Ten out of 130 children near damaged nuclear plant in Japan show hormonal irregularities

Tokyo (dpa) – Hormonal and other irregularities were detected in
the thyroid glands of 10 out of 130 children evacuated from areas
near the damaged nuclear power plant in north-eastern Japan, news
reports said Tuesday.

The Japan Chernobyl Foundation and Shinshu University Hospital
conducted tests on youngsters aged up to 16 including babies for
about a month through the end of August in Nagano, where they were
staying temporarily after evacuating from Fukushima, Kyodo News

The results of the tests showed that one child was found to have a
lower-than-normal thyroid hormone level and seven had thyroid
stimulation hormone levels higher than the norm, it reported.

The other two children were diagnosed with slightly high blood
concentrations of a protein called thyroglobulin, possibly caused by
damage to their thyroid glands, Kyodo said.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station it has been leaking
radioactive material into the environment since it was hit by a
magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

In April, the government decided to ban entry into the
20-kilometre exclusion zone from the plant.

Three of the 10 children used to live within the no-go zone and
one from areas between 20 and 30 kilometres from the plant, while the
other six were from towns further out.

More than 50,000 residents have left the prefecture of Fukushima
as they feared the health effects of radiation, local officials said.

“At present, we cannot say the children are ill but they require
long-term observation,” Minoru Kamata, chief of the foundation, was
quoted as saying.

The foundation is dedicated to aid for the victims of the 1986
Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine.

Radioactive iodine tends to accumulate in the thyroid glands of
babies and children, increasing the risk of cancer later in life.
dpa tk tlo
Author: Takehiko Kambayashi