Title: Thyroid tests extended to kids outside Fukushima
Date: Aug. 26, 2012
Japan will conduct thyroid tests on children outside Fukushima Prefecture, to determine whether last year’s nuclear accident in the prefecture has anything to do with the discovery of lumps in the thyroid glands of one in three children in Fukushima Prefecture.The decision has been made by the Cabinet Office’s team supporting people affected by the nuclear disaster.
[Fukushima] prefecture had conducted thyroid checks on 38,000 children by the end of March.
No-one was diagnosed with cancer, but lumps were found in 36 percent of the children.
The prefecture explained that lumps can be found in healthy children, so no special measures are needed, but parents voiced strong concerns over the finding.
Thyroid checks will now be conducted on 4,500 children aged 18 years old or younger in 3 areas outside Fukushima Prefecture by the end of March.
Cabinet Office says data will be collected in areas that are not affected by radioactive materials released from the crippled nuclear reactors. It says the move is designed not only to alleviate concerns, but also to detect possible effects of the nuclear accident on children’s health, if any, as early as possible.