Medical radiation impact in Japan

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March 15, 2011, 5:29 pm
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(NECN: John Moroney) -  The pictures are dramatic and ominous. But what's the real health threat from Japan's crippled nuclear reactors?

"From the radioactivity releases so far there's really no known health risks associated with them. There are some risks about cancers developed 30 or 40 years down the line."
     
Kevin Donohoe and J. Anthony Parker are doctors of nuclear medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
     
Like all of us, they've been watching what's happening in Japan - where people living within 30 miles of the damaged power plants are being asked to stay indoors because of radiation.
     
Slightly elevated levels have detected in Tokyo.
    
The doctors say their biggest worries center on the damage and human suffering caused by the quake and tsunami. They recognize the nuclear reactors have not been stabilized.

"If there were further explosions, people could be injured. But directly by the explosions, if there were very large amounts of radiation. I think the firefighters, for example, in Chernobyl had a lot of acute problems with radiation. So far there's no indication any of that will be taking place."

Whatever happens in Japan, experts say that country's current problems pose little risk if any to us here in the United States.

Tags: John Moroney, Japan earthquake, nuclear radiation
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