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Elevated radiation levels widespread in eastern Japan

Elevated radiation levels widespread in eastern Japan

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Local Japanese governments have found dangerously high radiation levels in pastoral grasses located over 100 miles from Fukushima. Scientists are independently monitoring background radiation throughout Japan.

Radioactive contamination data has been compiled by Japanese map publisher Zenrin.

Unsafe levels of radioactive contamination have been reported from multiple sources throughout vast areas of eastern Japan in locations far away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Science Magazine cites data from the prefectural government of Iwate revealing radioactive cesium has traveled over 100 miles away from Fukushima. Pastoral grasses are contaminated beyond safety standards

Japanese scientists have begun to track background radiation levels independently, according to the magazine’s report. Levels are exceeding acceptable safety limits in many locations.

A “citizens’ map” of radiation levels is being maintained by a group of Japanese bloggers. Levels appear highest near Fukushima and toward its northwest. The vicinity around immediate southwest of the reactors shows elevated radiation, and a large pocket of contamination has settled further south in the outskirts of Tokyo.

Even more disturbingly, some local newspapers in eastern Japan have attributed sickness in children to the meltdowns. Children located 50 KM away from ground zero are suffering from fatigue, diarrhea, and nosebleeds.

I’m not a scientist, but a link is plausible. If grass is contaminated, cows eat the grass, and children drink the cows’ milk. Crops also absorb radiation; in fact, growing crops is a strategy used to clean up soil that’s contaminated with radiation.

It took several months for the world to learn that there were three core meltdowns at Fukushima. It will take years for the entire truth to be revealed, and not every report will be entirely accurate.

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David Worthington

Contributing Editor

David Worthington has written for BetaNews, eWeek, PC World, Technologizer and ZDNet. Formerly, he was a senior editor at SD Times. He holds a business degree from Temple University. He is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure