Fukushima medical group unveils outcome of radiation exposure survey

The Tokiwakai Group operating medical facilities in Fukushima Prefecture announced at a press conference on Feb. 15 the results of its survey on internal exposure among local residents to radiation caused by the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant. The survey was undertaken by a team of experts organized by the group. The press conference, conducted at the group’s Jyoban Hospital in Iwaki city, was attended by Hiroaki Shinmura, head of the hospital, Shigeaki Kato, adviser to the group, and Masaharu Tsubokura, part-time doctor at Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital. Shinmura reiterated that the possibility of health damage being caused by internal radiation exposure stemming from the accident is “extremely low” and that internal exposure levels of patients receiving dialysis showed no difference from those of healthy people. The survey, based on screening by whole-body radiation counters, covered about 9,200 residents aged 4 or older in Iwaki and elsewhere in the prefecture who desired to receive the checkup as well as 111 dialysis patients who may face difficulty discharging radioactive substances from the body. All people were found to have less than 1 millisievert of radioactive cesium detected in the body. The dosage is set by the national government as a limit to radiation exposure in a year. (Translated by Kyodo News)