The lifetime risk of developing cancer has risen slightly among 1-year-old girls in an area affected by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, according to a study published online in a U.S. science journal Monday.
The assessment was based on an August-September 2012 study by Japanese researchers conducted about a year and a half after the March 2011 nuclear disaster started. The study checked the radiation exposure of around 460 residents living near the crippled plant.
The health risk assessment indicates that doses after 2012 will raise the lifetime solid cancer incidence rate among 1-year-old girls by 1.06 percentage points in the Tamano area of Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, from the average rate of 31.76 percent, according to the study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study covered both male and female residents aged 3 to 96 in the village of Kawauchi, the Haramachi district of Minamisoma and the Tamano area, all located 20 to 50 km from the plant.
The study says that increases in the lifetime solid cancer incidence rate were relatively higher in the Tamano area than the other two areas among all age groups.
In Tamano, the rate was 0.82 point higher than average for 10-year-old girls, 0.71 point higher for 1-year-old boys and 0.59 point higher for 20-year-old women.
It is the first time projections have been made regarding the probability of cancer risk related to the disaster, the team said.