Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Birth Defects in Fukushima



A recent "commentary" in The Asahi Shimbun claims birth defects in Fukushima no greater than anywhere else in Japan:

Okazaki, Akiko (2014, November 5). COMMENTARY: Birth defects never increased in Fukushima Prefecture http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/column/AJ201411050012

The rate of birth defects in babies born in Fukushima Prefecture remains no different from the national average even after the nuclear disaster there, says a report recently worked out by a study group of the health ministry.Three surveys have targeted expectant and nursing mothers in Fukushima Prefecture following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The first, on which the latest health ministry study group report is based, was conducted by the Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; the second is the prefectural government’s health survey of all residents in the prefecture; and the third was carried out by Fukushima Medical University…. A total of 13,770 babies were born in Fukushima Prefecture in 2012, the year following the nuclear disaster, down nearly 10 percent year on year. The number rebounded slightly in 2013, but has yet to recover to pre-disaster levels.
Majia here: Interesting findings. Note the year-over-year 10 percent decline in live births in 2012, compared to 2011. I wonder how the 2010 birth rate contrasted with the 2011 rate?

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).

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:
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.pdfhttp://www.strahlentelex.de/Infant_mortality_in_Japan_after_Fukushima.pdf, date accessed 11 February 2013.

This study and Koerblein’s previous research on Chernobyl demonstrate the radiation susceptibility of developing beings, with the youngest most vulnerable.[i]

So, why weren't more noticeably more birth defects detected in Fukushima than elsewhere in Japan?

Possible Reasons for no evidence of higher incidences of birth deffects among Fukushima citizens as compared to rates throughout rest of Japan:

1. More women are having miscarriages and abortions in Fukushima than elsewhere in Japan

2. Fukushima radiation contamination spread throughout Japan through wind, water, and impacted food (e.g., beef and rice) and was not concentrated in Fukushima (for example, plume models show Unit 3 Mox plume over Tokyo)

2. Japan's practice of incinerating radioactive waste produced by the Daiichi disaster THROUGHOUT Japan is spreading harm throughout country. For example:
Contamination in Japan was exacerbated by the decision to burn radioactive waste, as described by The Mainichi in September of 2011 (Rubble from Quake, 2011). In November of 2011, radioactive ash caused incinerators in Kashiwa (Chiba Prefecture) to shut down because of the challenges of storing the highly contaminated debris (Radioactive Ash Causes, 2011). Levels of contamination reached 70,800 Becquerels of cesium per kilogram (Bk/kg), as measured by radiation checks conducted at two incineration plants and one disposal facility.
Rubble from Quake- and Tsunami-Hit Areas to be Disposed in Tokyo’ (29 September 2011) The Mainichi, http://mainichi.jp/english/english/mdnnews/news/20110929p2a00m0na010000c.html, date accessed 30 September 2011.

‘Radioactive Ash Causes Kashiwa Incinerators to Shut Down’(4 November 2011), Japan Today, http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/radioactive-ash-causes-shutdown-of-kashiwa-incinerators, date accessed 5 November 2011.


3. Some of the other fourteen nuclear power plants reported to be damaged during and immediately after the March 2011 Earthquake also released radiation contamination, which has yet to be acknowledge:


Keinichi Ohmae, president of BBT University, asserted in his ‘Lessons From Fukushima Dai-ichi’ report that fourteen nuclear reactors in Japan were extensively damaged by the earthquake, although the report did not detail the specific damage. K. Ohmae (28 October 2011) ‘Lessons of Fukushima Dai-ichi’, available http://pr.bbt757.com/eng/. Full report here http://pr.bbt757.com/eng/pdf/finalrepo_111225.pdf.
 
4. Radiation-damaged DNA in germ cells is expressed ACROSS many generations with mutations accumulating as each generation acquires germ cell damage from their parents.  Cascading failures - described in relation to genomic instabilities -  possible when enough mutations, translations, inverse deletions, etc have been inherited. Radiation creates genetic time-bombs by producing genomic instabilities. The basic processes were laid out in 1950 and have been explored in great detail since, although the public has not been educated about long term implications of genotoxins on human genome:
Muller, H. J. (1950) Radiation Damage to the Genetic Material: Part II: Effects Manifested Mainly in the Exposed Individual. American Scientist, 38(3), 399-425.
Taken together, the reasons elucidated here suggest that we should not yet celebrate "no radiation reproductive effects" in Japan.

RESOURCES

A. K├Ârblein and H. K├╝chenhoff (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.






 

4 comments:

  1. I apologize to you and your readers for not being directly on-topic here.

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    http://nukeprofessional.blogspot.com/2014/08/bringing-it-home-understanding-cesium.html?showComment=1407542151411#c973549177140260918

    "Shouldn't the data drive conclusions, not the other way around?"

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