Thyroid cancer rates on the rise in Japanese children, experts warn residents to evacuate

When Japanese Professor Toshihide Tsuda of Okayama University sat down with leaders from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment, talk about citywide evacuation near the Fukushima nuclear breakdown site began. Deeply concerned about rising thyroid cancer rates in Japanese children, these leaders believe that it’s time to evacuate the city of Koriyama.

When the two spoke to Japanese government officials, their concerns were downplayed.
The Japanese government remains reluctant to evacuate the city, not wanting to scare citizens, but Professor Tsuda has begun urging residents to evacuate Koriyama anyway.

The epidemiology professor reports, “An incident rate of thyroid cancer on children in Fukushima are from several times to dozens times higher than usual. This is a rash of disease. There is a possibility [it will] increase more in [the] future and we need a countermeasure.”

A Japanese judiciary, the Sendai High Court, agrees and “acknowledges a danger of low-level radiation exposure,” and it concludes that the only solution is to evacuate or relocate children from the area. They report that changing schools in the area won’t prevent radiation exposure over 1 mSv/y. While they believe that there is “no immediate risk on health,” it’s clear that they understand the long-term risks of exposing children to radioactive particles in the area.