No Cancer Rise from Japan’s Nuclear Disaster


As you know, our Japanese friends suffered a magnitude 9 earthquake (and subsequent tsunami) on March 11, 2011. Nearly 19,000 people died, and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was devastated, spewing radiation and leading to the evacuation of 160,000 from their homes. Now, the United Nations offers tat evacuation and sheltering significantly reduced the exposure to radioactive substances. The chair of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) explained that while a few individuals received extraordinarily high doses of radiation, there were no radiation-related deaths of acute effects among nearly 25,000 workers. Unlike Fukushima, people close to the then-Soviet plant were exposed to radioactive iodine in milk. The thyroid is the most exposed organ, as radioactive iodine concentrated there (children are especially vulnerable). For the Japanese, the UN committee offers that “the radiation dose levels were so low, that we don’t expect to see any increase in cancer in the future in the population.” Good news for the Japanese people, and for the world. I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: Anything stated here is for general use only, and should not be construed as medical advice for an individual. Please check with your health care provider with any questions or concerns.

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Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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