Health threat from cesium-137

University Of Missouri

Regarding the Feb. 14 article reprinted from Sentaku magazine, “Put children before politics“: Thank you for endorsing this idea. I would like to comment on one aspect of the article regarding cesium-137, which makes up 40 percent of the long-lived radionuclides created by nuclear power plants.

Because cesium-137 has a 30-year half-life, the land seriously contaminated by the Fukushima disaster will remain dangerously radioactive for up to 300 years. There is a great deal of experience with cesium-137 in the seriously contaminated regions of Belarus and Ukraine. Once radioactive cesium makes its way into the soils, it will bioconcentrate and biomagnify in foodstuffs, particularly mushrooms, berries and wild game.

Food grown in these regions is contaminated with cesium-137, and sadly most of the children living there who eat this food have become unhealthy. The Belrad Institute, after nine years of research and hundreds of autopsies, found that cesium-137 concentrates in the vital organs, particularly the heart and endocrine system. Professor Yuri Bandazhevsky discovered that children contaminated with cesium-137 that produced 50 atomic disintegrations per second (becquerels) per kilogram of body weight caused irreversible heart damage in a child.

Because the Belarusian government did not want his work accepted or known, he was put into prison.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

steven starr