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Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.11

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo 21. Type of food affects a level of contamination in the body The primary cause of internal exposure is ingestion of contaminated food, not inhalation of contaminated air. To avoid taking in contaminated food, "the place of production" is not important. Various inspections have confirmed that the "type of food" influences the level of contamination. Indeed, specific "types of food" such as mushrooms, some wild vegetables, and meat, could be associated with contamination which would exceed the standard value, although its frequency is on the decrease year by year. On the other hand, rice and vegetables are safe most of the tim

A notice from the welfare office:【Forced Sterilization】Junko’s Story (3)

Author: Waseda Chronicle Piture: Documents that the welfare office in Ishinomaki about Junko Junko Iizuka’s abdominal pain following the sterilization surgery continued to anguish her. She was never told about the surgery, though her parents knew all along. She was heartbroken that somebody had sterilized her out of the blue, and that she could no longer bear children. One day, her rage boiled over. Not knowing where to release it she confronted her mother, crying. Instead of comforting her, her mother yelled at Junko. “When are you going to stop complaining!” (*1) ◆ This wasn’t the only time adults had made decisions about her life without her knowledge. In Junko’s possession are eight shee

Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.9

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo 17. Examinations for "Internal exposure" and "External exposure" are different Do you know what happens when you get a Whole-Body Counter examination immediately after taking X-ray and CT scan? The answer is "nothing will be detected." If you are wondering "Wait, huh?", let's take a look back on the relationship between radiation and radioactive substances. We receive exposure from radiation emitted from radioactive substances.X-ray and CT scans correspond to "external radiation exposure" where our body is exposed to the radiation from an external source. They are, therefore, not a type of medical examination causes internal

Confession:【Forced Sterilization】Junko’s Story(2)

Author: Waseda Chronicle Picture: Junko Iizuka talking to reporters at a press conference at the Sendai Bar Association on Jan. 30, 2018. She was wearing a pink scrunchy around her right wrist, a gift from a victim’s family. (C)Waseda Chronicle Junko Iizuka returned home in 1963, aged 16, just three years after beginning to work as a live-in maid in Sendai. One day she found herself doubling over from the worst pain she had ever experienced. The pain in her belly was so bad she couldn’t stand. It has assaulted her every month since then. “Something was wrong.” She started to suspect the pain was related to what happened at the clinic (*1). She does not remember anything that happened at the

Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.8

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo 15. The role of total dose in radiation effect If we compare guzzling a bottle of wine in one go to sipping on it for a year, it is unquestionable that the former would be more dangerous to our health. This goes the same for radiation effect as well. In the case of being exposed to "the same total dose of radiation," longer exposure time has less effect to our body than shorter exposure time, although it sounds awful to be exposed for an extended period of time. It is important to note that this only applies under the condition of consuming "the same total amount" of alcohol. Spending 10 days to drink a bottle of alcoholic be

Regional inequality in surgical care in Cambodia from the perspective of an anesthesiologist in Japa

Author: Yurie Somekawa Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo I have been working as an anesthesiologist for the past 5 years, and this year, I started to learn about public health at the school of public health for my master’s degree while I am working. I started to work as a medical volunteer in Asian developing countries about 2 years ago, and my visit to Cambodia in August 2018 was my third. I am interested in the field of global health, especially aiming to reduce the number of people in the world who cannot receive the necessary medical care. People often ask me why I am engaged in global health. My first influence was probably books about the lives of people in developing countries a

Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.7

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo 13. Cesium is the primary causes of radiation exposure in our daily life There are various radioactive substances, such as cesium, potassium, strontium, and tritium.Although their name is different, they emit the same type of radiation rays, also known as alpha, beta, or gamma rays. That is why we cannot tell the types of radioactive substances from radioactive rays which hit our bodies. As I have highlighted in the previous article, the amount of radioactive substance is the point of focus, when we think about their impact on our body. Some of you might wonder whether we do not have to think about strontium and plutonium. If

Crossing the Atago Bridge: 【Forced Sterilization】Junko’s Story(1)

Author: Waseda Chronicle Picture: Atago Bridge over Hirose River at dusk, October 28, 2017, (C)Waseda Chronicle Junko Iizuka was forced to undergo sterilization surgery 55 years ago. She was just 16 years old. She was given not a word of explanation nor told what to expect. Now aged 77, she lives alone in a two-bedroom public housing apartment in Sendai, the largest city in the Tohoku region. When Waseda Chronicle visited her on August 30, 2017, she dragged two cardboard boxes out of her bedroom. Inside was a treasure trove of documents about Japan’s forced sterilization program. Some she had obtained through the Act on Access to Information: records and minutes of her negotiation with gover

Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.6

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura Editors: Mariko Irie, Izumi Yoshida, Yuki Senoo 11.An examination of “additional” radiation exposure External radiation exposure is the type of the exposure which occurs when you are exposed to radiation originating outside of the human body. On the other hand, internal exposure is caused by the radioactive substances taken into our body. In our daily life, internal exposure occurs when we inhale radioactive radon in the air and intake radioactive potassium through our diet. By contrast, external exposure is caused by radiation which is released from the universe and the soil. As I previously explained, their amount is not constrained, but distribution can be diver

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