Thursday, April 7, 2011

#Radiation in Japan: "Nothing to Worry About, Kids", Says Asahi Headline

Asahi Shinbun (4/6/2011) reported on a ceremony to welcome new pupils at 4 elementary schools in Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture. The children were to be enrolled in 4 elementary schools near the coast that were damaged in the earthquake/tsunami. So they had a ceremony in Iwaki City's Culture Center by bus from their emergency shelters.

Headline: "Nothing to Worry About. Welcome Ceremony in Iwaki City for 4 Elementary Schools"

The title is quoting a 6-grader who offered the words of welcome to the little kiddies.

The article shows pictures of little boys and girls wearing masks to protect against radioactive materials in the air, with parents who also wear masks.

Nothing to worry about?? Really.

Here's Iwaki City's radiation level on April 6. Between 0.41 to 0.55 micro-sievert/hr, as measured at the Iwaki City Hall Complex.

The City Hall Complex is about 400 meters away from the Culture Center.

In a nuclear plant, areas that measures more than 0.6 micro-sievert/hr are designated as "nuclear control zone", and you have to post a sticker like this.

There were public schools and kindergartens in the high radiation areas in Tohoku and Kanto that wanted to postpone the ceremony or cancel altogether for the safety of small children.

The national government said No. It said no, you must hold the ceremony and must start the school as planned. And it will be up to the school principals whether to let the children play outside. (Information from the blog by one of Iwaki City representatives, Kazuyoshi Sato)

"Nothing to worry about, kids."

Now I remember the worst case of mercury poisoning in Japan happened in Kyushu (Minamata); for a very long time, the residents of Minamata were told it was absolutely safe to eat fish caught in the bay polluted with mercury, and that mercury was good for them.

So it is nothing new in Japan. Sadly.


Anonymous said...

The mercury poisoning incident you mentioned is one of the four big pollution diseases in Japan lets hope radiation doesn't become the 5th.

Anonymous said...

BTW, there is a plant know as Spiderwort it is a natural radiation/chemical detector. 12-13 days after exposure the plant blue stamina change from blue to pink the more the contamination the more pronounced the change.

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