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Japan:Thyroid checkups begin for Fukushima children

Monday, October 10, 2011

Laaska News Oct. 10,2011

The Fukushima prefectural government has begun thyroid examinations for children in an effort to assess the health impact of the nuclear accident.

The examinations will cover around 360,000 youths aged 18 or younger as of April 1st.

Their health will be monitored for their lifetime. Radioactive iodine released from the damaged nuclear plant could accumulate in children’s thyroid glands, raising the possibility of cancer.

On Sunday, 150 children from some municipalities in the government-designated evacuation zone, such as Iitate Village and the Yamakiya district of Kawamata town, underwent ultrasound examinations for tumors or other problems at Fukushima Medical University.

The results are expected to be mailed to them in about a month.

The prefectural government says it plans to have all the children examined by 2014.

After that, it says the children will undergo a thyroid check every 2 years until they turn 20, and will be examined once every 5 years after that age.


Laaska News.