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Fukushima Accident and Health Problems Afterwards in Kooriyama, Fukushima
Fukushima Accident and Health Problems Afterwards
A citizen from Kooriyama
On March 11 2011, I was in Kooriyama city in Fukushima
prefecture.When Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear reactors exploded one after another, I was waiting in line for water
distribution truck and wondered around the town searching for food. All my neighbors, people in lines, food shop
owners, my relatives did not know anything about these explosions.Sometime afterwards, a rumor was heard.“Seems like there has been some accident in
the nuclear power plant.”Before we knew
what was going on, TV showed a group of riot police and Tokyo Fire Defense
brigades spraying water on nuclear reactors to control the accident, and then
we came to realize that there had even been some explosions.
When the explosions took place, all the three members of my family
started to show some symptoms.Swollen
throat and pain, severe migraine, red eyes, diarrhea, nose bleeding, tense
muscle, strong pain around heart with convulsion…all these symptoms occurred at
When I heard of a news of the startup of a health consultation by
the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency around March 26th, I made a
phone call and asked about our familiy’s simultaneous symptoms.Their answer was, “The throat pain is caused
by some infection.If all of your family
members have throat pain, it should be some infection.Go see a doctor fast and get a doctor’s
medical certificate of some infections disease.”They solely repeated, “some infectious
disease” over and over, without listening to my story.When I kept asking, their reply was, “The
impact of health by radiation is only child thyroid cancer, which would emerge only
5 years after.Nothing else would
Right after that, Professor Shunichi Yamashita from Nagasaki
University came to Fukushima prefecture.He became a radiation expert advisor and started lectures in Fukushima,
Kooriyama and other places in Fukushima, saying, “Be aware of radiation in a
right way.Do not be mislead by
demagogies and radiophobic peoples’ words.”In the free tabloid newspaper, Fuji Sankei Living, distributed in each
household, the headline banner said, “Be aware of radiation in a right way”
along with the interview article by Professor Yamashita.
In the middle of April, I made a
phone call to a telephone consultant at Fukushima prefecture.He consoled me saying, “Please do not
worry.20mSV would not cause any health
impact.According to ICRP, even 100mSV
would cause a very slight impact, which is only 0.5% rise in cancer
incidence.Please feel safe.You can trust ICRP since it is an international
organization that established international standards.” This person did not
speak fluently and instead, he seemed lost for words many times and left the
phone to ask for something for his boss, saying, “Hold on a second.”While I was waiting, I could hear many phones
ringing in the same room, and other prefectural staff members were answering
them.All of them were saying the same
words, “Do not worry,” ”It’s OK,” “It’s safe.”
At that time, University professors, doctors from big hospitals
were holding radiation seminars at public halls, township gathering places, and
chamber of commerce office.
After all, our family evacuated to Tokyo.Other people who stayed in the same
evacuation place told me that they were told the same things when they called
the Nuclear Agency.In the gatherings of
Fukushima evacuees in Tokyo, I talked with many people from various cities and
towns, and many of them had some sort of bad physical conditions.In case of adults, deterioration of their
chronic diseases was by far the most observed ones, while children had nose
bleeding, vomiting and diarrhea.Sudden hospitalization,
necessity of operation on chronic disease, mental instability and all sorts of
things were heard.Some people were
diagnosed as Hashimoto thyroid disease.
However, when I asked evacuees from Miyagi and Iwate prefectures,
I have never heard of these symptoms.
At the time of the accident, what we experienced were, abnormal
chilling, irritation of face skin, soreness of throat, nose, and eyes, nose
bleeding, red eyes, vomiting, stomach pains, extreme loss of appetite, gum
bleeding, strong pain of heart with convulsion, migraine, erythema, back pain
and whole body pain, and so on.
Sometime after the accident, we experienced
sluggishness, rise of blood pressure, eye floater, nail deformation, headache, fatigue,
nose bleeding, diarrhea, shaky hands, blisters on legs and arms, malaise,
extreme forgetfulness, sharp rise of blood pressure, acute pain of left thigh
area, muscle stiffness and cramp, heart pain, loss of hair, massive bleeding
from cut, heart pain, muscle pain, central nervous system disorders.Each single example seemed to be a minor
trouble, but many of these symptoms came at one time.
All these symptoms were always attributed to stress triggered by
the disaster.There may have been some
symptoms due to severe mental pains caused by many hardships from the nuclear
accident.However, there have been many symptoms that cannot be explained solely by
mental stress, so I made some research.
Health records right after Chernobyl accident
was kept secret by the Soviet Government for a long time.In the secret documents, there were records
of numerous number of people carried into hospitals due to physical
abnormalities.I also went through
Belarusian and Ukranian reports 25 years after Chernobyl.After I read these health problems, I came to
realize that what was happening to ourselves was related to radiation.
At the end of 2011, I measured the internal radiation dose of our
family by whole body counter, then the figures were nearly 50Bq/kg, which was
in the range of caution.I evacuated to
Tokyo one and half months after the accident and since then, I went back and
forth between Kooriyama and Tokyo.My
son always had nose bleeding whenever we went back to Kooriyama.
There are more than one million people still living in areas well
over 1mSV/year such as in Kooriyama, Fukushima, Nihonmatsu, Date city.I am very concerned about internal dose of
children, pregnant woman and babies.
I also heard a story from a child rearing mother from Fukushima
city.She applied for three places for
waiting list for whole body counter measurement. As a result, she was able to
measure at two different places almost at the same time.1st place was privately owned
place and the 2nd place was a prefectural place. The figure was
highest at the privately owned place and the second high was the city hospital,
and there was not much difference between the first and second places.But the prefectural place showed ND-Not
Detectable.Her friends also said their
figures were ND at the prefectural place but they got some positive figures at
the city hospital.
Among the aged, the cases of aggravated chronic disease, cognitive
impairment, and sudden death is increasing.Even among children, throat abnormalities and death that might be
related to radiation is occurring.
Through our experiences, we predict that a grave situation would
take place if people continue living in the contaminated areas any longer.Doctors from IPPNW who visited Fukushima has
the same opinion.Mari Takenouchi, the
translator of this document also escaped with her son.Even though she was from Tokyo, both she and
her son had health problems.
The government and the prefecture states that there will be no
health problem up to 20mSV/year, but there are many people who are suffering
from some health problems in various areas in Fukushima.However, due to the social pressure under which
people cannot speak out their thoughts, they have nowhere to appeal.
Every human being has the right to live.I think it is an infringement of human rights
if the government attributes people’s health problems solely to stress and give
no proper health care and treatment.
I strongly believe that people in Fukushima, especially babies,
children and pregnant women should be evacuated at the earliest possible timing