WHO Again Downplays Fukushima Health Risks

The WHO is preparing to release a new report that declares cancer from the Fukushima nuclear disaster will not “significantly” increase. This broad declaration is riddled with omissions and a troubling opinion of what is considered significant.

The WHO position paper is based on information they obtained from Fukushima Medical University and RERF. Both are institutions well known for bias and actions intended to downplay the true situation in Fukushima. Dr. Yamashita was installed as a vice president of the medical university soon after the disaster.

WHO admits there is a lack of complete and good data so they turn to Chernobyl data and RERF A Bomb data. The A Bomb exposures have been cited as being quite different exposures than those exposed during a nuclear reactor disaster and not an “apples to apples” comparison. Chernobyl data varies widely and is of varying levels of reliability. Not knowing what Chernobyl data was used leaves questions about using that as a comparison. The source of the data used by WHO creates a “garbage in garbage out” scenario.

Even with the obvious downplaying and involvement of people who have publicly admitted their goal is to dismiss and downplay the heath damage of the disaster, the findings include some worrying admissions.

Asahi Shimbun quotes the WHO study and the impact on adults from Namie as being of concern yet the WHO claims none of this is “significant” or a problem.

The thyroid cancer incidence rate was 0.76 percent for 20-year-old women and 0.21 percent for 20-year-old men in the town before the accident. The rate was forecast to rise by roughly 10 percent among all 20-year-olds in Namie due to the radiation doses from the damaged nuclear plant.

10% is statistically significant. This is also a determination for adults, children have a higher risk. The calculations could have assumed children were inside more than adults yet everyone is evacuated from Namie and where children were moved to are allowing children outside even in areas that are contaminated. 76% of children in Nihonmatsu were over the 1mSv/year external exposure level in a new data release, this does not include their internal exposures. These WHO calculations seem to depend on a very specific yet unrealistic scenario to come up with these risk models.

For children in Namie this is quoted as one of the findings:
3.7 1-year-old girls out of 10,000 living in the town will develop thyroid cancer, compared with 0.4 girls before the accident.
It also admitted statistical changes for thyroid cancer in children in Fukushima City far outside the evacuation zone.
The WHO report also admitted thyroid nodules and cysts would increase but the rate of cancerous ones were “unlikely” to rise. No explanation for this claim that defies established medicine was given.

The WHO report seems to cherry pick aspects of exposure and omit others. It referenced lifetime thyroid exposure for adults living in certain areas of Fukushima but ignored internal exposure from other long lived isotopes that create long term continuous exposure problems such as cesium 137 being inhaled and ingested. This source has created considerable problems for those living in contaminated areas and not taking proper precautions. Various municipalities have found extremely high internal contamination in some people who ignored calls for caution. Adult thyroid exposure would have come from iodine 131, something very short lived and no longer being detected in Fukushima. This WHO document also appears to only look at cancer yet cancer is not the only health damage that occurs with radiation exposure.

This report is more of a echo chamber of those involved with the Fukushima Health Survey and the WHO who operates under the supervision of the IAEA. Only the experts involved looked at the data and gave opinions in the Asahi article. No outside review or peer review is involved with these declarations. They sound official coming from a UN agency yet at the same time the UN human rights council is investigating the human rights violations going on in Fukushima related to the ongoing exposure of the people still living there and the unfair treatment by the Fukushima Medical University in human rights issues.

It is important to keep in mind that WHO’s predictions are based mostly on estimations and guesses rather than actual data collected from people who were exposed. Fukushima Health Survey did dose reconstructions for a very small number of people and declared the exposures to be low yet refuse to tell what their calculation models are to any outside researchers. Other researchers who began to do their own dose reconstructions found much higher exposure levels than the health survey did and were quickly pressured to stop their work. They were not the only ones questioning the data that has now been used for the WHO report. Other nuclear agencies in Japan found the health survey testing to be wrong.



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