The Japanese government tested the thyroid glands of 1,500 school children living between 38 to 47 kilometers (24 to 29 miles) from the reactors and found that nearly half absorbed radioactive iodine during the crisis in March.
The thyroid is particularly susceptible to radioactive iodine, is known to cause cancer in harmful doses. None of the children were exposed to radiation beyond established safety limits, Bloomberg reports.
Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission does not consider the levels to be harmful; however, some scientists contend that any radiation above normal background radiation poses a risk.
Japanese authorities are also actively gauging the extent of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in crops through a comprehensive testing regimen. There is concern that rice, the country’s traditional staple crop, could be unsafe.
Japanese authorities suspended beef shipments from the Fukushima region in July. Rice straw cows absorbed unsafe levels of cesium through their feed stocks.
(Photo Credit: DigitalGlobe)
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