Researchers studying the short- and long-term effects of radiation in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant incident have examined the thyroid glands of approximately 296,000 children living in the prefecture.
Test results showed that of the children tested, 104 were suspected of having thyroid cancer, and of that group, 57 were tested further and officially diagnosed with thyroid cancer, TBS reported Monday.
The tests, conducted by Fukushima Medical University, isolated the effects of radiation on they thyroid gland, and specifically targeted children who were under the age of 18 at the time of the nuclear accident on March 11, 2011. A committee comprised of experts publicly announced their findings on Sunday, TBS reported.
According to Fukushima prefectural health officials, the frequency of thyroid patients was not too different between areas directly around the Fukushima plant evacuation zone, and areas further away, TBS reported. Researchers said they cannot conclusively say that the latest thyroid cancer cases are related to the events at the Fukushima power plant.
In order to examine the effects of radiation exposure, tests will continue to be conducted for the next two years until the test subjects turn 20 years old. After that, follow-up tests will be conducted five years from that point in order to gauge longer-term effects of radiation.© Japan Today