Visiting Tokyo Japan in 2013 - Radiation Concerns
My brother and I are planning to travel to Tokyo Japan in May 2013 for 2 weeks of vacation.
Given the 2011 earthquake in Japan that led to the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Plant, we’ve been doing some research and had a few concerns about the radiation from the fallout. A coworker of mine recently decided to cancel his trip to Japan, so we’ve been concerned even more. I understand that it has been almost 2 years since the incident, and that Fukushima is 160 miles away from Tokyo, but we just wanted to make sure it is safe to visit given that we are not sure what impact has been left behind.
Here are some of our concerns given the research we’ve done on the internet:
1. Cesium and Strontium
A. What is the likelihood of cesium being inahled or ingested. If inhaled or ingested over a 2 week period what are the Long term effects?
B. I’ve read that cesium has a half life of 70 days in the body for adults up to 30 years of age, is this true?
From Japans Consumer Affairs Agency:
The biological half-life for iodine-131 is approximately 11 days in infants, 23 days in five-year-olds and 80 days in adults. For cesium-137, it is approximately 9 days for one-year-olds, 38 days for children up to nine years of age, 70 days for adults up to 30 years of age, and 90 days for adults up to 50 years of age. Therefore, when cesium-137, which has a long physical half-life of 30 years, is taken into the body, the amount remaining in the body is reduced by half in three months (in the case of 50-year-olds).
C. Does Cesium affect the heart negatively? Do we have reason to be concerned long term if we are only staying for 2 weeks?
D. I notice cesium observations and readings are very common, but I don’t see very much coverage around strontium 90. Is there a reason why the Japanese Government hasn’t given more attention to strontium 90 monitoring in soil, air, and food than cesium monitoring? I’ve read through sites such as wikipedia that strontium can cause lukemia in the long run and would have the most severe effect of all the fallout materials. Is there any reason why the government held off till this year to report these numbers? Please see articles below
Asahi article on strontium
A Fukushima Blog
Ministry of Education, Sports, Science, Technoloy – Japan
Strontium Results (Japansese)
Strontium Results (Translated In English):
E. What is the likelihood of strontium being inhaled or ingested? If inhaled or ingested over a 2 week period what are the long term effects? Can you get lukemia from breathing strontium over a 2 week period? Do we have reason to be concerned or paniced?
F. Does strontium stay in the body long run?
G. I’ve also gone to a few other websites to see if there are other concerns around radiation in Tokyo and have attached them below. Are these credible, and should these be reason for concern? The Dr. Chris Busby article especially concerns me, as it implies that maybe indoor areas maybe high with radiation?
1.) Dr. Chris Busby
I watched an online video on You Tube from Dr. Chris Busby. In the video he claims an air condition filter from Tokyo has high levels of radiation. 183,000 BQ Is this credible? Should we be concerned/paniced with hotel rooms and indoor area air quality?
Article from a Canadian Website:
About Chris Busby:
2.) Video on train
I watched an online video of a passenger taking a train ride to Tokyo Narita Airport and he found high levels of radiation on the train using a radiation meter. Is this credible and should I be concerned?
3.) Radiation Defense Project
This website reported high levels of radiation (cesium) in hotspots around tokyo. Is this credible and should I be concerned?
About Radiation Defense:
H. Given all these concerns, should we be concerned about visiting Tokyo and Japan? Will these concerns above give us long term issues? Are there any other particles from the fall out that we should be concerned about (ie. plutonium)
Thanks for taking the time to answer my email