Report: Thyroid radiation found in 45% of children in Japanese province
People in protective suits pray Wednesday for disaster victims in Tomioka, Japan, near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
July 6th, 2011
09:16 AM ET

Report: Thyroid radiation found in 45% of children in Japanese province

Japanese nuclear safety officials say 45% of children in the prefecture where three nuclear reactors melted down had thyroid exposure to radiation, Kyodo news agency reported.

None of the 1,080 children surveyed was exposed to more than 0.2 microsievert per hour, the threshold for pursuing further examinations, and most were far less, officials told Kyodo, as reported in Japan Times.

That amount is not considered a health risk, officials said.

Meanwhile, soil at four locations in the city of Fukushima was contaminated with radioactive cesium at levels 1.5 to 4.5 times the legal limit, Kyodo reported. The city is well outside 12.5-mile evacuation zone around the stricken plant.

A sample of soil from a street ditch found radiation far in excess of the amount that required permanent resettlement in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, the agency reported.

Japan's government plans to require safety assessments, or "stress tests," on all the country's nuclear power plants, industry minister Banri Kaieda said Wednesday, according to Kyodo. All the plants have been shut down since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Energy • Japan • Natural Disasters • Nuclear
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Mekell

    Why are yall censoring benign on topic statements?

    July 6, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Hmmmm. Wasn't aware that ingesting ANY amount of radioactive particles was NOT a risk....
    Considering the energy given off by the materials exceeds the cohesive energy of our cells, and the energy required for cell division. Studies have shown there is no amount that does NOT affect the human body, and risk follows the amount of exposure up until a threshold where it is "unsafe"- but a threshold does not exist...

    July 6, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Grumpy

      You have no idea what you're talking about.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      Radiation isnt voodoo magic cooked up by mad scientists. They dig radioactive materials out of the ground. You get constant radiation exposure simply from living on Earth.

      Living is a risk. Mortality is a fatal disease.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr B

      Dude are you on something? Cohesive energy of our cells? ... The real problem with radiation is that it can cause mutations in the DNA, which can lead to cancer, which is a bunch of cells growing and replicating uncontrollably.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Nunya business

      Might want to go and end your potential suffering now since your body is being bombarded by radiation at all times. Particulate radiation exists in natural form and contributes to your standard levels background radiation. Every time dust is churned up from normal activities, plutonium and other radioactive isotopes (products of nuclear testing, naturally occuring and so on) are churned up with it.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Might also not want to eat any bananas, potatos, or most nuts since they contain radioactive potassium.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Tad Pole

      I believe "unsafe" is regarded as the level that has been scientifically proven to cause health problems in a statistically significant number of people. You are correct that *Any* radiation is unsafe, however, with this mindset one would have to say that everything is harmful. Prudent people try to define a balance between *Acceptable levels* vs. *potential sideeffects*.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      For a nice visual representation of what .02 mSv compares to, please see here:

      Its a bout half a mammogram or 1/10th of a head CT.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fearlessdude

    Radiation distroys cells in the body.
    If the body can keep up repairing the damage, we are ok.
    If the body can't keep up repairing the damage, we are done.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. HRH banasy

    CNN frequently censors the same words they use in articles, the J country being one of them.
    Stupid, I know.

    July 6, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. FU

    If people find this upsetting, they won't like the Barium levels in US kids...

    July 6, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. DotHead Ragneeshie

    godzirra caused this. or snookie.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. farlett

    People need to quit talking about things of which they are clueless. tv's give off radiation, as do microwaves, xrays, and all kinds of other things that we regularly accept as safe in our daily lives. Heck, red "exit" signs that are in all comercial buildings have significant amounts of radioactive material in them yet they are called safety devices. the only reason this article exsists is because of illinformed people who will give a big reaction. these measurements are so small that they have little significance. modern instruments are simply so accurate that useless information is given.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      Exactly, our world is filled with radiation. But its a scary sounding word that people dont understand so therefore OMG WE"RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • bob

      talk about being uniformed. only SELF LUMINOUS exit signs are radioactive. most people have seen these in aircraft showing the way to exits. they glow a dull green. the red ones you see in buildings arent radioactive, they derive power from the outlet, or battery backup. but thats not really the point. the radioactive material thats in some exit signs is SAFELY ENCLOSED, not free to run around in the environment. as someone who thinks the media and the environMENTALists are blowing fukushima WAY out of proportion, you do just as much damage on the issue, by thinking you know things when you do not.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • RobfromMo

      Yes, we are exposed to radiation from many sources, which is a major reason cancer is so common. Each exposure increasses our risk. We should certainly try to avoid unnecessary exposures.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel Edwards

      You're incorrect about this. Radiation levels have been found in excess of those found in Belarus after Chernobyl which were proven to cause an increase in Leukemia and Cancer rates 30 years after the incident. It's not voodoo, it's a genuine problem. Yeah, there's radiation around us all the time. There's also sunlight around us all the time, but we know for a fact prolonged exposure causes cancer. This is the same thing. In excess it's a real problem and this has caused that excess. Get your head out of the sand.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CSnSC

    How do u know hes wearing a uniform ?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. SkekLach

    Wow... Good job, CNN. Sensationalism sells though, I suppose.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gaadffly

    This is a really stupid waste. It has been obvious from the start that people (and children) in the area around the nuclear are at risk, have been exposed and will continue to be exposed. Must be a really slow news day.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joel M

    Any amount of ionizing radiation can cause cancer. Yes, we get x-rays, yes, there is the sun, and yes, we get microwaved from cell phones and towers, but these external rays pass through us and do not remain inside of our bodies. Inhaled and/or ingested radioactive particles stay inside of you for life, in your blood, bones and organs. Your cells are being ionized for as long as you live, and the cancers can take decades to destroy you. While this is ongoing, your reproductive life is threatened, as is the health of your spouse and future offspring.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • responder

      Umm do you really understand what you are saying? You eat radioactive things constantly... Do you think that the dust in the air doesn't pick up background radiation? We really need to improve the educational system.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • WhatWhatWhat?

      He obviously doesn't know what he's saying. There is this thing, it's called "biological half-life", and it says that when you inhale or ingest radionuclides, they will stay in your system until they are replaced with other atoms. Radioactive iodine is a problem for the thyroid because the human organism actually uses iodine as a normal chemical in it's operation. After the uptake of the radioactive materials stops, the amount of time required by the body to eliminate the bad iodine is the biological half life. Salt is one substance typically iodized so that we get enough for our health, and sodium-iodide is used for those who know they are going to be exposed, so that their thyroids fill up with the good iodine, and not the bad..

      July 6, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Trollie McTrollenstein

    Does that mean they are all going to turn into Godzillas and Mothras?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Aubrie

    Does this mean a new generation of deformed and disabled Janpanese babies like after the bombs were dropped? The photos of those children were horrendous. Devastating that they have to go through it again, but this time at their own hand.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joenunya Mofo

    3 full on meltdowns, with release, and they found radiation. What a surprise. This kind of crappy "reporting" is useless. What testing, what methods used. When was the data compiled? What of other prefectures were studied? Come on CNN. You would have failed my High School journalism class.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tiyone

    Cell phones are most definately dangerous the radiation can give u brain cancer

    July 6, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
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