During the winter break, however, I came across an interesting study, which was done by The University of Tokyo in Fukushima prefecture addressing radiation effects on farmers after the great earthquake in On April 11,a powerful earthquake magnitude of 7. Soon after the accident, the Japanese government issued a mandatory evacuation for those who lived within 20 km radius from the nuclear power plant to an evacuation shelter.
Received Nov 7; Accepted Mar 3. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. This report describes four key areas of discussion -- thyroid screening, dosimetry, mental health, and non-radiation risk factors -- and summarizes recommendations resulting from the workshop. Four recommendations given at the workshop were to: The workshop concluded that coordinated data collection between researchers from different institutes and disciplines can both reduce the burden on the population and facilitate efforts to examine the inter-relationships between the many factors at play.
The workshop brought together a multidisciplinary team of researchers to share state-of-the-art research related to radiation epidemiology, dosimetry, and mental health and discuss the opportunities and challenges for long-term studies of the health effects following the March Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident.
While many topics discussed at the workshop have been raised in earlier publications such as [ 1 - 5 ], the workshop organizers felt it would be useful to share the perspectives communicated during the workshop on four key areas - thyroid screening, dosimetry, mental health, and non-radiation risk factors of chronic disease - related to current, on-going projects in Fukushima [ 6 ].
The program is part of the Fukushima Health Management Survey designed to initially establish baseline thyroid status and then monitor participants over their lifetimes. The survey program responds to widespread public concern about thyroid cancer risk following the accident.
Based on the Chernobyl accident, radiation-related thyroid cancers would not be expected less A research on the future of health in fukushima japan 3—4 years after the accident [ 7 ].
The thyroid ultrasound screening program in Fukushima benefits from a design that includes an assessment of baseline thyroid health immediately after the accident, well before any radiation-effect would be expected. Nonetheless, population concerns need to be adequately addressed as the baseline incidence of thyroid cancer is predicted to increase substantially as a function of introducing screening into the population [ 8 ].
Further challenges may remain to disentangle a screening effect from that of radiation in the medium- and long-term; particularly if follow-up and adherence to the screening is dependent on the level of radiation exposure received.
Workshop participants noted that although the survey establishes important baseline information, there may still be implications of identifying, via screening with improved diagnostic techniques, thyroid diseases that might otherwise never have been detected, in particular an excess of very small or asymptomatic occult papillary thyroid cancers for which active surveillance rather than treatment intervention may be the best option [ 9 ].
Integrating the thyroid screening program with other components of the Fukushima Health Management Survey [ 6 ] e. Dosimetry Estimating individual radiation doses among clean-up workers on-site workers as well as off-site workers and the general population alike is essential for studies of the long-term health effects following the accident.
Dose reconstruction efforts among Fukushima residents, such as those described in [ 210 ] are based on a combination of environmental measurements, whole body counting, personal dosimeter measurements, and self-reported location and dietary patterns collected as part of the Fukushima Health Management Survey.
Other studies have similarly demonstrated low-dose exposure levels among the residents in Fukushima, including evacuees, through direct and indirect measurement [ 12 - 14 ]. InUNSCEAR provided preliminary dose estimates for the general population based on environmental measurements and human transfer models [ 15 ].
The UNSCEAR report noted the lack of internal measurements at the time general population doses were evaluated; based on subsequently available internal measurements, the authors of the report suspect their estimates may exceed true exposures. Prefecture-average thyroid dose estimates across these areas range from 0.
Multiple institutions are involved in dose-reconstruction, possibly acting independently of one another. Workshop participants encouraged the comparison of dose estimates made by different groups for the same individuals presumably based on somewhat different information and model assumptions.
This could be challenging, however, if the various systems rely on different personal identifying information, thus making it difficult to link individuals across studies. Workshop participants also emphasized the importance of calculating organ-specific dose rather than effective dose to estimate cancer and non-cancer disease risk as a function of dose in future epidemiologic studies [ 16 ].
A detailed set of recommendations for estimating dose following radiation accidents such as Fukushima are described in [ 17 ]. Mental health Mental health is a core component of the Fukushima Health Management Survey, incorporating both research and clinical including counselling components [ 6 ].
Infrastructure largely concerns the disruption and subsequent re-establishment of mental health services in disaster-affected areas. These factors can affect mental health in both the short- and long-terms and can lead to physical symptoms that may be attributed exclusively to the radiation exposure if not properly studied.
Participants stressed the importance of conducting long-term studies of psychosocial health following the disaster. Changes in non-radiation risk factors Directly related to mental health is the question of how non-radiation factors, specifically lifestyle and behavioural factors, may alter health of the population in the long-term.
There is information that continued fear related to radiation exposure may lead parents and teachers to keep children indoors and that many people continue to avoid locally grown fruits and vegetables, favouring instead food even if processed produced elsewhere [ 1819 ].
Many of those evacuated, due to elevated radiation levels or the devastation of the tsunami and earthquake, transitioned from farming communities to urban settings. Longitudinal studies of lifestyle and behavioural factors e. Short-term comparisons of population health before and after the disaster suggest a decline in health status as measured by waist circumference and several metabolic factors [ 20 ] but longer-term data based on larger samples are needed.
Conclusions The four key areas discussed here - thyroid screening, dosimetry, mental health, and non-radiation risk factors - are closely related. Examples of this inter-relationship include the impact of mental health on long-term changes in other cancer risk factors or the impact of thyroid cancer screening on mental health.
A resounding conclusion from the workshop was that coordinated data collection between researchers from different institutes and disciplines can both reduce the burden on the population and facilitate efforts to examine the inter-relationships between the many factors at play.
Acknowledgements The workshop was supported in part under a grant made to the International Agency for Research on Cancer by the Ministries of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan Grant agreement number The funding source had no involvement in the content of the workshop or preparation of the report.AsianScientist (Jun.
3, ) – Residents of the Fukushima prefecture in Japan may finally breathe a sigh of relief. A new scientific evaluation by the United Nations reveals that radiation exposure from the Fukushima nuclear accident, brought about by a magnitude earthquake and tsunami two years ago, is unlikely to result in future health problems for workers and residents in the region.
Radiation leaked after Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster in is unlikely to cause any ill health effects in the future, a UN scientific committee drawing up a major new report said Friday. The Fukushima Health Management Survey (FHMS) is expected to contribute to future health effect assessments.
Population health surveillance will permit the identification of additional needs for the delivery of health care. Aug 19, · Browse Fukushima news, research and analysis from The Conversation Six years after Fukushima, much of Japan has lost faith in nuclear . MGI research suggests health care spending in Japan could double as a proportion of GDP within 30 years, with advances in medical technology, growing wealth, and .
The Fukushima Health Crisis by Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman Over 3 years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, there is virtually no health research being conducted or .