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Children sickness linked to Fukushima radiation
by Deborah Dupre
19 June 2011

Children more susceptible to radiation than adults

In the ultimate nuclear nightmare scenario now unfolding, Japanese local newspapers have attributed sickness in children to Fukushima's nuclear meltdowns, the radioactive levels now elevated throughout eastern Japan.  Children over 32 miles from ground zero are suffering fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds, the three most common of eight radiation sickness signs, the three in the earliest stage.

Tokyo Shinburn newspaper reported that many Japanese children have “inexplicable” symptoms. Each symptom described are among the first experienced with radiation sickness.

“Japan is dangerously contaminated by radioactivity over a far larger area than previously reported by TEPCO and the central government according to new reports from multiple sources,” the Daily Kos reported.

“The prefectural government of Iwate released new data that shows radioactive contamination of grass exceeds safety standards at a distance of 90 to 125 miles from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plants.”

Science Magazine cites data from the prefectural government of Iwate that reveals radioactive cesium has traveled over 100 miles away from Fukushima and pastoral grasses contaminated beyond safety standards.

Children become radiated when they drink milk and eat dairy products from cows feeding on radioactive grass, even at low levels according to the world's foremost anti-nuclear campaigner, Dr. Helen Caldicott, and other independent scientists. Radioactive materials concentrate in milk.

Nationally acclaimed neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D. recently stated that with Fukushima radiation hitting Americans, there will be a risk of increased cancer.

“When we look at Chernobyl, most of West Germany was heavily contaminated. Norway, Sweden. Hungary was terribly contaminated. The radiation was taken up into the plants. The food was radioactive. They took the milk and turned it into cheese. The cheese was radioactive. That’s the big danger, the crops in this country being contaminated, the milk in particular, with Strontium 90. That radiation is incorporated into the bones and stays a lifetime.”

As Gulf of Mexico residents experienced a media blackout and lack of government health support after BP's 2010 catastrophic oil event, necessitating reliance on independent scientists and only a few doctors to test, in the Fukushima media blackout, Japanese independent scientists have been so concerned about children being radiated, they began their own testing. Bloggers have also united to map incidences similar to the service of Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

In, “Citizens Find Radiation Far From Fukushima,” Science Magazine published the shocking findings.

“Frustrated by a dearth of information on what happened to all of the radiological isotopes released from the ravaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, civic groups and individuals have been monitoring radiation on their own. Collectively, they have produced a worrisome picture of contamination throughout eastern Japan, with some hot spots surprisingly far from the crippled reactors.” (Dennis Normile, Science Magazine)

The report cited by Daily Kos furthers:

“Parents in Tokyo's Koto Ward enlisted the help of Tomoya Yamauchi, a radiation physicist at Kobe University, to measure radiation in their neighborhood. Local government officials later joined the act, ordering radiation checks of schoolyards and other public places and posting the results on their Web sites. An anonymous volunteer recently plotted the available 6300 data points on a map. And Yukio Hayakawa, a volcanologist at Gunma University, turned that plot into a radiation contour map.

“It shows one wide belt of radiation reaching 225 kilometers south from the stricken reactors to Tokyo and another extending to the southwest. Within those belts are localized hot spots, including an oval that encloses northeast Tokyo and Kashiwa and neighboring cities in Chiba Prefecture.

“Radiation in this zone is 0.4 microsieverts per hour, or about 3.5 millisieverts per year. That is a fraction of the radiation found throughout much of Fukushima Prefecture, which surrounds the nuclear power plant. But it is still 10 times background levels and even above the 1-millisievert-per-year limit for ordinary citizens set by Japanese law... [I]t is known that children are more susceptible to radiation than adults, and few parents want to take chances with a child's health.”

The Japanese “citizens’ map” of radiation levels, maintained by a group of Japanese bloggers, shows radiation levels highest near Fukushima and northwest of it, elevated radiation southwest of the reactors, and a large pocket of contamination further south, in Tokyo's outskirts.

Public discussions needed in Japan and United States

In the tradition of barefoot doctors and community participatory research, community members lacking information and medical attention, gathering to share what information and resources they do have and discuss defending each other with survival means, rather than investing resources in corporate led “public meetings,” can be effective.

Kyo Kageura, an information scientist at University of Tokyo, recently stated that public discussion of the radiation issue, “based on a scrupulous presentation of the data” is needed. When officials fail to provide urgently needed information, however, the community participatory approach has proven in many crisis areas to be the only thing that saved lives.

Such gatherings always happen due to one active community member taking the lead. Japanese independent scientists and bloggers are filling a gap.

Due to the media blackout on the Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe, "it took several months for the world to learn that there were three core meltdowns at Fukushima," stated Dave Worthington of Small Planet on Friday. “It will take years for the entire truth to be revealed.”

Pointing to far more radiation released than information released, Arnold Gundersen, a 39-year veteran of the nuclear industry told AlJazeera on Thursday, “Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind.”

The same radioactive particles found in Japan are also being recorded in the Seattle, Washington area according to Gundersen.

“With Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and now with Fukushima, you can pinpoint the exact day and time they started,” he said. “But they never end.”

A forty-year old Japanese father, not allowing his 4-month old baby daughter to go outside anymore, told Tokyo Shinburn, “I'm so worried. I don't know how to defend ourselves.”

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