Radioactivity tests are reassuring

Posted: August 16, 2012

Japanese researchers have found very low amounts of radioactivity in the bodies of about 10,000 people who lived near the Fukushima Daiichi power plant when it melted down.

The first published study that measured the radiation within a large number of residents reassured health experts because the numbers reported imply only negligible health risks.

"Exposure levels were much lower than those reported in studies even several years after the Chernobyl incident," said Masaharu Tsubokura of the University of Toyko, lead author of a short paper published in the Thursday issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The study measured radiation in 8,066 adults and 1,432 children in the town of Minamisoma, about 14 miles north of the power plant. Researchers found an average radiation dose of well under 1 millisievert, which is considered a safe amount.

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