Fukushima Follow-Up: 56% of Children Have Pre-Cancerous Growth on Thyroid

Joseph Mangano is the Executive Director of the Radiation and Public Health Project (RPHP), a group which produces research on the health hazards of nuclear reactors and weapons.

Recently, Mangano sat down for an interview with Jessica Desvarieux from The Real News Network to discuss a study released by the RPHP about the worsening situation at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Surface water radiation levels (click to enlarge)

Among the findings, Mangano talks about how levels of hypothyroidism (a cancer caused by exposure to radioactive Iodine like that still being released into the ocean from the nuclear reactors) have been steadily climbing since the disaster.

TEPCO, the company that owns the plant, recently admitted that up to 2,000 workers who helped in the clean-up following the tsunami face a heightened risk of thyroid cancer.

Policeman in radiation suits bow their head to pray for those lost during the tsunami and fallout.

Since hypothyroidism is caused by exposure to high levels of radiation, children and infants are especially susceptible to the disease, since they can’t withstand as much radiation as a full-grown adult.

Two years ago, only 35% of children near Fukushima had pre-cancerous cysts or growths on their thyroid gland. Last year the number jumped to 45% and this year it has reached 56%.

The thyroid gland

Even scarier is that the rate of hypothyroidism in newborns along the United States’ west coast (where the radioactive waste that has been spreading across the Pacific is just now starting to reach us) has risen 26% since the disaster.

Read the full interview here.

The BBC also recently reported that researchers in Japan are finding that butterflies in the region are become increasingly mutated, with, “much smaller wings and irregularly developed eyes.”

Mutated butterfly from nearby the Fukushima plant
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