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August 30, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

105. Investigations of radiation-related health effects have been conducted under various conditions.

Radiation’s impact on health is determined by the extent of the exposure dose, not by the number of past exposures. Numerous investigations have been conducted to determine what extent of radiation exposure is dangerous, including studies of (1) medical, (2) natural background, and (3) occupational radiation exposure.

Regarding occupational radiation exposures, researchers have reported on the health information of workers at nuclear facilities in several countries. As a result, a variety of research papers on occupational radiation are available, including a review of the data from 15 countries and an investigation of the number of cancer deaths among 200,000 nuclear-power workers (with an average radiation exposure of 12 millisieverts).

The results from studies such as these reveal that the relationship between the risk of...

August 24, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

103. Medical radiation does not increase lung cancer risk

The impact of radiation on health is determined by the extent of the exposure dose, not by whether one has experienced any exposure in the past. In that case, what level of radiation exposure is deemed dangerous? Numerous investigations have been conducted to find answers to this question, including those for medical radiation,1 natural background radiation,2 and occupational radiation exposure.3

Well-known previous research papers on the topic of medical radiation are ones that investigated the risks of breast and lung cancer due to radiation exposure during chest examinations for pulmonary tuberculosis. In the first half of the 20th century, it was common practice to artificially induce a pneumothorax (collapse a part of the lungs) as a surgical treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis. During this operation, it was necessary to apply radiation to the patient’s chest t...

August 13, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

101. The level of radiation exposure in Fukushima too low to increase cancer risk

Radiation exists in our surrounding environment; all of us have been exposed to radiation to some extent in our everyday lives. The impact of radiation on health is determined by the extent of the exposure dose, not by whether one has experienced exposure in the past.

In that case, what extent of radiation exposure is deemed dangerous? The result of the health survey conducted after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki provides us the best answer to this question: of course, nuclear weapons must never be used again.

This survey was launched by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) under the federal government of the United States and the Radiation Effects Research Foundation under the Japanese government in 1950. Since then, these entities have continuously investigated long-term radiation-related health effects. This survey cover...

August 6, 2019

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

99. The calculated level of radiation exposure is overestimated 

Various international organizations have published reports regarding the levels of radiation exposure and the radiation-induced health effects caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

The report published by the United Nations in 2013 assessed the levels of radiation exposure more accurately than the report by the World Health Organization, taking various kinds of data into account. However, the United Nations’ calculation results still overestimated potential radiation exposure when considering what was actually observed in Fukushima Prefecture.

In particular, the estimates of internal radiation exposure by the United Nations were a few times higher than the actual levels of thyroidal radiation exposure in March 2011. Furthermore, it was also reported that the level of internal exposure measured by whole-body counters was much lower than the estimated...

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