Gov’t Study: Radiation levels in Koriyama children exceed annual limit set by gov’t

Published: December 9th, 2011 at 1:30 pm ET


Radiation levels in Koriyama children exceed annual limit: survey, Mainichi Daily News, Dec. 9, 2011:

Radiation levels detected in children in this city [Koriyama, 60 km from meltdowns …] exceed the government-set annual limit, a municipal government study has revealed.

Survey Facts

  • Survey results […] reported to parents individually on Dec. 8
  • First of three to be conducted before March 2012
  • Examined accumulated radiation levels in all 25,551 elementary and middle school children residing in the city
  • Measured on a 24-hour basis daily
  • Between the period of Oct. 5 and Nov. 6
  • Final survey data excludes the 0.06 millisieverts dosage presumed to be accumulated through natural exposure to radiation

Survey Results

  • Average radiation level […] was 0.12 millisieverts [in 31 days]
  • Which calculated over a one-year period equals 1.33 millisieverts
  • 0.33 millisieverts more than the annual limit set by the government [1 millisievert]
  • 94 percent had radiation doses below 0.2 millisieverts
  • The highest dose found in four children equals 4.98 millisieverts when calculated over a one-year term […] almost five times the annual limit

Survey Opinions

“We hope this survey data will help people take action to decrease their radiation exposure levels by comparing it to their individual daily records” -Official at the Koriyama Municipal Board of Education.

All of following groups have concluded the results “pose no harm to the children’s health”:

  • Officials at the Koriyama Municipal Government
  • Toshiteru Okubo, the board chairman of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation
  • Other radiation experts serving as nuclear measures advisors to the city

One question remains Mainichi — the source of some of the better reporting coming out of Japan on Fukushima — did the survey record internal radiation, external, both? Presumably external, as the article says radiation was  “measured on a 24-hour basis daily”, leading to the assumption that a dosimeter was used for the survey measurements. Dosimeters only measure external radiation. So the study appears to only be measuring the children’s external radiation dose. Does Mainichi consider this relevant?

Published: December 9th, 2011 at 1:30 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. NHK: 42% of residents’ radiation exposure tops annual limit — Survey excluded people working in places with high radioactivity — Only used 4 months of data February 21, 2012
  2. Yomiuri: Average pre-school child in Koriyama had external radiation dose of 110 µSv during Nov. — 60km from Fukushima plant — Won’t immediately affect health says gov’t — Internal not included — No data from Mar. to Oct. January 6, 2012
  3. Japan TV: Children in area with radiation dose 10 times annual limit (VIDEO) September 26, 2012
  4. Kyodo: More than 25 Koriyama schools with high radiation areas — At least 19 nursery and elementary schools affected — 60km from Fukushima Daiichi May 7, 2012
  5. Study finds 12 millisievert average thyroid doses of INTERNAL radiation in Fukushima children — Gov’t had assured “the levels of such doses were zero” — Gov’t won’t notify parents of results July 11, 2012

54 comments to Gov’t Study: Radiation levels in Koriyama children exceed annual limit set by gov’t

  • dpl dpl

    survey says: avoid contact with unhappy people, still no proof radiation poses any harm to the children’s health.

  • jec jec

    So for the children who ALREADY have met or exceeded the radiation limit..what is the plan for THEM? For example, they should be removed to an area without radiation, no foods with radiation can be consumed..and so on. From the govenment comment, its on the parents to keep the radiation level down with individual “daily logs”. Excuse me, but the children or others who have met the yearly limit should not have ANY additional exposure. TEPCO who OWNS the plant, along with the Japanese government should take immediate action to protect citzens.,

    • Captain Quark Captain Quark

      No problem, the government will just raise the acceptable exposure limit and hey presto! problem vanished.

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    And now WHAT

  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    And on top it’s Friday and time for the weekly “pneumonia update”.
    Numbers remain on highest level:

  • James2

    I read the article, but it doesn’t really say how the survey was taken.

    So 25000 kids were sampled – it looks like they wore dosimeters for 30 days, and then the dosimeters were read.

    94% of the dosimeters read less than .2 milliseverts over one month, so those kids would all be 2.4 milliseverts or less annually.

    Which is over the limit of 1 millisevert per year, but isn’t a devastating amount.

    No radiation is good, but assuming the measurements are accurate and they represent the full dose the children have received, they are not in immediate danger.

    This confirms radiation is spreading widely and needs to be stopped. But it also confirms that if it could be contained, and life might be able to continue in Japan.

    Kudos to those who conducted this study. I hope they find even better results on the next round.

    • …Fukushima local government collected dosimeters from 25,000 children.

      The average monthly dose was 120 microSv/h, but the max was 450 microSv/h.

      Because even people who did not submit the dosimeter received “a result” for some reason, it’s highly likely to be manipulated as well.

      450 microSv/m is known to cause severe damage to unborn babies.

      According to the research of Radiation Effects Research Foundation, 0.005 Gy of total exposure increases severely …

      …Fukushima local government distributes dosemeter to children and collect them every month. They are supposed to check the radiation dose for one month and send back the results to the families.
      However one family who didn’t sent the dosemeter to Fukushima local government received “a result” and it said “0.2 mSv/m”

      …It reveals 2 important facts.

      1) They ignore internal exposure.
      2) They don’t check dosemeter at all. They only return random numbers. …

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    Here comes the illness. The pain is sinking in already at 9 months. This means the levels of radiation are comparable to the amount of fuel and debris that was spread through fallout. The children will be seriously affected by the exposure levels. The Japanese government has already set the Lethal Dose far beyond reason yet the children are already showing levels that are downright criminal. The warpigs in the government are now even denying their own radiation limits and saying that 4-5 times their own estimates are “OK” for children. This is beyond sickening. TEPCO.Gov sold out the whole country in one swift media stifling motion.

    • James2

      This is exactly a situation where data helps.

      I don’t like that these children are exposed at all, however 1 millisevert of exposure is not a “dangerous” amount – from what I’ve read.

      And I don’t think 2.4 is really either.

      If I recall, when you get near 100 milliseverts, then it’s time to hit the panic button. These kids are at a fraction of that – and that’s based on an annualized number multiplied from a time where we hope some of the worst releases happened.

      Honestly I thought it was going to be much worse.

      • Al-Chemisto

        I am glad that you (and all those like you) have volunteered to pay your way to take the place of a child in the affected region. You are also gracious enough to pay the way of that child back to your now empty bedroom in a loving family that will care for them as they grow.

        Your generosity warms my heart.

      • Radiation levels in excess of 10 millisieverts for ADULTS proven to increase cancer in short time period (5 years)

        Children are at least 10 times more vulnerable to the effects of ionizing radiation

        Cancer risk related to low-dose ionizing radiation from cardiac imaging in patients after acute myocardial infarction. By Mark J. Eisenberg MD MPH, Jonathan Afilalo MD MSc, Patrick R. Lawler MD, Michal Abrahamowicz PhD, Hugues Richard MSc, Louise Pilote MD MPH PhD

        [Excerpted] The cumulative exposure to radiation from cardiac procedures was 5.3 milliSieverts (mSv) per patient year, of which 84% occurred during the first year after acute myocardial infarction. A total of 12 020 incident cancers were diagnosed during the follow-up period. There was a dose dependent relation between exposure to radiation from cardiac procedures and subsequent risk of cancer.

        For every 10 mSv of low-dose ionizing radiation, there was a 3% increase in the risk of age- and sex-adjusted cancer over a mean follow-up period of five years (hazard ratio 1.003 per milliSievert, 95% confidence interval 1.002–1.004).

        • “Background radiation” causes cancer in children

          “In a recent paper (Wakeford et al 2009 Leukaemia 23 770–6) we estimated the proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain attributable to natural background radiation to be about 20%. In this paper we employ the two sets of published leukaemia risk models used previously, but use recently published revised estimates of natural background radiation doses received by the red bone marrow of British children to update the previous results. Using the newer dosimetry we calculate that the best estimate of the proportion of cases of childhood leukaemia in Great Britain predicted to be attributable to this source of exposure is 15–20%…”

          Mark P Little1,4, Richard Wakeford2 and Gerald M KendallUpdated estimates of the proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain that may be caused by natural background ionising radiation Journal of Radiological Protection Volume 29 Number 4 467 10.1088/0952-4746/29/4/001

          • The National Council on Radiation Protection says, “… every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremen­tal increase in the risk of cancer.”

            The Environmental Protection Agency says, “… any exposure to radiation poses some risk, i.e. there is no level below which we can say an exposure poses no risk.”

            The Department of Energy says about “low levels of radiation” that “… the major effect is a very slight increase in cancer risk.”

            The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says, “any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer … any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk.”

            The National Academy of Sciences, in its “Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII,” says, “… it is unlikely that a threshold exists for the induction of cancers ….”

            Long story short, “One can no longer speak of a ‘safe’ dose level,” as Dr. Ian Fairlie and Dr. Marvin Resnikoff said in their report “No dose too low,” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
            by John LaForge Wednesday, March 23, 2011 by Spewing from Meltdowns: Dangerous Plumes of Disinformation

            • Overall, the evidence from the studies conducted following the Chernobyl accident, nuclear tests, environmental radiation pollution and indoor accidental contamination reveals consistently increased chromosome aberration and micronuclei frequency in exposed than in referent children….

              Fucic, A.; Brunborg, G.; Lasan, R.; Jezek, D.; Knudsen, L.E.; Merlo, D.F..Genomic damage in children accidentally exposed to ionizing radiation: A review of the literature. By: Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research, Jan2008, Vol. 658 Issue 1/2, p111-123, 13p;

              • “Iodine is rapidly absorbed by the thyroid, and leaves only as it decays radioactively, with a half-life of eight days. Caesium is absorbed by muscles, where its half-life of 30 years means that it remains until it is excreted by the body. It takes between 10 and 100 days to excrete half of what has been consumed.
                “While in the body the isotopes’ radioactive emissions can do significant damage, mainly to DNA. Children who ingest iodine-131 can develop thyroid cancer 10 or more years later; adults seem relatively resistant. A study published in the US last week found that iodine-131 from Chernobyl is still causing new cases of thyroid cancer to appear at an undiminished rate in the most heavily affected regions of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.” (Debora MacKenzie

                • James2

                  In this post, you are describing ingested particles – which is not a subject of the study described above.

                  I believe these ingested particles are going to be much more dangerous than the background radiation exposure for the kids in this part of Japan.

      • dosdos dosdos

        The difference between adults and children is stem cells. When a cell in adult body is injured, it is replaced with a healthy cell. When a stem cell is damaged, it reproduced more damaged stem cells, which grow exponentially. It doesn’t take much, and the younger, the more vulnerable they are. The worst is radiated sperm cells, everything is messed up from the start. It doesn’t take much for a child. So what may not seem like much to you, to a child, it can be fatal.

      • ion jean ion jean

        However, strontium accumulates in a child 5x More than in an adult…i wondered why i threw up and was nauseous often as a child in the 60’s…i was fed isotopes from birth, the highest fallout period in history.

        These are external readings?? They represent more of the environment of these children than their body burden. More smoke and mirrors from a govt with big juicy nuclear secrets they share w/ the US…And France likes to tag along and push plutonium

        Imagine what their internal doses are by now…gamma and neutron exposure alone that close to the plant could have caused any number of trace minerals like iron and calcium to radioisotopes, also there are fission products in every drop of solid, liquid and gas their tiny bodies consume…and for how long the levels will stay high? And magnitudes higher than Chernobyl which had a slightly more realistic exclusion zone, a smaller release, and a quick sealing.

        I’m sorry i’m siding with Grampybone. There’s too much radioactive water under the bridge for any support of downplaying the damage to their health. They’re not growing right and have rashes, nausea, etc.

    • ion jean ion jean


  • James2

    Now one thing I’d like to point out – this is external radiation exposure – it doesn’t include internal exposure from food sources or inhaled particles.

    It looks like for these kids those would be a higher risk.

  • James2

    Another comment – the exposure limit of .1 millisevert for children is not the “lethal dose” or anywhere close to it.

    If I recall, the lethal dose chart started at 1 sievert (1000 millisieverts) when your life is in danger -and went up to 10 sieverts, which is for sure 100% death.

  • aigeezer aigeezer

    “Final survey data excludes the 0.06 millisieverts dosage presumed to be accumulated through natural exposure to radiation”. James2 reminds us that they also omitted internal radiation sources.

    Only a bureaucrat or an industry stooge would find an excuse to omit part of the data, it seems to me.

    I am reminded of fairy-tale announcements to the effect that unemployment is down because we have stopped counting people who have been out of work for too long.

    Beware of results published by people who have vested interests in their use.

    • James2

      I saw that, and wondered why they didn’t just throw it in – it’s pretty insignificant compared to the measured numbers.

      Which actually made the skeptical side of me try to figure out what they were hiding by not adding it in.

  • Ariana

    So, let me get this straight: it is the peoples’ responsibility to limit their radiation exposure? They hope this survey will motivate people to take action to limit their radiation exposure? HOW? GTFO! Nothing can possibly be worth the excessive exposure to their children; not money, jobs, houses, nothing.

    • James2

      At least someone is providing some data that people can make decisions on. It’s impossible to make a “walk away from everything” decision when you have no information to base it on – or worse yet, you have a bunch of lies to base it on.

      This data suggests these children are being exposed to about the equivalent of one Cat Scan per year of external radiation (this, of course excludes ingested radiation)

      Now – is that “walk away” worthy, or not?

      As I said above, it’s much less than I thought it would be – If I were a parent in this location, I would turn my attention to airborne and foodborne sources to make my decision.

      • sworldpeas

        “As I said above, it’s much less than I thought it would be” James

        Even if you thought it was less it is still 100% higher then it should be. There should be a ZERO TOLERANCE when it comes to children and nuclear radiation exposure.

        • James2

          I’m just as angry as anybody here – probably more than most – however, we cannot turn back the clock.

          The radiation is released, and we cannot do a thing about that. We can only try to find a way to help folks live through the accident – and try with everything we have to prevent another one.

      • Grampybone Grampybone

        The radiation exposure even in “low doses” are recorded for particles that emit rays that are easily detectable. There is no way to know how much uranium and plutonium the children have in their bodies or at what rate. If they are detecting 1 seivert per year than it would be fair to assume that they are also exposed to 1 seivert worth of undetectable radiation. When you ad the to together it will show the levels of accumulation and how quickly an average dose begins rising. Remember that these are the levels after 9 months so if they are at .01 seiverts now the only way these radiations levels have to go is up. The body does not shed radiation like it sheds sweat or fats from a work out. A low dose will remain and accumulate to twice this level in 9 more months time. The timeline is not a solid thing with the possibility of recent Xenon releases carrying additional fission products across Japan.

        • James2

          Please make sure you get the units correct.

          They detected .0002 sieverts or 2/10,000 in most of the children over 1 month and they multiply that by 12 months to get the yearly dose – which exceeds the limit.

          Remember that is external radiation, not internal.

          I’m as critical as anybody. It’s not good to expose these kids to any radiation, but there’s not a real hard danger until they are exposed to 100 times as much as this – thus they could conceivably life the rest of their lives with this level of external exposure.

          • dosdos dosdos

            Look above for my explanation about stem cells. You’re obviously not taking that into account.

            • James2

              Yes I am. And I understand about stem cells.

              The fact is this article describes a relatively low dose of radiation these kids are experiencing. Yes it’s not a zero dose, so some chance of cancer exists. Based on the data from this article, I believe the external radiation is not going to be a major issue.

              I still think inhaled particles are going to be the biggest issue, and I wish we had some ability to measure them.

      • James2 if you read the abstracts I posted you will see that 1 CT scan is enough to cause cancer in a kid

        Furthermore, kids in Japan are also being exposed to internal emitters as their food and water supply are contaminated.

        Their total load is multiplying rapidly and their stressed bodies will not be able to fix all of the damage.

        • James2

          I understand the numbers completely, and I do know what I’m talking about – It appears that you may not.

          I said in every post that every amount of radiation is undesirable – however it is not possible in Japan or probably anywhere in the northern hemisphere to live without radiation right now.

          I will call out the lies from Tepco and the Governments every time I see them.

          Conversely I will not overstate the danger beyond what it is. We do not need to. Things are terrible enough as it is.

          In every one of your posts where you try to refute me you are allowing statistics to overstate the danger. Let’s take for example your figure that a 10 millisievert increase can increase the cancer rate by 3%. I’ll accept that.

          However what the article above showes is not a 10 millisievert exposure – it is a .2 millisievert exposure extrapolated to a 2.5 millisievert exposure per year.

          Furthermore, the rate of childhood cancer is relatively low – on the of 15 incidents per 100,000 children. Raising that by 3% to 15.5 per 100,000 is definitely an increase, but is not a very large increase, because the base figure is so low..

          So the level of exposure described in this city 60 km from Fukushima, assuming it is correct – and I see some information posted which say it might not be – but assuming it is, this level of exposure would increase cancers less than .125 incidents per 100,000 children or a little more than 1 child per million additional will get cancer.

          If you are that 1 child – yes it is devastating. However, 1 in a million is much lower than I expected it to be.

          Now, I will again qualify that this only represents external exposure – which is why I say emphatically that the ingestion exposure is probably the one to worry about.

          I knew that you folks would jump all over me for taking this position – however if we expect the other side to be intellectually honest, then we need to be as well – and I’m happy to see a…

          • Fall out man!

            Hi James,
            I think cancer is the least of people’s worries. In the Ukraine and Belarus its typically heart attack and stroke that gets people before cancer.

            Chris Busby made that point in a lecture he made in Japan to the Japanese. In that video (there was an Enenews article about it) Chris Busby said that people living within 200km of Chernobyl suffered on average a 10 year reduction in life span. He said that he expected a similar situation within 200km of Fukushima (the edge of Tokyo is 16km from Fukushima).

            So if a person lives within 200km of Fukushima, by getting out immediately, they can potentially add 10 years to their life span (on average). That’s enough time to learn a new language and establish oneself in a new country. Its likely not just another 10 years of life but also a healthier life.

            The big thing to remember is that really statistics about cancer are a complete side track. Every part of the body is weakened by radiation and its usually heart attack and stroke that get people who have significant exposure.

            I think if more people knew that living with in 200kms of Fukushima would shorten their lifespan by an average of 10 years then a whole lot more people would make the very reasonable decision to leave.

            As for parts of japan further from Fukushima, well maybe a small reduction in lifespan of a year or two on average and worse health might be less costly than moving country’s.

            It will be interesting to see what happens to the average lifespan in Japan over the next few years. One would expect it to drop significantly, despite better medical technology.

            • Fall out man!

              One typo, the edge of Tokyo is (from memory) 160km from Fukushima (not 16 as I mistyped above)

            • Fall out man!

              Here is an article quoting Chris Busby who hear reports soon after the disaster of children in Fukushima having heart attacks. In another video I have seen of his he gives the scientific explanation of why fallout is particularly damaging to the heart and especially a child’s heart.


              • Fall out man!

                Here’s the video lecture on heart disease effects of radioactive fallout. Only a small amount gives heart trouble.


                • Fall out man!

                  One more point. Radiation causes infertility. Low level radiation from fallout increases the risk of infertility and the rate of it. Furthermore it increases the rate of deformities. That is a huge deal for Japan and I would say another good reason to get as far away from Fukushima as possible. Chris Busby discusses it here.


                  Think about it carefully. The fallout from Fukushima is damaging the genome. That’s permanent. Most mutations individually do only minor damage, so natural selection will never remove them.

                  Radiation damages the genome and brings all life closer to extinction. Each generation carries more than 60 extra mutations over the last one. Eventually all life will die out due to accumulated genetic load.

                  Sure, if one only looks at cancer, one might stay near Fukushima. But if one considers that all diseases increase. The infertility goes up (in Belarus the death rate has risen above the birth rate) and the damage to the genome is permanent and cumulative, then I think that if one has the chance, its time to leave Japan.

                  • James2

                    Given all the sources of radiation, I’m sure that you are correct – folks living in the vicinity of Fukushima are in danger of a shortened life.

                    This is also likely true for everyone living in the northern hemisphere.

                    This study – the one at the top of this thread, not others – describes a measured level of radiation that will likely shorten a very few children’s lives – but certainly not all and likely not very many.

                    In other words there are plenty of other things to be concerned about for these families than the external radiation exposure.

                    If I were a parent in this city, and I had a way to check that the data presented above is correct (there is plenty of data falsification going on), then I would continue to monitor the results of these studies, but I would spend much more of my time figuring out how to fight radiation from food sources and inhalation sources.

                    But I am not advocating doing nothing – this is a single limited study, the reactors are still spewing radiation at who-knows rates.

                    Personally, if I were a parent in this area, I would have already moved my kids to the south of Japan, if not out of the country entirely. I was quite surprised that the levels were as low as they were in this study – I would have guessed they would be more in the 100 millisievert annually range – which is the range where health effects are likely to appear at a later time.

  • thelili

    @Majia bless you and thank you for all of your hard work. (((HUGS)))

  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    Imagine the future…
    My name is Kyoko I was 8 when Fukushima melted down. My family evacuated to Koriyama at that time. The government said it was safe but maybe it was not because so many of us have cancer now. Some people left Koriyama but we stayed because my parents did not have money to go further. The government eventually only gave us a small amount of money to start over. My mother takes care of me most of the time while my father works. I do not know if I will live to 20 years old. Many countries still have nuclear plants but not Japan anymore. The second accident and so many cancers made them shut down.

  • thelili

    James2 it sounds as if you are trying to minimize the harm that has been done to these babies and children.

    Is that what you are trying to do here?

    • thelili, I posted below his comment the facts of the gov. wash, hope he seer’s it, their mouths are moving, it Say’s one thing, they are lying !

    • James2

      Well, I would love to be able to minimize the harm done to these babies and children, but I’m afraid I don’t have any ability to do that.