I suppose you would have read the news last week (April 21 & 22) about the risk of radiation to breast milk. In this article I bring to you my analysis of the situation, and the criticality of the matter.
Before we proceed, let me remind you that it was not just radiation that was found in the breast milk, it was radioactive matter itself that was found in significant quantities. That means that the babies drinking that milk will have a constant supply of radioactive material and a constant doze of radiation from those materials after bring consumed.
Without further ado, let’s analyze the story
Here is the original article that I read: Japan checks radiation risk to breast milk
Here is an excerpt from that article:
JAPAN’S health ministry is to check whether breast milk has been affected by radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant, the spokesman for Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said.
“We have judged that too much concern is unnecessary,” Yukio Edano, who is also the chief cabinet secretary, told reporters according to the Kyodo News agency.
“But I understand that mothers are worried and so, just to be sure, I gave the order.”
Now, here is my analysis
Radioactive iodine was found in breast milk by a non-government organization
It may seem at first that the government tested and found the radioactive iodine in breast milk. It was however a citizen’s group in Japan that conducted the tests independently, after mothers expressed concerns about the wellbeing of their babies and safety of breast milk.
All the government did even after the findings, was try and tell people that there was absolutely no need for concern.
44.44% of the women tested were found positive
From the 9 women who got their samples tested, four of them were found to have contaminated breast milk. That’s a very high percentage of the samples! And remember, we are talking about people who are not even close to the Fukushima nuclear plant!
High level of radioactive iodine found
Though I couldn’t find data on all of the 4 samples tested positive for radioactive iodine, one of them was published as being as high as 36.3 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kg, detected in the milk of the mother of an eight-month-old baby.
The truth is that there is no official safe level set for radioactive matter in breast milk. So what the authorities did was compare it with the safety level in drinking water and say that it was safe because it was within the limits set for water.
We have to remember that for the baby consuming the contaminated milk, it is probably the only source of food. We are talking about the baby consuming a significant percentage of radioactive matter, with extremely high chances of suffering from the deadly consequences.
Also remember that all levels of radiation are confirmed to cause cancer. There is scientifically no safe limit of radiation for humans.
The contamination was found very close to Tokyo
This is the most concerning point! Not surprisingly, in adherence to government orders, the Japanese media seemed to play dumb about this fact. International media seemed to have not observed the critically of this matter. Here is the scary part of my analysis:
Guess where the woman who was found to have 36.3 becquerels of radioactive ioding per kg is from? It’s a town called Kashiwa, in the Chiba prefecture. Chiba is right adjacent to Tokyo!
Go ahead and check out the place on Google Maps and measure the aerial distance from this place to the heart of the Tokyo region. Guess how close it is? Just 30 kms!
All the 9 women tested were said to be living north-east or east of Tokyo. So I guess all of them are very close to to Tokyo, probably even closer than 30 kms?
All this while they said that Tokyo is safe because it is 250 kms away from the nuclear plant. Logic tells that if radioactive matter has reached even the US, Tokyo is not far at all. In fact it is dangerously close! But then people living in Tokyo, including me, tend to believe that Tokyo is far away and safe.
But now, what would you say about the safety of Tokyo, if a place 220 kms from the plant has radiation showing up in human breast milk? Does 250 kms still seem safe? I can see a major conspiracy and severe downplaying of the consequences of the crisis.
How much concern is too much concern?
“We have judged that too much concern is unnecessary,” Yukio Edano
As always, the government is downplaying the situation by saying that too much concern is unnecessary. I think it is a baseless and totally irrational comment from Edano. Why? Because if there are health risks, there would certainly be concerns, especially if the government is trying to hide required information. And how much concern is too much concern anyway, when it could be our life with which we have to pay?
The government had no choice, even though it cares a naught about people
“But I understand that mothers are worried and so, just to be sure, I gave the order”, said Edano.
Dear Mr. Edano, I’m sorry to say, but you had no other choice but to give that order! You say you understand mothers’ worries, and “just to be sure” you gave the orders. Let me remind you, Mr. Edano, that there is nothing just to be sure about here. Tests have already been conducted by a private organization in Japan and there is proof that radioactive materials have been found in breast milk, and you had no choice but to abide by peoples demands to look into the growing concerns from nursing mothers.
Where is the progress of actions resulting from your “orders” anyway?
So the government said it gave orders to have the health ministry check whether breast milk has been affected by radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. That was more than a week ago, and neither have I seen any reports of the results of the study, nor have I seen any reports on the progress of such a study happening.
So, let me remind you that there are people still waiting for your reports, though we already know that radioactive iodine has been already proven to have been found in breast milk in 44.44% of the women who got their samples tested independently!
Should we be surprised that the government is so slow in revealing its findings, assuming that it really ventured into an analysis in the first place?
A concluding note: Is Tokyo Safe?
The government says that the people in Tokyo are safe. But if radioactive iodine is found in breast milk of women 220 kms away from the nuclear plant, while the heart of Tokyo is just another 30 kms away from there, do you think we should believe that we are all safe here in Tokyo, just because the government censors the news and chooses not to reveal the facts? After all, people can still think on their own. Well, at least some of them!