Radiation from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant meltdown has been linked to child cancer, a new study revealed.
The study, authored by Oakayama University professor and epidemiologist Toshihide Tsuda, found that children exposed to radiation in the middle central Fukushima prefecture have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer at significantly higher rates than the national annual incidence ratio.
Since the meltdown, the prefecture performed thyroid screenings on all residents under the age of 18, and Tsuda used that data — in comparison with national data and a reference area within the prefecture — to address the popular concern about cancer and exposure to nuclear radiation.
According to the most recent statistics released in August, thyroid cancer is suspected or confirmed in 137 of the 370,000 children screened. To put that number in perspective, the disease affects just one to two children per million each year elsewhere.