Asahi reports on highly radioactive mysterious bacteria around Japan — Children touching it, baby strollers nearby — Gov’t claims “no immediate effects on human health”

Published: June 14th, 2012 at 7:00 pm ET


Subscription Only: Radioactive ‘black soil’ patches: A scourge or a solution?
Asahi Shimbun AJW
June 14, 2012

Koichi Oyama noticed something strange when he was measuring radiation levels in Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. In many places where the readings jumped, the municipal assembly member found patches of dried dark soil.

Further studies found similar patches of soil–along with high radiation readings–in parts of Tokyo. In fact, the radioactive soil has been discovered as far away as Miyagi, Yamagata and Niigata prefectures.


But for now, nothing is being done about the black soil with high levels of radiation.

“Because it normally is found on the ground, we believe it is not something that will have immediate effects on human health,” a Minami-Soma municipal government official said.


“[…] no efforts have been made to prevent the spread of the radiation,” [Ayako Ishikawa, 34, head of organization of parents] said. “I have found signs that baby carriages have passed close by such locations and of children touching the soil.”

[Tomoya Yamauchi, a professor specializing in radiation measurement at Kobe University] said: “The black soil could become airborne, and that could lead to internal exposure if the soil is inhaled through the mouth. Decontamination efforts should be implemented immediately.”


Published: June 14th, 2012 at 7:00 pm ET


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34 comments to Asahi reports on highly radioactive mysterious bacteria around Japan — Children touching it, baby strollers nearby — Gov’t claims “no immediate effects on human health”

  • all visitors to ENE … The only way our goverments will respond is if People wake up and DEMAND action is taken. Nuke ops be damned

    US government officials


    Jet streams, debris tracking and other rad monitoring links,24.0.html

    Fukushima radioactive fallout forecasts and other rad updates

    Aloha to everyone doing your part!

  • The song is performed by Shella. She is a famous artist in the States and her latest single is with Akon. Anyway, she has a huge fan base that she can influence and she is against Nuclear Energy. Her grandparents live in Nishi-Nipoori Tokyo. Help spread the word about this evil energy…

  • Had to happen. Microscopic Godzillas.

  • No disrespect, but come on.. I have to deal with the radiation everyday… so please don't talk about Godzilla.

    • eatliesndie eatliesndie

      can you leave?

    • I'm trying to get out of Tokyo. It's really hard to move, but I know that I have to get out of here before it's too late. I have many young children and everyday is a nightmare trying to escape Tokyo.

      • eatliesndie eatliesndie

        I really wish you could leave, now. You and your children and all Japan's children. Political/national boundaries are a bad juke and the joke is on us. You should be able to leave. This is totally crazy!

      • Seitsukie

        nihon311, I as well live in Tokyo, in the Setagaya-ku area- besides "get out while you still can", any advice?

        • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

          You break my heart, you two. I wish I could charter a helicopter large enough for 36 million people and get all of you away from there PRONTO.

        • enoughalready45 enoughalready45


          Early into this crisis I had the thought, like other still do, why don’t people just self-evacuate? So easy to say when you feel less threatened in the Midwest USA like I am. Then as it became clear at the beginning of this year that spent fuel pool 4 was so precarious and lots of activity was occurring at Fukushima people talked about the whole Northern Hemisphere being contaminated. I started to really think about, “what if the only way for my kid to survive is for me to go to South America?” How could I, we, us evacuate, I truly started to think through the process and it was overwhelming. My spouse won’t go, which country would I go to, what about my elderly parent, my siblings, my nieces, nephews, money, job, security, racism, discrimination, isolation, kidnapping, not being allowed to stay there for long etc… I determined that you have to become a refugee, like the people you see on T.V. in many places around the world but can’t really relate too, only feel compassion for. That is what the Japanese people are facing when we think they should just get out.


          • enoughalready45 enoughalready45


            What should really happen is their government should help them, provide reliable information, relocate people from the worst areas, and protect the food supply with vigilance, stop spreading the radiation all over the whole country so people can move to safer areas and food can be grown in the safest areas, contain the nuclear accident, get out of the nuke business and move to other sources of energy. My advice to the Japanese would be to direct your frustration toward your government. Demand better. Change the way the people and the government interact. Put some candidates up for election that will work to improve things.

          • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

            I agree, enoughalready. I'd have similar worries regarding relocation. It's far easier said than done….very sensitive comment of yours, thanks!

    • daddyfixit daddyfixit

      I don't think that people in the USA understand that GOSHIRA means something totally different to people in Tokyo. Here in the states, the movie is something of a comedic icon. The movie was also edited for English speaking audiences to tone it down a bit. In other words… yes it is very disrespectful to mention godzilla.

  • apostrophes

    Still mysterious after all this time?

    Radioactive soot from burning radioactive carbonaceous debris?

  • I'm crying right now because all my friends are going to die from Fukushima. And I will join them and less I take my family out of here.

  • markww markww

    The radiation is JUST LIKE GODZILLA destroying Life of all kinds .Leave and do not look back, there is nothing you can do to save others it is a personal decision everyone needs to make themselves. If you have no transportation get a bike anything to get away from the radiation

  • apostrophes

    Ok so I'm biking away from the radiation, doin' well. Got no job, no home, just the cash I carry. Personal records and computer all back in Koriyama City, right. Kids with me on their bikes too. Ok, markww, where we goona live, sleep, go for a poo?

    • Sickputer

      APT typed these words of woe: "where we goona live, sleep, go for a poo"

      SP: It is a terrible conundrum to consider. Leave behind homes, jobs, food and with few resources for survival.

      Not everyone is an actor who can fly away to Manila.

      But…having said that…the only reason people with limited resources stay is because death is not eminent. Very key word…eminent.

      If the plant becomes totally abandoned and begins a massive release of radiation 100 times worse than it is presently emitting…will the limited resource people still feel the same?

      If all drinking water is toxic, soil is too foul to grow food, fish are deadly…what does a family do?

      What if the radiation becomes so bad within 500 miles of the plant that nobody can drink the water unless it is imported? You huddle in your houses and await some airlift of bottle water?

      This is the health puzzle…people know they may be getting sick right now, but assume they will not drop dead for 5, 10, 20 or 40 years.

      But what if that time frame shrinks 100 times? Then you might be looking at dropping dead in 18 days, a month, two months, or best case scenario 4 months?

      That extreme scenario is what would lead to a massive Tokyo Flight and a Japanese Boat Lift. And the extreme scenario is certainly plausible if just a couple of things go wrong at Fukushima Power Plant.

  • harengus_acidophilus

    “Because it normally is found on the ground, we believe it is not something that will have immediate effects on human health,”
    It sounds like:
    "While the streets aren't paved with bodies,
    there's no immediate effect."


  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    The reports of "blue-green' algae..are disturbing to me.
    Genetically Engineered Microbes:
    " One of the concerns with GEM's is that they are not naturally occurring and therefore they could potentilly upset the natural environment.This concern can be extended to bioremediation that does not even use GEM's:in bioaugmentatoin,the addition of more microbes to a naturally occurring population in the contaminated site can upset the natural balance. Futhermore,the addition of a new species of the microbe can also upset the balance of pre-existing microbe populations present. In biostimulation,the pre-existing microbe population responsible for bioremediation is being expanded beyond it's natural size and this could result in a disturbance to the balance of surrounding microbe populations. Also,the nutrients added for biostimulation could stimulate microbe species other than that intended for bioremediation.
    The consequences of this are unknown.
    Although ideally, the microbes added for augmentation or expanded biostimulation would die off when the addition of nutrients ceased, thee is a possibility that these expanded populations could continue to thrive,resulting in severe consequences for the environment.Especially with in situ bioremediation, where the contamination area is not a contained bioreactor,these environment balance issues must be considered and addressed."

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    From above: "The balance between the damage to the environment caused by toxic materials and the potential damage that may be caused by bioremedaiton must be considered.
    Perhaps the accumulative damage of the toxic material AND bioremediation should be considered.

  • pure water

    May be I do not understand something, but why decontamination does not work just on these spots? They have removed tons of soil before, now it is proven this black powder is radioactive and it just stays there, or what? Kick out the beurocracy to lick it out, if they cosider it safe! Sorry, I usually do not use such language, but this "no immediate threat" just makes me demand immediate consummation of the thing in question by those who put such labels.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Nuclear power must end in Japan.
    10,000 Protesters Against Ohi Restart, At PM Official Residence In Tokyo June 15