KYODO (Japan), WHO, AFP
TOKYO – The Japanese government on Friday refuted a World Health Organization report that found a higher cancer risk for people living in areas contaminated by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, reports Kyodo news.
The UN health agency’s report, which was published on Thursday, said that there was a 70% increased thyroid cancer risk, a 6% increased breast cancer risk and a 4% increased cancer risk for females exposed as infants, as well as a 7% increased leukemia risk for males exposed as infants.
“This is the first-ever analysis of the global health effects due to radiation exposure after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident,” said the report.
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Towns evacuated near the nuclear facilities (wikipedia)
Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment, added that the report focused on "the need for long-term health monitoring of those who are at high risk, along with the provision of necessary medical follow-up and support services.”
But Japan's Environment Ministry said the report “overestimates the risks, and could lead to misunderstandings of the likelihoods of developing cancer,” and that id did not reflect "reality," according to the AFP.
Environmental organization Greenpeace, also criticized the 166-page report, saying it underestimated the risks to the population.