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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Japan: More foods banned, Tap water unsafe for kids

 Health officials in Japan said on Wednesday that the radioactive iodine (RI) content of tap water in Tokyo was found to be increased twice the upper limit considered safe for babies. The RI level measured 210 becquerels per liter (Bq/L) of iodine-131. The recommended limit for infants is 100 Bq/L of iodine-131.

The public is urged to avoid giving tap water to infants who are sensitive to RI, which may cause thyroid malignancy, in a report by
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said, "We advise against using the tap water for drinking and for making infant formula for babies under 1 year old."
However, the RI levels of the tap water does not pose immediate threats to adults. The recommended limit for adults is 300 Bq/L of iodine-131.
More information here.
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The health ministry of Japan advised the public on Wednesday to refrain from eating 11 vegetables produced in Fukushima Prefecture that were found to have higher than normal levels of radioactive materials following a series of explosions on the damaged nuclear plant.
In addition to the earlier indefinite ban on vegetables—spinach and kakina—health ministry officials forbid the consumption of broccoli, cabbages, turnips and other green leafy veggies such as aburanachijirenakomatsunakosaitaisantona andshinobufuyuna for the mean time, in a report by Japan Today. Sorry, I am not familiar with the English translation.
Distributed by the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations or JA Zen-Noh, the "hot" vegetables were grown in open-air environment in the troubled prefecture. No shipment had been made since Monday.
Shipments of milk, spinach and kakina leaves were blocked on Monday.
Japanese authorities said that if a person ingests 100 grams of the banned foods with the highest detected amount of radioactive particles for 10 days, it would be akin to eating 50 percent the amount of radiation a person naturally gets from the environment in 12 months.
Radiation level intake could exceed safe limits if the banned veggies were eaten continuously, however.
The content of iodine-131 level of seawater about 330 meters away from the crippled plant were found to be elevated at 126.7 times than legal limits, according to a study by Tokyo Electric Power Co.
The cesium-134 and cesium-137 levels were 24.8 and 16.5 times higher, respectively.
Health officials assured on Tuesday that the increased levels will not pose immediate health effects.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said, "Given the current situation, I cannot rule out any possibility (including a ban on seafood), but it is not necessary at the moment.
"But it is necessary to collect data from a wider range and firmly continue to have experts analyze them."
Edano added that the impact of the nuclear blast is not yet determined. He also said that a restriction on seafood near the plant is not currently needed.
In a report by dzMM. a series of aftershocks were felt today near the Fukushima I, the highest tremor registered at magnitude 6.0. There was no reported further damage or casualties.
Since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit on 11 March, 9,080 had been reported to have died while 13,561 people were missing as of 18:00 22 March.
Of the 8,360 autopsies, 4,670 had been identified and turned over to relatives. One Filipino woman and her daughter perished in the quake.
Due to the shortage of gas, a mass burial was done for identified bodies after receiving families' consent. It was a rare move for Japan known to cremate their departed loved ones.
Gas is being prioritized in relief operations, transportation needs and heating systems and other humanitarian activities.
The buried bodies will later be exhumed for cremation, said The Japan Times.
There are about 1,900 shelters in 16 prefectures that house approximately 270,000 evacuees.
Watch the attached YouTube video showing the tsunami waves captured by the Japanese Coast Guard camera.
Details of this report here.

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