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I 東京都2011年3月15日Tokyo March 15, 2011



After the Fukushima nuclear accident on March 11, 2011, I escaped from Tokyo to Okinawa with my 1 year and 4 months old son in the afternoon of March 15.  My personal story was covered in an Australian newspaper.  http://www.theage.com.au/world/escape-to-okinawa-20111205-1ofh3.html




In the morning of March 15, I was outside with my son riding a bicycle, when the thickest radioactive cloud was passing.  The Tokyo Metropolitan government Bureau of Industrial and Labor Affairs detected 1100Bq of inhaled radiation from 10:00 to 11:00 am on March 15.  But it was never announced through any media at that time, and in stead, this important data was only updated on the Bureaus webpage, which was rarely known to the public.




Even 100Bq/kg material was disposed as low-level nuclear waste in a drum can before the accident.  Currently, this 100Bq/kg is applied for Japanese food standard including staple food rice, and as an initial exposure, residents in Tokyo have already inhaled equivalent to 10 kg of nuclear waste attached radioactive particles in their respiratory system as initial exposure in only one hour on March 15! http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/INET/CHOUSA/2011/12/DATA/60lcq104.pdf



  People in Tokyo had inhaled radioactive material of 3600Bq in March 2011. (Of course, exposure levels differ depending on each person who was either inside or outside in these hours.)  http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/INET/CHOUSA/2011/12/DATA/60lcq103.pdf



Since immediately after the accident, various blog sites collected complaints from Tokyo metropolitan residents who suffered from various symptoms such as nose-bleeding, fever, rashes, coughing, diarrhea, goiter, etc, which were totally ignored by the government and media.  A-bomb survivor, Dr. Shuntaro Hida, stated the above symptoms were heard among Fukushima residents right after the accident and also were observed in the health consultation meeting held in Tokyo in June.



Thyroid abnormality rate among Tokyo children is as high as the one in Fukushima as of December 2012.  Some scientists and journalists insist that the same rate means that Fukushima is not dangerous.  But I think it would be more natural to think that people in Tokyo have already exposed to radiation, especially through initial exposure, to the level in which peoples health had some impact as in the case of Fukushima (I would elaborate on this in a later paragraph).



One month after the March 15, I and my son had prolonged high fever and coughing.  I had more than 103 F fever for eight days continuously and my son had 101 F on and off for a dozen times in three months. 



I am still susceptible to catching cold and I have irritating feeling around my throat always with stuck phlegm for months.  The other day, an otolaryngologist told me that due to inflammation on the epiglottis (part between nose and throat), I have such irritation.  I have no allergy to anything, and such symptom was the first time in my life.



There are a number of people who have experienced some abnormalities in their health nationwide, and their voices are covered in the Fukushima Radioactive Contamination Research blog. https://sites.google.com/site/sos311home/

The story below is to be amended as in red letters:



At the end of 2012, my son and I took the thyroid echo examination.  At the first hospital, we were told that there the result showed no abnormalities, so I was quite relieved.  But several days after, I had the second opinion at another hospital that was equipped with high quality echo image machine.  Then the image showed that I had 2 cysts around 1.3mm each and my son had countless nodules around 0.1mm-0.2mm. 

 According to the doctor at this hospital, he found this type of small nodules in almost everybody who was in Tokyo metropolitan area , though there was none among those who were living in Osaka area.  Cysts usually do not disappear, so this can be called as an omen of a tremendous situation in the future.

Note:The above echo test was conducted by a doctor who is not specialized in thyroid.  In March 2014, when my son and I went to a thyroid specialist doctor, my 4 year old son had nothing wrong. (I was so releaved..)


I myself had Hashimoto's Disease and my thyroid was swallen to double the size of normal.  I do not know the causal relationship with the Fukushima accident in my case.


But one thing I got aware was that echo examination can be conducted precisely only by experienced thyroid specialist doctors.  There are some data which showed that thyroid cysts were found at the same rate in other areas of Fukushima, but I wondered maybe they counted normal cases as abnormal,too.

In order to do proper comparison, we need to compare the number of thyroid cancer, but such a comparison has never been conducted yet.



Also, I heard from a mother who had been living in Tokyo until one year after the accident.  She had thyroid test and found that she had 5 mm cyst.  Though the doctor told her no second test was necessary, she persistently asked for a biopsy.  As a result, cancer was found in her thyroid.



In her case, she was riding bicycle everyday and she said it was quite an exercise. Hence, she was breathing in more air and could have been exposed to radiation in her respiratory system more than her 7 year old son. 



Currently, Fukushima prefecture is conducting the health check and biopsy of thyroid is conducted only those who have cysts more than 20mm or nodule more than 5mm.  This way of categorization is dangerous since cancer could be overlooked and it could be too late for potential cancer patients at the next health examination after 2 years.  The size of cancer varies, and even small one could be malignant.



Since there is such a case of the abovementioned mother, who had thyroid cancer in her 5mm cysts, there should be a system for patients with more than 5mm cysts to go through biopsy test for early detection of cancer. 



According to Asahi Newspaper on December 1, even in Tokyo, 36% of 2785 children were detected with thyroid anomaly based on the data since 2003 provided by Ito Hospital that specializes in thyroid diseases.  http://fukushimavoice-eng.blogspot.jp/2012/12/are-36-thyroid-cysts-in-tokyo-children.html   The article concluded that the Fukushima incident rate was not high since Tokyo was the same rate.  But strangely, Ito Hospital did not provide the incidence rate before and after the accident even though I asked for the data on the phone.



As I stated in the beginning, since people in Tokyo also exposed to 3600Bq through inhalation, it is not natural to think that there would be no impact at all.  As for this issue, I believe thyroid echo control study is urgently needed in uncontaminated areas either in Japan or overseas using the same machine by a third party not influenced by Japanese government. 



The other day, my Tokyo friend who moved to Okinawa told me a shocking news.  Her mother got a stage III lung cancer.  Judging from the form of the cancer, the doctor told her that it must have been originated after the accident timing wise.  Her mother also came to Okinawa on March 16, so I suspect her mothers cancer could have been partially triggered by the thick radioactive cloud that passed on March 15 in Tokyo.



I believe this issue could be even graver than the concealment of SPEEDI system, which was not provided to Japanese nationals though it was provided to US military on the night of March 14.  Why didnt Tokyo metropolitan government, along with state government and related agencies disclose this terribly important March 15th real-time radionuclide measurement data in the air?  Was there any intention behind it?  Cannot this be called an act of negligence?  I would like this issue to be investigated by a third party.



On December 26, 2012, it was reported that 8 US Navy workers sued TEPCO for causing dangerous level of radiation exposure that lead to irreparable harm to their life expectancy and sought for damages including medical expenses (http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/12/26/53414.htm).



 I truly hope there will be a through fact-finding investigation on this radiation exposure issue to compensate all the people, including foreign nationals, who were affected in the near future.