Some groups of Japanese people living near the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant are being threatened by small risk of some cancers, the World Health Organization(WHO) has reported.
Those people and emergency workers who exposed to radiation of the nuclear plant after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan are at the risk of cancer though it remained small, the report says. “The radiation doses received by the surrounding population are small, even for the most exposed communities,” said Professor Richard Wakeford from Dalton Nuclear Institute. According to the ongoing assessment done by a team of international experts, there is no health risk for those people who are living in other parts of Japan. Among those who exposed to radiation, infants are in higher risks compared with children or adults. For infant girls, the report indicated a 4% increase above the lifetime expected risk of solid tumors and a 6% increase above that expected for breast cancer. A 7% increased risk of leukaemia higher than expected rate in the normal population also found in exposed infant boys. While iodine released in nuclear accidents is absorbed by the thyroid, the biggest risk was demonstrated in thyroid cancer, which for infant girls could be up to 70% higher than expected over their lifetime. "The primary concern identified in this report is related to specific cancer risks linked to particular locations and demographic factors," WHO director for public health and environment, Dr Maria Neira explained. In March 2011, a powerful tsunami generated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake out at sea slammed into the nuclear power plant in north-eastern Japan, damaging four of six reactors at the site. Some 110,000 people living around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had to evacuate the area after the massive earthquake.