Studies find that radioactive fallout from Fukushima directly and significantly impacted the health of American children and may have been indirectly responsible for over 14,000 US deaths in the year following the incident.
The first study looked at thyroid damage which is especially devastating in children. Children born within 4 months of the Fukushima disaster were found to have a 28% increase in congenital hypothyroidism. Commentators pointed out that this is only the tip of the iceberg. The same study authors also found earlier that there was a spike in infant mortality (35%) after Fukushima (in North America-Pacific Coast).
The second study found a large, statistically significant increase in US deaths immediately following the incident. Commentaries didn’t think low levels of radiation could directly cause additional deaths so quickly, but of course this assumes we understand all of the ways radiation could impact us. This is why such studies are important. Regardless of how it occurs, the study suggests that we should look closer into the possibility that low levels of certain radioactive isotopes may have significant and immediate consequences in an indirect way.
You may recall when the Fukushima disaster occurred we were all assured by President Obama, the CDC, the news networks and the chief scientists of our country that we were too far away to be in any danger from the fallout. They made these claims despite admitting to the fact that they did not have good data regarding the blast or the extent of the problem at Fukushima. This is always a red flag. Any time you have anyone, even supposedly credible scientists, giving conclusive advice without sufficient data, it is a good policy to be suspicious. That doesn’t mean the conclusions are always wrong, but given what was at stake it was very irresponsible of those people to make such conclusions.
Here are some citations to other articles and the study:
(1) Open Journal of Pediatrics, 2013, 3, 1-9. Elevated airborne beta levels in Pacific/West Coast US States and trends in hypothyroidism among newborns after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown.
(4) Enormous analysis of studies on the Chernobyl incident and consequences of radiation release
(5) Article on increase in infant mortality in the US around Fukushima explosion
(6) Int J Health Serv. 2012;42(1):47-64. An unexpected mortality increase in the United States follows arrival of the radioactive plume from Fukushima: is there a correlation?
Mangano JJ, Sherman JD.