JAPAN | Radioactive materials in kids’ urine pose no health risks: minister

Posted on July 1, 2011

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JAPAN | MAINICHI | 1 July 2011

Pylons and a blue tarp mark the parts of a nursery school playground pronounced off-limits after the discovery of a radioactive

Pylons and a blue tarp mark the parts of a nursery school playground pronounced off-limits after the discovery of a radioactive “hotspot” there, in Noda, Chiba Prefecture. (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Education and science minister Yoshiaki Takagi on Friday downplayed concerns about trace amounts of radioactive substances found in urine samples of children from Fukushima Prefecture, saying the amounts pose no health problems.

Total internal radiation exposure for children until they reach 70 years of age would be, in the highest cases, 7.8 microsieverts of radioactive cesium 134 and 8.9 microsieverts of cesium 137, against the annual permissible dose of 1,000 microsieverts for the public, the minister said.

The figures were calculated for each nuclide by the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, without taking into account other radioactive materials, based on the urine test results released Thursday by a Fukushima citizens group and a French nongovernmental organization.

“Health checks would be necessary for more detailed analysis, but it is not something that would immediately” affect the children’s health, said Takagi, minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology.

The urine tests showed that the samples of all 10 children surveyed from Fukushima Prefecture, where a troubled nuclear plant has leaked radioactive materials, contained trace amounts of such substances.

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