West Coast May be Free from Radiation Danger, but Fukushima is Not

A few months ago, we reported on what scientists are saying about radiation dangers on the West Coast. While alarms were sounding, the science suggested that we had nothing to worry about here, even though some radiation was traveling overseas from the Fukushima Daiichi leakage several years ago. That’s great for us here in California, but reports continue coming out about the long-term dangers that people in Japan are facing as a result of the radiation exposure. 

CommonDreams.org, a progressive news website, recently reported that rates of thyroid cancer in Japanese children have gone through the roof since the spill in March, 2011. They’re more than 40 times the normal rates of those prior to the accident. The study looked mostly at children closest to the spillage, but the article goes on to explain that those who live farther away are not totally safe, either. Cancer rates are continuing to be studied. 

In a separate report, VICE went to Fukushima to “see first hand what’s really happening,” since it’s so hard to get a straight answer from the Japanese government. One interviewee notes that the cesium levels released by the Daiichi spill were greater than those released after the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima — greater by 168 times. They explore the Tyroid cancer problems addressed in the Common Dreams article, and speak with young mothers about their concerns.

VICE also explores how radiation effects people through generations, primarily through agriculture (one of Japan’s largest exports) Watch the full report here: 

The fact is, we know that the effects of radiation are toxic and dangerous. While reports are showing that there’s nothing to worry about, there’s always more to the story. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this one, and you should too. 

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