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Jan 23rd 2024

Fukushima - A Year Later

The world was still dealing with radioactive waste from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011, when a 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan along with a massive tsunami decimated Japan's Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant. Both Chernobyl and now Fukushima have littered the earth's air and water with radioactive isotopes, increasing disease and death on a global scale.

Health problems associated with radioactive fallout include cancer, heart attack, respiratory damage, bone and joint pain, immune suppression, reproductive and urogenital disorders, and chromosomal aberrations. Based on Center for Disease Control mortality data for 122 US cities, toxicologist Janette D. Sherman, MD, and Joseph J. Mangano, MPH, MBA, projected 13,983 extra deaths (including 822 infant deaths) in the US during the 14 weeks after the arrival of Japanese fallout.

But unlike Chernobyl, which was brought under control within several months, more than a year later, damaged reactors at Fukushima are still leeching radioactive particles into soil and water. In addition the Japanese fear that structurally unsound reactor #4 could collapse, precipitating a nuclear disaster far worse than before. After an onsite tour of the Fukushima facility, Sen.

Ron Weyden (D-Or), senior member of the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, stated, "The scope of damage . . . was far beyond what I expected, and the scope of the challenges . . . are daunting."

Meanwhile, increased radioactivity traced back to Fukushima has been found in bluefin tuna and in kelp off the California coast. Although radiation levels have risen throughout the US, the Pacific Ocean has been the major carrier of radioactive particles from Japan, hitting our West Coast the hardest.

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Mangano JJ. An unexpected mortality increase in the US follows arrival of the radioactive plume from Fukushima: Is there a correlation? International Journal of Health Services . 2012;42(1):47-64.
Press Release. Office of Senator Ron Wyden. After tour of Fukushima nuclear power station, Wyden says situation worse than reported. Monday, April 16, 2012.
Chang A. Radioactive bluefin tuna: Japanese nuclear plant contaminated fish found off California coast. Huffington Post Green. Published online June 26, 2012.
Kim V. Radioactive particles from Japandetected in Californiakelp. Los Angeles Times. Published online April 9, 2012.




Information contained in NewsClips articles should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.