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Study examines Global Health Impact of Fukushima

Follow @WDMEllaCopeland Scientists have calculated the Global Health Impact of the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis, following widespread speculation about the...

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|Jul 19|magazine5 min read

Scientists have calculated the Global Health Impact of the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis, following widespread speculation about the global impact of the disaster.

Researchers from Stanford University calculated that radiation from the nuclear meltdown in March 2011 may cause as many as 1,300 cancer deaths globally, following a study which assessed the fallout from the crippled reactors.

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In addition to this, the disaster could potentially cause 2,500 cases of cancer, which will be mostly contained in Japan, according to the study. To estimate the potential radiation, scientists at Stanford University incorporated emissions estimates into a 3D global atmospheric model, which predicted the effects of radiation exposure – detected as far away as in the US and Europe.

Cancer cases may have been a minimum of ten times greater if the 81 percent of the radiation hadn’t fallen in the sea, according to Mark Jacobson, co-author of the report.

Despite the research, figures on potential cancer cases remain speculative, estimated from 24 to 2,500. The best estimate is 180, according to the research. The U.S. was predicted to experience somewhere between 0 and 30 cancer morbidities as a result of the disaster, but this is based on a very small concentration of radiation.

The overall global impact will be relatively low, according to the study’s co-author John Ten Hoeve. He added that they should “serve to manage the fear in other countries that the disaster had an extensive global reach.”