Radiation levels that were exposed to the Japanese, including residents of Fukushima Prefecture, after the nuclear plant accident that followed the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 were lower than the limit considered harmful to health.
This is established in a report by an international panel of 30 experts convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) who analyzed the radiation dose found in people who lived in the town of Fukushima (more than 20 miles from the center ), the rest of Japanese residents and representatives of neighboring countries worldwide.
The report’s conclusion is that neither group has radiation levels above the health risk limits established by the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP).
The ICRP recommends radiation levels below the band 20-100 mSv (millisieverts) and increased levels of radiation were found in residents of two of the towns of Fukushima Prefecture but was limited to a band of 10-50 mSv.
The sievert measures the radiation dose absorbed by living matter, and in millisieverts listed symptoms in humans by radiation accumulated over a year.
“In the prefecture of Fukushima and neighboring prefectures in the estimated effective doses are below the internationally agreed reference levels,” concludes the report.
The text states that the doses found in both the near Fukushima prefectures and the rest of Japan “are low.”
It also indicates that “one can conclude that the estimated doses outside Japan caused by the accident of the Fukushima plant are below (and much lower) dose levels established by the radiation protection as ‘very small’.”
The figures indicate that except for these two localities in Fukushima prefecture where the levels were of 10-50 mSv, the rest of the towns were established in 1-10 mSv, in the neighboring prefectures of the accident were between 0.1 to 10 mSv, and the rest of the region between 0.1 to 1 mSv.
In the rest of the world estimated levels were lower than 0.01 mSv and, in general, “significantly lower” than this limit.
The study also analyzed the levels of radiation found in the thyroid of individuals evaluated and obtained similar conclusions.
The experts measurements based on public information provided by the Government of Japan and made its assessment against: external exposure of humans to radionuclides in the soil or containing the radioactive cloud, to the possible inhalation radionuclides, or ingestion through the water or food.
Also divided the population into three age groups: 1 year, 10 years and adults.
The text concludes that people higher levels of absorbed radiation was due to inhalation and exposure to both radiation and cloud contact with contaminated soil.
As they move away from the crash site, people were exposed to radiation by eating radioactive food.
The study did not examine the levels of radiation from the people who were within less than 20 kilometers from the nuclear plant, not the workers who worked on it after the accident.
The report’s conclusions are only on the levels of radiation and does not analyze in depth the overall risks to the health of people exposed, an evaluation which engages another international working group convened by WHO and whose findings are expected during this summer.