Regarding the July 31 Bloomberg article “ Fukushima teacher muzzled over radiation“: As happened at Chernobyl, the absurd over-reaction to tiny amounts of radiation by the government and by fearful, ignorant teachers like Toshinori Shishido is proving a far greater harm to Japan than the actual radiation.
The fact of the matter is that we simply don’t have any hard evidence as to the health effects of small doses of radiation over the long term. All the current “experts” claiming that cancer risk goes up by a certain percentage if you absorb so much radiation are basing their conclusions on statistical models — not actual testing. The fact that people living in parts of Brazil and Iran where background radiation is many times that of the hottest spots in Fukushima do not show higher rates of cancer, leukemia and birth defects should give pause to the fear-mongers.
Similarly, a major study of 50,000 pilots exposed on the job to far higher levels of radiation over decades than the general public also shows no increased cancer risk for the pilots.
Unfortunately, the general public, perhaps propelled by comic book radioactive mutant lore, goes nuts when it comes to radiation and throws logic and reason to the wind. While there may be a tiny, increased risk of cancer, it’s certainly not worth throwing away one’s home and career. Yet, many are doing that.
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.
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