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Dr. Tsubokura's Radiation Lecture Vol.56

Author: Masaharu Tsubokura

Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo

111 Community-based lifestyle modification

A healthy lifestyle is crucial for maintaining health. It has been reported that the effects of obesity, smoking, and drinking on our bodies are comparable to being exposed to several hundred millisieverts of radiation.

Besides, controlling body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels is key to preventing lifestyle-related diseases. When it comes to lifestyle modification, people often try to manage it through individual efforts, such as moderation, dietary restrictions, and exercise. However, it is often challenging to achieve lifestyle modification through self-management alone.

What is indispensable in lifestyle modification is connection with others, including relatives, cohabitants, neighbors, and coworkers, and finding mutual support in local communities.

Sometimes, community relationships can cause a lot of trouble. However, community awareness and support—for example, wondering “My old neighbor always takes a walk, but I didn’t see him today. What happened?” or “Recently, my colleague seems quiet and only speaks a few words a day. Is he/she ok?” can also benefit locals and protect the health of people in the community.

Medications and hospitals are certainly not the only things protecting people’s health.

112. Cesium is rarely found in the atmosphere

The radioactive substances attached to dust and dirt in the atmosphere are measured with a device called an air sampler. It takes in a large quantity of air over several hours and passes the collected air through a filter. After this process, the level of radioactive substances (mainly cesium) remaining on the filter is measured.

It would not be correct to say that no cesium is detected, but cesium has seldom been detected in the air, even in the evacuation zones. Furthermore, cesium was only detected when the measurement time reached several hours, and the detected level of cesium was just slightly above the device’s detection limit. The detected radioactive substances were not from the nuclear power plant but were carried with soil in the wind after rainfall.

Ventilation in buildings is crucial to hygiene and humidity control. It is safe to open windows to ventilate the home, not only outside of the evacuation zones but also in the area where the evacuation order was lifted. In these areas, it is unnecessary to be concerned about your laundry being polluted with radiation after drying it outside or having adverse health risks due to external exposure.


The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on February 26th and March 5th 2017 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.

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