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Research Letter |

Acute Intake of Radionuclides Immediately After the Incident as the Main Contributor of the Internal Radiation Exposure After Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

Masaharu Tsubokura, MD1,2,3; Kenji Shibuya, MD, DrPH4; Shigeaki Kato, PhD2; Tomoyoshi Oikawa, MD, PhD3; Yukio Kanazawa, MD, PhD3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Division of Social Communication System for Advanced Clinical Research, The Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo, Japan
2Department of Radiation Protection, Soma Central Hospital, Soma, Fukushima, Japan
3Department of Internal Medicine, Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital, Minamisoma, Fukushima, Japan
4Department of Global Health Policy, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(12):1169-1170. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2311.
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The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, and release of radioactive materials, raising serious health concerns in nearby residents. We recently reported that levels of internal radiation exposure (IRE) by radioactive cesium in Minamisoma, Fukushima were low1; however, it is not as certain whether the detected levels of exposure were due to low ongoing exposure or decay from high-exposure values. To address this issue, transition of IRE among Minamisoma residents was monitored for children younger than 16 years, with biological half-lives of cesium in children up to age 15 years described as less than 93 days.2

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Percentage of Children With Positive Cesium Internal Exposure

Detection limits monitored were 210 becquerels/body for cesium 134 measurement and 250 becquerels/body for cesium 137 with a 2-minute scan.

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