Title: Fukushima Mothers Worried About Cancer Risk
Date: Feb. 28, 2013
Fukushima Mothers Worried About Cancer Risk
Description: A new report says the risk of cancer is low at a Japanese nuclear site damaged in the earthquake and tsunami two years ago, but local mothers still have serious concerns.
Reporter: At this kindergarten in Fukushima, Japan, the playground is monitored by a radiation detection device. [...] Local health authorities are monitoring every child for thyroid abnormalities, but for mothers like Makiko Suzuki it’s not enough.
Makiko Suzuki: I want to get another opinion, but it’s difficult. Thyroid specialists are really rare. I’d have to travel really far to find a decent doctor who knows all about thyroid cancer.
Reporter: A new World Health Organization report finds females exposed as infants in the most contaminated area could have a 70-percent higher risk of developing thyroid cancer. [...] Japanese scientists are trying to calm worried mothers, but admit that more research is needed.
Fukushima Medical University Professor Shinichi Suzuki: In the case of Chernobyl, thyroid cancer started to appear four or five years later. It doesn’t show up straightaway. Long-term, even more than 25 years on, there are still cases of thyroid cancer appearing in Chernobyl. So whatever we tell mothers right now, they’re unlikely to be reassured.
Reporter: Two years after the disaster, Fukushima officials say more than 40-percent of local children have some thyroid abnormalities.
Published: February 28th, 2013 at 11:16 pm ET