A study on human cesium contamination in Japan was recently published in the English language journal, The Proceedings of the Japan Academy:
Hayno, R.S., et al (2013) Internal Radiocesium Contamination of Adults and Children 7 to 20 Months After the Fukushima NPP Accident as Measured by Extensive Whole-Body-Counter Surveys, Proc. Jpn. Acad. Ser B, 4, 157-163 https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/pjab/89/4/89_PJA8904B-01/_pdf
I read the study with some alarm as it reminded me strongly of A Plant in Environmental Health Perspectives
The plant in the NIH journal Environmental Health Perspectives was a study on transgenic mice, which argued that their exposure to gamma radiation indicated humans could withstand much higher rates of radiation than currently allowable by the EPA.
I critiqued the study's findings on mice, demonstrating that they were not generalizable to human populations for a variety of reasons.
Despite lacking 'ecological validity' the study on transgenic mice showed up on headlines across the Internet trumpeting the cause of raising permissible radiation standards. See my discussion here.
The mice study may have provided the (flawed, bogus) scientific rationale for raising EPA standards for protective action guidelines during radiation emergencies. See discussion here
Therefore, the current study published in the Proceedings of the Japanese Academy appears to me to serve a similar propagandistic function as the bogus mice study on radiation in Environmental Health Perspectives.
The Japanese study concludes that the "Cs137 body burdens of all children (n - 1383, ages 6-15, covering 95% of chidlren enrolled in town-operated schools) was below the detection limit of 300Bq/body in the fall of 2012."
This conclusion is heralded as an "all's well that ends well" and encourages readers to infer that children from Japan near to the Fukushima Daiichi plant are safe and have not been harmed.
The all's well message was reported in The Asashi Shimbun coverage of the study:
Fumikazu Asai (2013, April 11) Study: No radioactive cesium in 99% of Fukushima, Ibaraki residents http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201304110064
[Excerpted] Radioactive cesium has not been detected in 99 percent of people in Fukushima Prefecture, host of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, and neighboring Ibaraki Prefecture since March 2012, a study showed.
A research team led by Ryugo Hayano, a physics professor at the University of Tokyo, examined internal radiation exposure levels of 30,000 people using a whole-body counter at a hospital in Hirata, Fukushima Prefecture, between October 2011 and November 2012.
Some experts warn that food contaminated by radioactive materials that spewed into the atmosphere after the meltdowns following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, can cause extreme internal exposure... But the survey has shown that this has not happened. [end]
Majia here: I am going to argue that this is a very dangerous and ill-advised conclusion.
I will now deconstruct the study's methodology and conclusion.
Pink Flamingo, whom I discussed the study with at Enenews here, noted an important flaw in the methodology:
The researchers conducted a limited 2-minute scan on each person. However, whole body counters are designed to perform from a 1-to-30 minute scan.
The longer the scan, the more accurate the count, Pink Flamingo notes:
"The sensitivity of a counter does depend on counting time so the longer the count, for the same system, the better the detection limit." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_body_counting
Therefore, the testing should have been done for a much longer period than 2 minutes in order for greater accuracy.
I can detect at least one other major flaw in the study:
Detection limit is set at 300 bq/body. This is a high limit. Anyone who had levels measuring lower than 300 bq/body would be considered free of cesium.
This detection limit for the entire body is extremely problematic.
Radiocesium is NOT found UNIFORMLY DISTRIBUTED. It concentrates in organs, such as the heart. It also concentrates in the brain, where it can penetrate the brain/blood barrier and replace potassium in body's calcium-ion channels.
Cesium incorporated into the body's calcium-ion channels can produce mutations capable of causing neurological diseases. See discussion of neurological diseases caused by mutations in ion channels: Neurological channelopathies: new insights into disease mechanisms and ion channel function here
Majia here: Radiation has been linked with a variety of neurological diseases and this uptake by the body's ion channels explains how it occurs.
Cesium also bio-concentrates in the human heart. Data from Chernobyl indicates 50bq/kg of body weight was enough for heart problems in children:
Bandazhevsky (former director of the Medical Institute in Gomel), states that based on his research on children exposed to radiocesium from Chernobyl, ‘Over 50 Bq/kg of body weight lead to irreversible lesions in vital organs.’(see his discussion in this video here)
Bandazhevsky describes in his published research high levels of Cesium-137 bioaccumulation in Chernobyl children’s heart and endocrine glands, particularly the thyroid gland, the adrenals, and the pancreas.[i] He also found high levels in the thymus and the spleen.
He found higher levels of bio-accumulation in children than adults. This research demonstrates how radiocesium bioacccumulates within organs and establishes the vulnerability of young people to that process.
IMPLICATION OF Bandazhevsky's RESEARCH: Relatively low levels of bio-accumulation in the heart and brain are sufficient to cause major health problems, especially in children.
CONCLUSION: First of all the headline at Asahi is an outright deception. It is simply NOT TRUE that the people examined in this study have no radioactive contamination.
The study's methodology and conclusions are not valid.
1. The study's METHODOLOGY was FLAWED, as pointed out by Pink Flamingo, because it FAILED to use established protocols deemed necessary for ACCURATE MEASUREMENT of radiocesium.
2. The study's CONCLUSION is INVALID: Conclusion that "internal exposure levels of residents are much lower than estimated" is invalid because the study's measurement procedure was FLAWED.
3. The study's METHODOLOGY is also FLAWED because it failed to ACCOUNT for BIO-CONCENTRATION IN ORGANS. That is, the study fails to acknowledge and compensate for the fact that radiocesium is not evenly distributed across the body, but rather is concentrated in organs (Cesium-137 has been found in the brain, heart, liver, gonads, muscle, bone, and teeth during autopsies http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+7389)
3. The study does acknowledge in the final couple of paragraphs as a caveat that "This does not mean, however, that Fukushima residents are free of internal exposure risks...."
However, this caveat fails to acknowledge that the DETECTION LIMIT is NOT VALID for predicting health effects from exposure to radionuclides.
4. FINALLY, radiocesium contamination can be measured relatively easily using specialized gamma detectors. However, contamination by tritium (a beta emitter) and alpha emitters (e.g., uranium, plutonium, americium, etc) is much more complicated to measure. This study does nothing to assure us that there is no contamination by other radionuclides.
A single alpha particle emitted by an ingested uranium atom can sever DNA, producing a mutation capable of causing and contributing to a wide range of diseases, well beyond cancer.
I believe the current cesium study is A PLANT that will be PROPAGATED BY POLITICIANS and the MEDIA in order to falsely assure people in Japan and elsewhere that there are no detectable health risks from Fukushima fallout.
Why else would the article have been published in English? What evidence do we have that the article was "peer reviewed"? Why doesn't the study explain FUNDING for the study? Why is the lead author a physicist rather than a medial professional?
Don't believe the PROPAGANDA!
Research published by Dr. Alfred Koerblein in 2013 reported a significant three-fold increase of infant mortality in Fukushima prefecture in May 2011 (O=9, E=3.1, P=0.0014).[ii] Pronounced peaks in infant mortality were also found in Fukushima for December of 2011. Koerblein noted significant reductions in the number of live births in December 2011 in Japan as a whole. He concluded that the falling birth rate could be caused by radiation-induced loss of zygotes shortly after fertilization. This study and Koerblein’s previous research on Chernobyl demonstrate the radiation susceptibility of developing beings, with the youngest most vulnerable.[iii]
HAT TIP: I believe Anthony brought it to our attention.
Y. I. Bandazhevsky (2003) ‘Chronic Cs-137 Incorporation in Children’s Organs’, Swiss Med Wkly, 133, 488-490, http://tchernobyl.verites.free.fr/sciences/smw-Bandazhevsky_chronicCs137.pdf.
A. Koerblein (10 January 2013 ) ‘Infant Mortality in Japan after Fukushima’, Strahlentelex mit Elektrosmog Report, http://www.strahlentelex.de/Infant_mortality_in_Japan_after_Fukushima.pdf, date accessed 11 February 2013.
A. Körblein and H. Küchenhoff (1997) ‘Perinatal Mortality in Germany Following the Chernobyl Accident’, Radiat Environ Biophys, 36.1, 3-7, http://www.alfred-koerblein.de/chernobyl/downloads/KoKu1997.pdf.