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Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: What can you do to protect yourself?

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By David Liu, PHD

Thursday Feb 28, 2013 (foodconsumer.org) -- The 2011 nuclear disaster in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan or simply called Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has increased the risk for many cancers in the radiation contaminated areas, according to a comprehensive report by experts commissioned by the World Health Organization.

The report downplays the risk for the whole general population inside and outside of Japan saying that no increase in cancer rates is anticipated in the general population.

The WHO report does say that the health risk assessment from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami indicates that the estimated risk for certain cancers in some subsets of the local population in Fukushima Prefecture has increased.
"The primary concern identified in this report is related to specific cancer risks linked to particular locations and demographic factors," said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment. 

"A breakdown of data, based on age, gender and proximity to the nuclear plant, does show a higher cancer risk for those located in the most contaminated parts. Outside these parts - even in locations inside Fukushima Prefecture - no observable increases in cancer incidence are expected."

In the most contaminated areas,  the cancers that are expected to increase their risks include 

all solid cancers - around 4% in females exposed as infants;
breast cancer - around 6% in females exposed as infants;
leukaemia - around 7% in males exposed as infants;
thyroid cancer - up to 70% in females exposed as infants (the normally expected risk of thyroid cancer in females over lifetime is 0.75% and the additional lifetime risk assessed for females exposed as infants in the most affected location is 0.50%).

The report also says that individuals in the second most contaminated areas within Fukushima Prefecture, the increased risks are about one-half of those in the locations contaminated with the highest doses of radiation.

Specifically, one third of the emergency workers are expected to have an increased cancer risk.

What you can do to prevent yourself from being victimized by a nuclear disaster like Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster?  

People who live within 60 miles of a nuclear plant should be prepared for a nuclear accident that could increase their cancer risk.

One thing everyone can do is store a bottle of vitamin C.  After a nuclear accident like Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster strikes or a nuclear bomb explodes, you may want to take a high dose of vitamin C immediately.

A Japanese study shows that rescue workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant who took high doses of vitamin C before they went in the contaminated area had fewer signs of damage caused by radiation, compared with those who did not take vitamin C.  Both oral and IV administered vitamin C helped prevent damage caused by radiation and or radioactive particles.

Vitamin C may also be used on a daily basis to prevent radiation-induced DNA mutations which would otherwise increase risk of all sorts of malignancies.  If you are a pilot or flight attendant or frequent air traveler or you live in an area where the background radiation is high, you may want to take vitamin C regularly to prevent radiation induced cancer.

Also those who are exposed to medical radiation may also consider taking a high dose of vitamin C.  For instance, women may take vitamin C supplements in high doses before and after mammogram screening.  Radiologists who have a chronic exposure to x-ray or ionising radiation may also want to take vitamin C  regularly to prevent cancer.

Get prepared.  Do not let another "Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster" kill you.

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