Thursday, June 16, 2011

#Radiation in Japan: Testing of Vegetables Only 0.1%, Government Discourages "Unauthorized" Health Checks in Affected Areas

Japan must be the least suited country in the world to deal with an emergency situation, because it doesn't recognize it is an emergency.

Thanks to the net, though, people are speaking up even in Japan and spreading information. Here are two such examples, tweets in Japanese from Japan. They could be what their government and its apologists call "baseless rumors", but I doubt it although 'm not giving any guarantee that they aren't.

(Then again, as one of my Twitter followers reminded me, "Radiation is rumor; safety is religion; ignorance is strength.")

First, a tweet from @tatsuofujii 藤井 辰雄. He says he became a farmer in Inawashiro, Fukushima Prefecture three years ago. He evacuated after the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident, and says as a responsible producer he wouldn't grow and sell vegetables if there is even a slight possibility that his vegetables may harm children and women capable of becoming pregnant.

His June 14 tweet:

日が経つにつれて危機意識が薄れてる。野菜にこだわって生 産してきた福島の農家として警告します。未だに農産物は出荷量に対し99.9%以上未検査。1市町村1圃場だけのサンプル検査です。自治体が出す安全宣言 などは現時点で非常にいい加減な検査手法により出されています。

I sense that people are getting less vigilant as days go by. But I warn you, as a farmer who has taken much pride in growing the best vegetables possible, that more than 99.9% of the agricultural produce shipped are not tested, even today. The test for radioactive materials is done by sampling in one farm plot per city/town/village. The "safety declaration" by municipalities are being issued, based on this flimsy testing.

So that's how Shizuoka Prefecture may have tested their teas: one bag from one factory per one tea growing region. Unfortunately for the governor of Shizuoka, a Tokyo grocer did the independent testing, and he had to order the testing at all 100 factories in that one particular tea growing region.

Here's a tweet by a medical doctor, @KamiMasahiro 上 昌広. His Twitter profile says he is a doctor in internal medicine, and the site he lists on Twitter goes to the Tokyo University Institute of Medical Science, and he is a professor in the Division of Social Communication System.

His June 13 tweet:

飯舘村で一緒に健康相談した医師から。何考えているんだろう。 「本日、病院幹部(私もその一人)に文科省と厚労省の連名で通達が書面できました。原発被害を受けた地域への関係学会が認めない健康診断や調査は住民たちの負担を増やすので、許可を得てからやりなさいと」

Message from the doctor I worked with in Iitate-mura [in Fukushima Prefecture], when we gave medical advice to the villagers. I don't know what they [the government ministries] are thinking. "Today, our hospital received a written notice signed by both the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The notice says "The medical checkups and research of the residents in the areas affected by the nuke plant accident are allowed only if the permission to do so is given by the related scientific societies and associations; otherwise it would only increase the burden on the residents.""


Anonymous said...

I fear that the Ministries will use this excuse to halt the free clinic from your earlier post here:

Prayers for the people of Japan as they contend with radioactive contaminants, TEPCO, and their own government! Hope

Anonymous said...

it is time for some organisation in japan to to start a proper emergency responce to this disaster...when the government unravels as it surely will as the effects of radiation become so apparent to the population, it will be important for a conserted and combined plan of action to be implimented...i can only hope that some organisation and\or individuals are strategising such a plan of action...i believe that the japanese above all others could plan and implement such a plan....although the main stream media in the west are largely silent, the details of the situation are not completly hidden and there are many looking at this disaster and waiting to support the japanese when the time comes for positive humane are not alone light and peace

KANES said...

Please find hereafter information on FUKUSHIMA I get regularly by RADIONICS with the request to forward it to the Japanese people in order to help protecting them :

God bless you !

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

This mimics the IAEA's absolute control over the WHO research and opinions on radiation effects. Under the watchful eye of IAEA nuclear cheerleaders the WHO ignores any independent medical research coming out of the Chernobyl region that doesn't reinforce the notion that everything is OK. The US ABCC did the same thing after WWII with the Hibakusha. Japanese research participation in the ABCC was heavily controlled and independent research was either co-opted or discouraged.

This kind of cover-up is standard operating procedure for the nuclear industry both civilian and military. If the actual dangers of ionizing radiation were fully and openly studied in a transparent manner the cost of doing business would skyrocket.

This is an interesting book if you can find it my English copy was printed in Germany by Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg in 1991. This could explain why Germany has a lot anti-nuclear sentiment. In contrast I have found most of the books I've purchased in the last 15 year that are critical of nuclear power are from school and public libraries. It is almost like an information purge.

"Chernousenko offers the first set of figures available on the great wave of morbidity that swept through the Soviet population after Chernobyl. The fallout was concentrated mainly in the three Soviet republics of Belarus (formerly Byelorussia), Ukraine and Russia, where the bulk of the emissions settled on more than 100,000 square kilometers. But the reluctance of the Soviet authorities to recognize the true extent of the contamination of farmland resulted in the shipment of contaminated food and grain to all the former Soviet republics, thus spreading radiation illness.

Public health surveys in which Chernousenko participated revealed that in Belarus, which was hardest hit, there is hardly a child who is not suffering from some immune deficiency disease, either cardiovascular, Iymphoid or oncological; most of these children are unable to attend a full day in school. A 1989 public health survey indicated that in the three biggest provinces of Ukraine every second adult was ill. In Ukraine and Belarus, the incidence of immune deficiency diseases has doubled or tripled since 1985 and is now spreading to all other areas that have been consuming radioactive food. Confirmation of this finding came in a letter endorsed by World Health Organization officials that was published in the September 3, 1992, issue of Nature. The letter revealed that the incidence of thyroid cancer cases among children in Belarus rose from two in 1986 to fifty-five in 1991. Similar extraordinary increases in children's thyroid cancer were reported in Gdansk, Poland, using the same World Health Organization criteria."

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

@ Areva

Your Japanese readers may find this information of interest. I have a friend in the EPA who turned me on to a 1999 survey the EPA/NRC did on radioisotope concentration in sewage sludge back in 1999. This shows the issue was recognized back in the 90's why is it such a shock to officials in Japan a decade later? You'd think people in sewage management would be aware of this problem by now. There are a lot of related references at the end of the document. My EPA friend said not to expect to find detailed information on the results of the survey in open sources.

"This survey responds, in part, to a recommendation in the General Accounting Office (GAO) report, "Actions Needed to Control Radioactive Contamination at Sewage Treatment Plants," published in May 1994. The GAO report recommended that NRC determine the extent of elevated levels of radioactive materials at POTWs and establish acceptable limits for radioactive materials in sewage sludge and ash.
A joint House/Senate hearing was held in 1994 to officially release and address questions raised in the GAO report. The hearing was stimulated by concerns associated with elevated levels of radioactive materials in incinerator ash at a major sewage treatment plant in the Cleveland, Ohio, area. The GAO stated that, over the past 20 years, NRC documented about a dozen situations where elevated levels of radioactive materials were identified in sewage sludge or sludge incinerator ash; but, there has been no national survey of radiation levels present in sewage sludge or sludge incinerator ash to determine if this is a widespread problem."

ISCORS Radioactivity survey

This summary says everything is "generally" fine. I can't imagine how sewage plants ran during the A-bomb test days. Maybe this is part of the reason this issue didn't surface until after the test ban.

" * The levels of radioactive materials founding sewage sludge and ash samples from most POTWs are generally low and the associated radiation exposure to workers and the general public is very low, and not likely to be of concern.
* The estimated radiation doses to potentially exposed individuals are generally well below levels requiring radiation protection actions. For unique POTW worker and on-site resident scenarios, does exceeding protective standards could occur, primarily due to indoor radon generated as a decay product of NORM (e.g., 226Ra and 228Th). Such exposures can be significantly reduced through the use of readily available radon testing and mitigation technologies.
* Where the estimated annual dose from all radionuclides exceeds 10 mrem yr-1, ISCORS recommends that the POTW operator consult with the state radiation protection regulatory agency. The 10 mrem yr-1 criterion is not a limit, does not include radon, and is not intended to suggest that higher dose levels are unacceptable."

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this was the 'real' reason the IAEA sent a delegation to Japan? Were they helping the Japanese instill the guidelines that proved effective in muddying the waters, distorting the truth following Chernobyl? If I recall correctly, doctors in the Soviet Union were barred from reporting any death as being caused by radiation for the first few years after Chernobyl. Did the IAEA go to Japan to 'help' them with this kind of instruction?

Anonymous said...

Shizuoka radioactive tea leaves reached France.

=> Cesium detected, stock blocked, it will be destroyed ( 1 038 Bq/kg ; European legal limits: 500Bq/kg )

MonaVie said...

This is what scares me. I hope that authorities would verify the truth to this for people's safety.

Lucy said...

I like to make friends with you,haha.

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