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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

This is a report regarding symptoms at the seventeenth month since the Fukushima nuclear accident.

August 30, 2012
Report of symptoms

The number of symptoms per person increased from 4.9 in January to 5.6.  (Refer to the FRCSR Original Database)

Each category showed an average rate of increase of 1.1 to 1.2 times since the previous survey result.  Categories whose rates of increase exceeded the average rate of increase are: upper gastrointestinal system including vomiting and nausea at 1.3 times; tumors including pituitary adenoma and cystic tumor at 1.4 times, and endocrine system mainly related to thyroid gland at 1.6 times.

Reports of tumors have begun to come in.  There has been a rapid increase of endocrine symptoms, which might be a preliminary stage before tumors appear.  In addition, there have been multiple reports of pediatric thyroid cancer from the Kanto region and the Metropolitan area, 250 km away from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station.  In other words, even before a diagnosis of thyroid cancer is established by physicians, it seems that cancer was germinating and growing within one year of the Fukushima nuclear accident.   In Chernobyl, pediatric cancer developed over a period of 5 to 10 years after the accident; but in the case of Fukushima, canceration took only one-third of the time.  The effects of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident on human body revealed an onset of cancer within one year to one and a half year; the speed of symptom progression is three to five times that of Chernobyl.

In the thyroid examination conducted on 38,114 Fukushima children, 13,460 which represented 35.8% of the total examined had thyroid nodules and/or cysts.  In Chernobyl, 5% of the population had some physical findings/symptoms one year after the accident:  In Fukushima the occurrence was seven times as many as Chernobyl in one year.  Consequently, in comparison with Chernobyl, it is estimated that the speed of onset of symptoms would be 3 to 5 times faster and the number of cases would be more than 7 times as many.

From the beginning of the survey up to this month, symptoms constantly increasing include fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, dizziness, eczema, urticaria, pruritis, epistaxis, canker sores, sore throat, chest pain, cough, sputum, and diarrhea.  In menstruating women, almost 100%  have reported symptoms such as irregular menstrual periods, hypomenorrhea, and amenorrhea.

In addition, from winter to spring, there were unusual increases in all types of infectious diseases, such as an explosive spread of influenza, food poisoning such as E. Coli O-157 in rainy season, rubella, mycoplasma pneumonia, chlamydial pneumonia. (Refer to the Infectious Disease Surveillance Center at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.  It is possible to attribute an increase in infectious diseases to depressed resistance, but on the other hand, these symptoms could be attributable as early symptoms of leukemia.  It is a pathophysiological fact that Merkmal of leukemia includes fatigue, cold-like symptoms, and bleeding tendency such as easy bruisability and epistaxis.  If the recurrent cold-like symptoms since last year are due to changes in white blood cells, the number of future leukemia cases might be beyond our imagination.  Already there are many reports of abnormalities in white blood cell count and neutrophils.

Part of hematology-related reports (all reports are from a 250-km radius area).
*A relative has chronic myelomonocytic leukemia with a prevalence of 1 in 100,000.
*A fifty-year-old man from Higashimurayama had abnormal blood test at a health check-up in March, 2012, and was eventually was diagnosed with leukemia.
*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.
*A six-year-old daughter with a slight decrease in WBC in blood test from last June.  She has not gained weight.
*A sixteen-year-old girl and her mother both had decreased WBC.  The daughter lost weight.  Blood test from November 2011 showed decreased WBC, platelets and RBC.  CK, GPT, ALP and lymphocytes were slightly high.

At a hospital in west Tokyo, there have been more patients with multiple myeloma.  The hospital pharmacist reports an increased demand for Velcade (Bortezomib), a multiple myeloma medication, and the doctors cannot figure out why there are so many cases of esophageal cancer or findings of abnormalities in upper GI endoscopy.  Moreover, in terms of cancers, there have been reports of breast cancer and colon cancer.

Also, there have especially been more cases of a diagnosis of “Kawasaki Disease” in hospitals within a 300-km radius range.  Kawasaki Disease was discovered in 1961 by a Japan Red Cross Hospital pediatrician, Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki.  The disease was named after him in 1967. (Refer to a Wikipedia entry of Kawasaki Disease and Japan Kawasaki Disease Association case images.)  Main symptoms include ocular conjunctival injection, enlarged cervical lymph nodes, rash and erythema.  The cause is supposedly unknown, but these symptoms are extremely similar to radiation exposure symptoms.

Regarding childbirth, a birth weight of less than 1,500 grams is defined as a very low birth weight baby.  There have been several reports of abortions for fetal weight never exceeding 1,000 grams.  Also there has been a baby born with a birth weight of 1,000 grams with a hole in the heart.  And there are other reports of premature births and miscarriages.  It seems that the number of abortions is increasing.  On August 29, 2012, it was announced that the National Center for Child Health and Development (Tokyo) and Showa University (Tokyo) decided a policy to begin testing blood of pregnant women for presence of Downs Syndrome with 99% accuracy.  Other medical institutions are also in consideration of introducing the same test.  Reports of an introduction of such tests, in anticipation of increased needs, and a new development of medical technology seem to be more common and even seem intentional in timing.

Within a 300-km radius, there are marked occurrences of dizziness and hearing loss.  Several days after the accident, there were reports of severe dizziness in a 20-km zone from ground zero.  These symptoms are spreading to people living in a 250-km radius area after one year since the accident.  In connection with this expansion of affected areas, effects on the central nervous system are also serious.

The central nervous system effects include such symptoms as lassitude with fatigue, memory decline/loss, forgetfulness, agraphia, loss of mental calculation, motor dysfunction such as falls, but it is difficult to collect data because they may not be aware of changes in their own characteristics other than what they can perceive themselves for self-reporting.  However, this issue is actually more serious than specific physical symptoms.  It is speculated the number of these cases might be as many as or even more than the cases with physical symptoms.  This constitute an extremely large social issue as Japan continues a process of restoration from now on.

Mental symptoms, just like physical symptoms, get worse in those who already had chronic conditions.  For instance, if someone already had depression, there will be worsening of depression.  In addition, there is an accentuation of basic personality or characteristics.  Someone who was already nervous will become even more nervous as if driven into a corner.  On the other hand, someone can gain overly positive attitudes, ignoring many symptoms including a chest pain.  These changes in personality and characteristics may be subtle at this point of time, but they will worsen with time.

In particular, those living in contaminated areas who have subjective symptoms such as lassitude with fatigue need to evacuate at an early stage.  Symptom progression is fast, and they won’t be able to make appropriate decisions.  In other words, they might lose a will to evacuate or become unable to act on it.

The person himself/herself is not aware of these extremely slow yet certain changes.  The entire society as a whole will slowly change.  For instance, Japan is known as a country that takes a long time to make a decision due to its vertically-structured society with an emphasis on relationship of “master and servant.”  On the other hand, Japan was strict with time and has maintained the world’s highest quality in the manufacturing industry.  There are already many occurrences of human errors at a work place and the error is unnoticed even after the product is eventually finished.

The second-generation and the third-generation descendants of Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bomb victims report miscarriages, stillbirths, pneumonia, cancer, thyroid diseases, epistaxis, Kawasaki Disease, joint pain, cystitis and hematuria.  It is speculated that sensitivity to radiation might be high when ancestors have been exposed to radiation.  It is truly unforgivable that these people are exposed to radiation again.

Shino Yasutomo
Executive Director

Translation by Dr. Yuri Hiranuma
Medical Information Director

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