fukushima – that is 12,695 people. Although it is not possible to draw definite conclusions at this stage4 the figures are worrying. There has been a large increase in the number of people dying from heart disease which is now known to be associated with radiation exposure5

There are many people that would argue that low levels of radiation are not dangerous – often comparing radiation with CT scans there is recent research that shows that exposure to levels well below 100Gy has health effects6. Another paper7 also detects effects at low doses – however, I ahve not been able to get the full paper yet.

There have also been some studies on butterflies8 which shows adnormalities not just in the exposed butterflies but in further generations.

1Nearly 36pc of Fukushima children diagnosed with abnormal thyroid growths (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/9410702/Nearly-36pc-of-Fukushima-children-diagnosed-with-abnormal-thyroid-growths.html).

2Head of internal medicine at Japan hospital astonished by Fukushima thyroid exams (http://enenews.com/head-of-internal-medicine-at-japan-hospital-astonished-by-fukushima-thyroid-exams-immediate-evacuation-is-imperative-a-violation-of-human-rights-for-those-exposed-to-radiation)

3Report: Mortality rising in contaminated regions of East Japan (http://enenews.com/report-mortality-rising-in-contaminated-regions-of-east-japan-very-likely-the-number-of-cases-of-disease-and-death-increased-associated-with-radiation)

4Probability and Significance

5Radiation exposure and circulatory disease risk: Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivor data, 1950-2003, BMJ. 2010; 340: b5349 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2806940/

6 Radiation exposure from CT scans in childhood and subsequent risk of leukaemia and brain tumours: a retrospective cohort study (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2960815-0/fulltext)

7A record-based case–control study of natural background radiation and
the incidence of childhood leukaemia and other cancers in Great
Britain during 1980–2006 (http://www.nature.com/leu/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/leu2012151a.html)

8 The biological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the pale grass blue butterfly (http://www.nature.com/srep/2012/120809/srep00570/full/srep00570.html)

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8 Responses to “Fukushima Health Effects”

  • robertok06 says:

    @pete

    “In particular, the first sampling-bias-free assessment of the
    internal exposure of children in the town of Miharu, Fukushima, shows that the 137Cs body burdens
    of all children (n F 1,383, ages 6–15, covering 95% of children enrolled in town-operated schools)
    were below the detection limit of 300 Bq/body in the fall of 2012.”

    https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/pjab/89/4/89_PJA8904B-01/_article

  • robertok06 says:

    @pete

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3956155/

    “Furthermore, the extra lifetime integrated dose after 2012 is estimated to elevate lifetime risk of cancer incidence by a factor of 1.03 to 1.05 at most, which is unlikely to be epidemiologically detectable.”

    • Pete Pete says:

      If I killed someone and I could get away with it would it make it OK? Just because something is not “epidemiologically detectable” does not make it right – http://www.plux.co.uk/no-discernible-changes-in-future-cancer-rates-and-hereditary-diseases/

      • robertok06 says:

        It may not make it right, but it means that it has negligible consequences.

        Nuclear power generation worldwide kills less people than any other technology, Wh per Wh… all the rest is fantasy… and if you don’t believe me believe at least Hansen et al, and The Lancet.

        Coming to damaging the world…

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11718550/Why-are-greens-so-keen-to-destroy-the-worlds-wildlife.html

        … and have a nice reading.

        • Pete Pete says:

          Again, again, again, again – how many times do I have to say that – perhaps as many times as you quote this paper. Hansen compared nuclear to coal not to renewables. Nuclear is not happening and is not replacing anything.
          Mate, this bird wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! ‘E’s bleedin’ demised!
          ‘E’s passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker!
          ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies!
          ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig!
          ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisibile!!

          • roberto kersevan says:

            Poetry, of a poor quality, suits you better than nuclear technology, Pete!

            Hansen and Kharekha have compared nuclear to the other known baseload sources of electricity… intermittent renewables will only and always make the “also ran” list… since they won’t ever be able to generate electricity 24h/24, 365 days/y, as NECESSARY for the life of modern industrialized countries!

            They could only work in case the luddites you mingle with would take charge of the planet, which simply won’t happen anytime soon.
            In the meantime…

            http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

            … 17:20 BST, wind power in the UK is generating a whopping…. 0.45 GW of electric power!…i.e. 1.19% of the total demand!… ahahaahah… isn’t it wonderful the world you dream of, Peter? I wish you 100 years of this.

            You clearly need a massive dose of that thing called “D_A_T_A”… while quitting the other addictive thing called “D_R_E_A_M_S”.

            Try harder.

  • roberto kersevan says:

    @peter lux

    “Another paper7 also detects effects at low doses – however, I ahve not been able to get the full paper yet.”

    An experienced epidemiologist with a degree in veterinary medicine and a second one in statistics, who routinely works on human health data and statistics in Italy. He often referees similar work in peer-reviewed journals.

    His evaluation of this paper is not at all positive: he says (I try to translate) that formula on page 4 is completely wrong, the scale is in logit (log-odds) units not RR.
    He also says that one cannot obtain the RR with a control-case study like this, if the patology under study is a rare one.
    He also questions the validity from a biological stand point of the assumption of linear relationship between dose and its outcome and additivity of the terms (no interaction between exposure to dose and socio-economic state).

    Worst of all, it is trying to represent the significance of the RRs wihout considering the multiplicity of the statistical tests applied… e.g. Lymphoid leukaemia, NHL e Lymphoid leukaemia + NHL.
    If one accepts to erroneously reject a priori the null hypothesis 1 time of 20 (p=0.05) then one cannot forget that carrying out 13 probability tests 1 of the 13 could come out “positive” by chance!…… the experiment-wise error rate being 1-(1-0.05)^13 ~ 0.5 .
    He concludes by noting that the authors are STATA users, and therefore very likely they are epidemiologists, not statisticians… and that could explain part of the mistakes.

    Looks like the journal Leukemia doesn’t always check on the competency of its referees… too bad. 🙁

  • roberto kersevan says:

    @peter lux

    Just to set the record straight… commenting your references:

    1 and 2) The study you cite was a preliminary one, which totally contradicted 20+ years of epidemiology of thyroid cancer following Chernobyl. It has later been found, by other studies, that the high rate of thyroid nodules and cists was common to japanese population living in areas unaffected by the Fukushima Daiichi 1 (FD-1) fallout.

    Try this: http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com/fukushima-child-thyroid-issue.html , and references therein.

    (disclaimer: I DO NOT endorse all of the conclusions or opinions expressed on the web page I’ve linked here above).

    3) Citing the web site Enenews as a reliable and scientifically accurate reference totally disqualifies your blog! How can a seemingly knowledgeable and scientifically trained person like you think that less than a year after the FD-1 accident there could have been already epidemiological evidence of cancer effects, it is beyond comprehension, and can be explained only as a blatant anti-nuclear rant.

    4) Strange… “Although it is not possible to draw definite conclusions at this stage… the figures are worrying” … it is not possible to draw conclusions BUT one should worry anyway… pre-emptive worrying… for what exactly? Illogical position for a trained scientist!

    5) The paper you reference here CLEARLY states that below 500 mGy there is no evidence of a correlation between radiation dose and heart disease:

    “Conclusion
    Doses above 0.5 Gy are associated with an elevated risk of both stroke and heart disease, but the degree of risk at lower doses is unclear.”

    … is unclear!… compared to your ” is now known to be associated with radiation exposure”.
    The radiation dose taken by the population of the prefectures hit more by the fallout is WAAAAAY lower than 500 mGy!… there is ample documentation on peer-reviewed journals about it… total body scans of Cs-137 (and other relevant isotopes) repeated over time, for practically all school kids and youngsters in the area… and adult people alike… the highest doses, for a fraction of the order of 1% or less, gets to 10 mSv maximum… with 90%+ having a ZERO internal contamination. Get your facts/information straight, Peter!

    6) Again, Peter… you can’t compare the doses absorbed by the people living around FD-1 and subjected to its fallout with CT scans!… the article on The Lancet you’ve used as an excuse to scare your readers about radiation talks about dose of 50-60 mGy… while, as I said, NOBODY (except a few emergency workers and FD-1 personnel in the control room during the accident) got anything as close as those doses!… in addition to that, even in the event that someone would get a dose similar to a CT scan… there is the caveat, CLEARLY stated in the conclusions of the article you’ve cited… (my capitals, for emphasis)

    ” Because these cancers are relatively rare, the cumulative absolute risks are small: in the 10 years after the first scan for patients younger than 10 years, ONE excess case of leukaemia and ONE excess case of brain tumour per 10 000 head CT scans is estimated to occur.
    Nevertheless, although clinical BENEFITS should OUTWEIGH the small absolute risks, radiation doses from CT scans ought to be kept as low as possible and alternative procedures, which do not involve ionising radiation, should be considered if appropriate.”

    … and the benefits of having used nuclear power generation of electricity in place of coal, fuel or gas is well explained in the article/study by James Hansen and Pusker Kharekha which I have already referenced to you… tens of thousands of lives saved in Japan alone, and millions worldwide. Get over with it, Peter!

    “Using historical production data, we calculate that global nuclear power has prevented an average of 1.84 million air pollution-related deaths and 64 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent (GtCO2-eq) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that would have resulted from fossil fuel burning.”

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/kh05000e.html

    7) Humans are not butterflies, and there is AMPLE evidence coming from the Hiroshima/Nagasaki cohort studies, Mayak/Chernobyl, nuclear workers epidemiology as well as uranium mine workers that the heritable effects of exposure to ionizing radiation are MINIMAL or absent, almost impossible to discern from the background of teratogenic effects due to other causes.
    This paper (taken at random among the many I’ve read on this subject)…

    teratology.org/updates/60pg100.pdf

    … says this:

    “As stated, the THRESHOLD ACUTE dose for malformation of fetal organs is approximately 0.1 GRAY, with frank congenital malformations occurring AT 0.2 GRAY (Jensh and Brent, ’87);
    the risk for severe mental retardation is approximately 30 IQ units PER GRAY and is not always
    related to small head size;
    the risk of fatal cancer is approximately 6% PER GRAY fetal irradiation (Doll and Wakeford, ’97).


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