While Gerry Thomas admits that radiation can be very dangerous, the Oct. 9 article “Like Astro Boy, humans may be able to live with radiation” fails to elaborate on what these dangers might be in the context of the Fukushima accident.
She claims that high exposure to radiation does not cause additional tumors in cancer patients, but this is a subset of radiation victims who also get chemotherapy to stop tumor growth, and, unfortunately, most of them are past middle age and die within a few years of treatment. Such findings give no comfort to a healthy 20-year-old who is being exposed to radiation now and wants to know if she’ll get cancer from it over the next 40 years.
The findings on cancer patients give even less comfort to anyone who wants to have children. Thomas would be unqualified to work in her field if she didn’t know that fetuses, babies and children are extremely sensitive to radiation. I don’t know what motivates her to not mention this in the numerous occasions she has spoken in the media. It is a crucial point in the question of whether Fukushima will be a viable place to live, or whether people should be leaving the area now.
Even if we all agree that adults are going to be fine, this will give no peace of mind to people who want to raise children there. Frontier mining towns can thrive for a while with no women or children, but viable human settlements cannot. No children, no life.
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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