Excerpts from Yasumi Iwakami’s recent interview with Shinzo Kimura — radiation specialist at Dokkyo University and former researcher at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Ministry of Health and Labor)
Translated by EX-SKF
Iwakami: What is Ms. Numauchi suffering from? Is it from radiation, stress, or something else? What do you think?
Kimura: Most likely, it is autoimmune disease from stress. Teeth falling off, nails peeling off, hair falling off, these must be a type of inflammatory reaction due to an autoimmune disease. Red spots on the skin is also from the autoimmune disease. [...]
I don’t think we will know the mechanism of how stress affects (health).
But you, Mr. Iwakami, and I are resistant to high stress. We cannot tell from a stress-resistant person.
I hear rabbits die of loneliness when abandoned by the owners. The same can happen to humans, can’t it? Stress play that big of a role.
In particular, women are more sensitive to stress. For good or bad, they are more sensitive.
It’s also a female characteristic that, because of that sensitivity, they cannot control themselves. Taking that also into consideration, I think it is appropriate to identify stress as the cause [of her problems].
- Kimura became a hero to many Japanese who wanted to know how bad the
contamination from the nuclear accident was, when he was prominently
featured in the NHK documentary series of “Mapping the radiation”. But
what he said in an interview with Yasumi Iwakami the other day
discussing Ms. Numauchi’s condition and the way he said it have made me
cautious that he may not be what people have made him to be.
- On the one hand, he insists they are the symptoms of an unspecified autoimmune disease caused by the stress from the nuclear power plant accident, and she’s more sensitive to stress because she is a woman. On the other hand, he says that there is no known mechanism whereby stress causes an autoimmune disease or any disease.
- Ms. Numauchi has a deep, low voice and jovial, cheerful demeanor, and by looking at her and listening to her the last thing you would think is this is one stressed-out, super-sensitive woman. She looks like the man of the house, in fact, without seeing her husband.
- Instead of insisting she suffers from stress-induced autoimmune disease, Mr. Kimura should have done what he became famous for: take samples of soil, vegetation in and around her house and measure the radiation, and check her with the special equipment that was featured in the NHK documentary that can measure internal radiation easily. But he didn’t, and Iwakami didn’t ask him to do so.
- Ms. Numauchi is not at all saying her problems are the result of radiation exposure. She says she just wants to know why they’ve been happening to her, her friend, and her husband. With a nationally known radiation specialist and a popular independent journalist telling her it’s just stress because she is a woman, she must have been disappointed.
- I guess her husband, who suffers numb feet and severe fatigue, must also be suffering from a feminine stress.
Published: January 14th, 2012 at 8:57 am ET