To evacuate children or live with the fear of radiation’s harmful effects to children. Parents in the disaster-stricken Fukushima live each day torn between these two choices.
The quandary of the parents continues as authorities and government officials reassured parents their children are safe. While some families have left the region, many remained for their jobs, their lives and their homes despite the ongoing fear of radiation.
In Fukushima, home for about 300,000 people, children’s playgrounds are unusually quiet. Many schools do not allow children to play outdoor sports such as soccer, baseball or swimming. Windows of classrooms remain closed even in summer.
The education board said more than 300 children have left Fukushima’s elementary and junior high schools since April. A board official said he understood the fear among parents, but urged them to act calmly. He added that the city would distribute a radiation dosimeter to every student by September.
Authorities in Fukushima put current estimate of aerial exposure in the city at 5.4 to 13.6 millisieverts per year. Critics argued the estimate excludes any internal exposure from food or dust contaminated with radioactive isotopes.
Radiation fear escalated when a recent test revealed small amounts of radioactive substances in the urine samples of all of the 10 children surveyed.
While the All Japan news central government stated that the level of radiation is too low to have an immediate effect on the health of children, doctors in Fukushima argued that the survey results at least showed the children have indeed, been exposed with a certain level of radioactivity.
Children have higher risk from radiation-linked cancers and diseases than adults; however, due to limited long-term studies, there are still disagreements on the extent of the risk, told radiation safety experts.
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