FRCSR collects, through the Internet, reports of physical changes people have been experiencing since the Fukushima nuclear accident after March 11, 2011. The extent of radiation contamination is extremely serious, and we receive many inquiries from overseas. We will extract important points from applicable news articles, translate it into English. Our intention is to share with you the recognition and understanding of the reality of radiation contamination in real time as much as possible.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

In the last ten days, there were multiple reports of changes in white blood cell counts.  In Fukushima-city, 60 kilometers from ground zero, a five-year-old child is already hospitalized with leukemia.  At a Tokyo private medical clinic 250 kilometers from ground zero, it is reported that 700 children have had leukopenia since last April.  This constitutes 80% of children who were seen at this clinic.  There is no end to occurrences of infectious diseases, especially rubella, and reported cases are triple what was reported last year and previous years, according to a summary by Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

Reports from members of the general public

My legs are badly swollen, so I thought I was taking in too much water, but I don’t feel it so much even though the heat is intense.  I have more moles.  I had thyroid cyst aspiration done.  My uterine fibroid is a little worse and anemia is a little worse.  When I begin to list these issues, I feel that I am slowly being done in.  My doctors tell me these are due to aging and menopause.  I had tests done at a fairly large public hospital, but they hardly gave me any data from my tests and told me I was “okay.”  I went to a trustworthy private practitioner in Kodaira for re-examination and follow-up.  I am considering a move to an area less contaminated.

I found out yesterday that a five-year-old son of my acquaintance is already hospitalized with leukemia.  He and his divorced mother lived in Fukushima and now live in Ibaraki.  They began his treatment with one cycle being 2 years.  The acquaintance said, “I never imagined this would happen to my own child!”

My children (ages 7 and 3) had blood tests at the end of June, and their white blood cell counts are slightly low.  In addition, it was pointed out that their neutrophils are low.  My elder child has lower white blood cell and neutrophil counts.  Seven-year-old boy: WBC over 10,000 with 43% neutrophils in January 2012, but WBC was 6,300 with 25% neutrophils in June 2012.  Three-year-old boy: WBC over 10,000 with 28% neutrophils in October 2010 and WBC 7,300 with 28% neutrophils in June 2012.  I heard at the hospital that children living in places which are not hot spots in the Kanto region have shown the same tendency since March 2012.  The results for both of my children were frightening to me.  We are getting ready to move soon.

I am a counselor.  Four women from central Tokyo who came for counseling last month had abortions and another woman had a baby who weighed less than 1,000 grams: this baby was later found to have a hole in heart.

My high school age daughter and I both have decreased white blood cell counts.  She is 16.  She is thin to begin with, but she lost over 2 kg in the last 18 months.  Blood tests from November 2011 showed decreased WBC, platelets and RBC, and high CK, GPT, ALP and lymphocytes.  She had urinary frequency in the fall of 2011.  She also had proteinuria and diffuse goiter, but she already had enlarged thyroid before 311.  We are taking maximum precautionary measures with food, but I extremely regret that she was outside on March 15, 2012.  She has irregular menstrual periods with hypomenorrhea and shortened cycles.  Ambient radiation level is 0.07 to 0.10 μSv/h inside and outside the house.  We are considering a move, including our daughter withdrawing from school, but we are having difficulty making a decision.

I was asked by a cashier how much my purchase was, and I thought, “Okay, so it’s so-and-so yen,” but at the instant I was trying to get the money from my purse I forgot how much it was.  I had no idea if a 1,000 yen bill was sufficient or a 10,000 bill was sufficient.  My head was totally blank.  After a few moments, I remembered the total amount, and I was able to pay.

Since this spring, I have hardly been able to do complicated paper work from government offices and my children’s schools.  As soon as I read documents or hear explanations from clerks, I forget what I just read or heard.  I have to take notes on the spot so I can maintain my daily routine.  I can’t remember nouns.  I was in a western city in Tokyo until the end of last year.  It wasn’t contaminated that much there.  I was giving safe food to my child.  I was being careful with food.  I don’t have any decrease in motor ability.  Another symptom that bothers me is menstrual irregularity.  By the way, my 6-year-old daughter had decreased WBC when she had blood tests done in June 2011.  She had no weight gain from April 2011 to August 2011 and from September 2011 to December 2011.

Trend in abnormal thyroid function test for an eight-year-old boy from Shinagawa-ward, Tokyo.
TSH  7.00 (↑), FT3  3.94, FT4  1.29
8/29/2011 (After spending a week in western Japan.)
TSH 4.48, FT3  4.03, FT4  1.26
TSH  5.98 (↑), FT3  4.32(↑), FT4  1.37

Information from Canada:
My friend has just been diagnosed with breast cancer - a huge lump just appeared and has already spread to the lymph node. She is being treated at the B.C. Cancer Agency. Her comment last week was that they are saying at the agency that there is a cancer epidemic - they have so many new patients that they are having to empty out the upstairs offices and use them to put more patients in. Purely anecdotal and nothing scientific but an interesting observation.

Shino Yasutomo
Executive Director

Translation by Dr. Yuri Hiranuma
Medical Information Director

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