Few will be surprised to learn that the World Health Organization has issued a health risk assessment concerning Japanese children who were exposed to radiation following the 2011 spring earthquake and resulting tsunami will grow up with an elevated risk for developing certain cancers compared to children in other parts of the world.
On 11 March 2011, an earthquake magnitude 9 on the Richter scale shook the country of Japan before sending a towering tsunami its way, killing an estimated 19,000 people and leaving homeless tens of thousands more. The quake and the tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, among the largest in the country.
The leaked radiation has proven to be varied, according to the WHO, with vast differences measured in highs and lows in terms of radiation exposure.
However, experts were able to determine that infant girls from the region near Fukushima Daiichi now have a 70 percent increased risk for thyroid cancer and a six percent increased risk for breast cancer. Infant boys meanwhile who were exposed now face a seven percent increased lifetime risk of developing leukemia.
Across all solid tumor cancers, the agency reported that the children from the highest exposure areas likely will have an increased risk of developing any solid tumor cancer of about four percent.
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