Now 35.8% of Fukushima children have thyroid cysts or nodules — 13,646 do and 24,468 don’t

Published: July 15th, 2012 at 9:35 am ET


Follow-up to:

  • [intlink id=”1143-fukushima-children-lumps-thyroid-gland-26-1-every-3-kids-tested” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

  • [intlink id=”mainichi-publishes-report-on-thyroid-cancer-30-in-fukushima-now-with-tumors-of-2cm-or-less-thyroid-gland-only-5cm-by-3cm-total-claims-cancer-increases-after-10-sievert-radiation-dose-so-japan-ok” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

The thyroid examination section of the sixth report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey (Section 7 here) translated by Fukushima Voice:


Fiscal Year 2011 Thyroid Examination Summary (as of the end of March, 2012)

[…] breakdown by size of nodules […]

  • Of 38,114 examined, 37,729 (19,036 boys and 18,693 girls) had no nodules.

  • 201 had nodules graded A2, smaller than 5.0 mm.

  • 184 had nodules graded B, larger than 5.0 mm.


[…] breakdown by size of cysts […]

  • Of 38,114 examined, 24,730 (12,890 boys and 11,840 girls) had no cysts..

  • 12,414 had cysts smaller than 5.0 mm.

  • 969 had cysts graded A2, smaller than 20.0 mm.

  • 1 had cysts graded B, larger than 20.0 mm.

SOURCE: Fukushima Voice

Update: [intlink id=”36-fukushima-children-thyroid-cysts-nodules-compares-08-2001-control-group-japan” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: July 15th, 2012 at 9:35 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Just 0.8% of children in 2001 Japanese control group had thyroid cysts or nodules — 36% in Fukushima study July 15, 2012
  2. Feature documentary on Fukushima kids with newly discovered thyroid cysts and nodules January 27, 2013
  3. Part II: Fukushima girls have 3 times more thyroid NODULES over 10 millimeters than boys — Also 56% more medium-sized nodules than boys September 17, 2012
  4. Fukushima Gov’t: Over 35% of young people tested have thyroid cysts or nodules April 30, 2012
  5. UK newspaper reports on Fukushima children with abnormal thyroid growths July 19, 2012

36 comments to Now 35.8% of Fukushima children have thyroid cysts or nodules — 13,646 do and 24,468 don’t

  • jec jec

    Close to 40% for TESTED children have cysts. In most medical discussions, children having cysts is rare, except of course, in Fukushima or Chernobyl. All cysts should be tested for cancer! So if I was a parent, and the testing was NOT done on my child, I would be very very worried. And if tested, and found with a cyst–its not a "watch do nothing" activity. For those found clear,at this time, testing is necessary at least yearly.

    • jec jec

      Daughter has thyroid cancer. We have been in the situation facing these parents with questions. We were in the Chernobyl fallout area.

    • arclight arclight

      japan needs socialised care .. now!! like in europe because the children will be moving around as will the adults.. its fair for all too! cost effective and necessary imo..

      .. the children of fukushima need to be in less contaminated areas.. japan needs to import food for the people and step up monitoring of soils, water and food…..

      its gotta be done..

  • arclight arclight

    interesting timing for publication?????????

    Received 19 June 2012
    Accepted 28 June 2012
    Published 12 July 2012

    Thyroid doses for evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear accident

    Shinji Tokonami, Masahiro Hosoda, Suminori Akiba, Atsuyuki Sorimachi, Ikuo Kashiwakura & Mikhail Balonov

    "…A primary health concern among residents and evacuees in affected areas immediately after a nuclear accident is the internal exposure of the thyroid to radioiodine, particularly I-131, and subsequent thyroid cancer risk. In Japan, the natural disasters of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 destroyed an important function of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) and a large amount of radioactive material was released to the environment. Here we report for the first time extensive measurements of the exposure to I-131 revealing I-131 activity in the thyroid of 46 out of the 62 residents and evacuees measured. The median thyroid equivalent dose was estimated to be 4.2 mSv and 3.5 mSv for children and adults, respectively, much smaller than the mean thyroid dose in the Chernobyl accident (490 mSv in evacuees). Maximum thyroid doses for children and adults were 23 mSv and 33 mSv, respectively….."

    is this nature report true??


      Fukushima prefecture stopped Hirosaki University's investigation at the time, so this study is not a complete picture. In news report dated 3/9/2012, they reported maximum of 87 mSv for adults and 47 mSv in children.

      In the article they assume only 4 hours of inhalation in the afternoon of 3/15/2012 because rain beginning at 5 pm made radioactive materials fall on ground, making them unavailable for inhalation. They also assume ingestion negligible due to stopped milk consumption.

      On Table 2 they estimated thyroid dose for children using assumed maximum atmospheric I-131 concentration, showing 36-63 mSv.

      Incidentally, one of the co-authors wrote this.


        Sorry, got the wrong year in the second paragraph. "only 4 hours inhalation in the afternoon of 3/15/2011," not 3/15/2012.

      • FRCSR, right, Balonov authored the hit piece on Yablokov and Nesterenko's book, "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment". He claimed their research would cause panic.

    • Thank you both Arclight and FRCSR for these links.

      here is the info I've collected so far. I'll add yours:

      On July 6 2011 the Japanese press Kyodo reported that in a March survey of 1,080 children aged 0 to 15 in Iwaki, Kawamata, and Iitate, 45% of kids in Fukushima survey had thyroid exposure to radiation

      In August 2011, NHK reported that Japan’s nuclear commission had erased children’s exposure data derived from a test of 1,000 children aged 15 or younger who had been screened for radiation affecting their thyroid. The report stated that one four year old child had a thyroid exposure of 35 millisieverts, but that the amount was “not considered a health threat.”

      This exposure level accounts only for Iodine-131 and does not incorporate the child’s total exposure to other radionuclides.

      In April 2012, the Peace Philosophy Centre posted the results of the Fukushima government’s March 2012 survey of 38,001 children under 18 located in thirteen Fukushima prefecture cities. Thyroid nodules (5.0mm) or cyst (20.0mm) were detected in 13,460 individuals, or 35.3% of the sample. These results were an increase of 5.6% from a January pre-test.

    • I don't know anything about measuring iodine-131 in thyroids.

      Does anyone have the expertise to comment on the methodology employed in the article published at Nature, cited by Arclight here:

      valuation of thyroid equivalent dose

      "We made I-131 activity measurements in the thyroid for examinees from two different areas. Seventeen were residents in Tsushima District of Namie Town, heavily contaminated with radioactive materials released from the crippled plant. Forty five were those evacuated from coastal areas including Minami-soma City located to the north of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. We measured activity in the thyroid during the period from April 12th to 16th, 2011, using a 3-inch × 3-inch NaI(Tl) scintillation spectrometer (JSM-112, Hitachi Aloka Medical, Ltd., Tokyo). We wrapped the detection head with plastic foil and cleaned the neck with alcohol wipes so as to avoid radioactive contamination. We then placed the detection head on the cleaned part of the neck and started the measurement. After 300 sec, we obtained a gamma-ray pulse height spectrum. Using the I-131 counting data, we calculated the activity by the equation (1):

      • Retrospective thyroid equivalent dose by inhalation for young children

        In order to estimate the retrospective thyroid dose by inhalation for young children with high risk, we used the maximum atmospheric I-131 concentration estimated from the thyroid activity of evacuees. We calculated the concentration (CI: Bq m−3) as the following equation:

        MAJIA HERE It seems there is a an awful lot of speculation and guessing going on in this article but I lack the expertise to evaluate it…

        • majia, in addition to the procedural defects noted by FRCSR, the study did not account for I-132, I-133, I-135, and I-129, and used the flawed ICRP measurement model which has been criticized and replaced by Chris Busby and the ECRR.

          It is likely that there was much more I-132 and I-135 than I-131 exposure in the early days.

          • Hi Bobby1

            I would appreciate your comments on my analysis of the study if you have a chance


            I'll incorporate your suggestions above…

            • chrisk9

              Good post and analysis of the study on your blog. your question about the type of scintillation detector is one of the best questions to ask because that was the first thing that stood out to me.

              The small one inch detector would never be used in the real world for accurate detection. And even the 4 inch version, even though it is better is not how accurate iodine measurements would ever be taken in any operating plant in the United States. They could be used to indicate the presence of iodine, but should not be a tool of quantitative measurement.

              And the study was conducted a month after exposure started and peaked for an isotope I131 that has a half life of 7 days. One sixteenth of the dose received the during the first few days would be all that is left.

              Their are other issues with this study, but it is not worth commenting further if the basics are wrong to start with.

              • Thank you very much Chris9

                If it is ok with you, I would like to include your comments in the post?


              • chrisk9

                OMT- the correct way to measure iodine is with a whole body counter in a shielded room. The counting would take about 5 minutes per person, and these counters are located in every nuclear facility in Japan or elsewhere. It would take a day or two to move one and set it up, but it is fairly simple to do.

            • majia, I posted a comment on your blog.

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      They are not trimming employees, just reducing the cost of those they have. They will be replaced by younger, less expensive employees. So, the appearance is given to the public that they are cutting costs, but as time goes by, the cost will be the same.

      Also, I question whether the new hires will be even as "liberal" as the previous employees. It's now a different NRC.

  • jec jec

    READ this article that follows for treatment guildlines! Normally doctors find 1.5% children with thyroid noduals/cysts. Fukushima…35.8% of children have noduals/cycts. HUGE HUGE increase–23 times!. And that in less than a YEAR of exposure. If someone can translate and post the article, it would help in the decision for care:

    • jec jec

      REAL Doctors do specific testing when a cyst or nodual is discovered!Again translation for the Japanese victims would be helpful…

      "A careful work-up, comprising the patient’s history, clinical examination, laboratory tests, thyroid ultrasound, scintigraphy, fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) and molecular studies, is mandatory to improve the preoperative diagnosis."

  • StPaulScout StPaulScout

    " 13,646 do and 24,468 don’t"

    Wait another year and these number will surely be reversed.

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    All they worry about is Iodine 131, just like worry about number 4 and forget about the others. I'm certain the thyroid is not all being effected by radiation. Just one radioactive isotope? Come on.

    Let us be kind, one to another, for we are each of us together in our radiation exposure.

    • ML

      We know radioactive iodine concentrates in thyroid but so does cesium:
      Yury Bandazhevsky was the first to create an institute in Belarus, in 1989, specially dedicated to scientific work on the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Caesium-137 levels in children's organs were examined at autopsy. The highest accumulation of Cs-137 was found in the endocrine glands, in particular the thyroid, the adrenals and the pancreas. High levels were also found in the heart, the thymus and the spleen." (Wikipedia bandazhevsky)
      ALso yttrium 90, daughter product of strontium 90 affects endocrine organs:
      "Yttrium-90 doesn't mimic calcium, like strontium 90. But, like Sr90, it is also an organ-seeker and spews out a beta ray (and a gamma too). Whereas strontium-90 seeks out the skeleton, Yttrium-90 seeks out many soft tissue organs of the body, including the reproductive organs, the liver, lung, pancreas, and also the thyroid and pituitary glands. Many of these soft tissue organs have glandular functions that play important roles in adult life and in child-bearing. When the thyroid-pituitary is damaged by radiation in pregnant mothers, hormone level imbalances can create a hostile environment for prenatal development, especially for the radiosensitive brain organ and the lungs…Although yttrium-90 has a half-life of just 64 hours – it decays to safe levels in about 30 days – there is a constant supply of fresh Yttrium-90 from the decay of strontium-90 in our bones." con't

      • ML

        "Although yttrium-90 has a half-life of just 64 hours – it decays to safe levels in about 30 days – there is a constant supply of fresh Yttrium-90 from the decay of strontium-90 in our bones. It emerges from the bone marrow into the blood and collects in the soft tissue organs. Our bodies are thus radiochemical factories: 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week, strontium-90 from our hard organs – the bone and teeth – is processed into yttrium-90 that collects in the soft tissues. Yttrium-90 emits a beta and gamma ray to become stable and non-radioactive zirconium-90, which is no good for our bodies either!"
        So there are other avenues to assault the endocrine glands with man-made radionuclides besides I-131.


    There are over 310,000 more Fukushima children still awaiting thyroid examination.

    Please refer to this article about the January letter from Shunichi Yamashita to members of Japan Thyroid Association, asking them to adhere to the guidelines set by Fukushima University Medical School.

    "Although Fukushima University Medical School claims that these ultrasound findings are “mostly normal” and commonly found in children, the study co-authored by Shunichi Yamashita in 2001 revealed that normal children in Nagasaki had 0% nodules and 0.8% cysts on ultrasound."

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    A team of researchers led by Toshikazu Suzuki, a section head at the NIRS Research Center for Radiation Emergency Medicine, conducted an independent study of the same measurement data. The team estimated the lifetime thyroid doses of the 1,080 children at 12 millisieverts on average and 42 millisieverts at the maximum. The dose estimates were 30 millisieverts or more for four of the subjects. The children tested were from at least 10 municipalities, and the dose estimates tended to be higher for those from Iitate and Iwaki.”

    The NIRS study also found many of the children with “zero” according to the government actually had a lifetime equivalent dose. “Despite the government announcing more than half of the children had zero exposure, the independent study found that on average they did receive thyroid gland doses of internal radiation. Several children were judged to have received an equivalent lifetime dose to the thyroid.”

    ~more links via article~

  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

    "Fukushima Medical University, as you recall, has Dr. Shunichi Yamashita as the vice president. He and his associates are responsible for telling the residents in Iitate-mura and other high radiation cities and towns in Fukushima that it was safe to be outside, to eat vegetables, to drink water, when the radioactive fallout was falling heavily in Fukushima in March and April."

  • Tumrgrwer Tumrgrwer

    Doctor, how can he be a doctor with that kind of advice. Maybe he has a background or family as coroners. He needs to be force fed fuku produce. Remember the need to share and smile. For his misleading lies, drinking cooling water ought to do the trick.

    Let us be kind, one to another, for we are each of us together in our pain!

  • alasanon

    What are children still doing in Fukushima, Japan?? NO child should be hanging around a nuclear accident or explosion, much less three uncontained meltdowns!!!….but some are STILL there???

    I'm very sorry to read about these kids. The requisite expectation of a "normal life" for your children may be subject to change soon!!…For millions!…


      Fukushima prefecture is doing everything possible to keep children there, going so far as offering free medical care for all children. It's critical for Fukushima to be carrying on "normal" life so that the nuclear industry can go on with their plans.

      “Without recovery of Fukushima, there is no future for nuclear power in Japan” – this is the commitment of the nuclear industry. We will devote ourselves entirely to restoration of municipalities around the station and to decommissioning the reactors."

      This is part of the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey" which shows the external exposure dose.

      "The Committee assessed the results saying 'these estimates
      lead us to believe there will be no effect on the health of the residents surveyed' based upon previous epidemiological studies."

      Cover-up, lies, and minimization have always been three pillars of the nuclear industry's strategy.

  • gottagetoffthegrid

    10 Sv is a FATAL dose not merely a risk increase.

  • parwie

    It is not only about the children!

    Officials never talk about that because the one that runs a nuclear plant has to pay the iodine prophylaxis and hiding the fact that adults are at risk too cuts in half the costs.