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Mari Takenouchi Files 竹野内真理ファイルhttp://takenouchimari.blogspot.jp/
竹野内真理の公開質問Mari Takenouchi's open questions http://koukaishitsumon.blogspot.jp/


Heath Hazards right after Accident in Fukushima 郡山市民から原発事故直後の健康被害について

English text followed by Japanese text, which had been submitted to UN Human Rights Council in 2012 November and UNSCEAR in June 2013. 




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 one time. 

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 happen.”

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 from Fukushima.