Nuclear issues in Fukushima have not been resolved yet. Image Credit: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock Related StoriesCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedMGH researchers identify potential markers of lung cancerSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsThe Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry last week on Friday announced that the fifty-something year old man who died of lung cancer had succumbed primarily due to radiation exposure and ruled that compensation was due to his family. The man in question had been working at the nuclear plants all around Japan. He had worked at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that was operated by the Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO). He worked at the place twice after the earthquake in 2011 wearing protective masks and suits. His cancer was diagnosed in February 2016. The Ministry heard opinions of radiologists and other experts in the field before they announced that the family of the person should be compensated.Four other workers at Fukushima too suffered from radiation illness due to exposure to high levels of radiation after the meltdown. This man was the first to die of the radiation exposure says the Ministry. After the meltdown at the power plant, over 160,000 people had to leave their homes near and around the region for fear of radiation exposure. There were hundreds of deaths when these individuals and their families were displaced from the region. These however were not directly caused by the radiation exposure.At present the Tokyo Electric is facing several legal cases regarding compensation of the families of the people affected by the disaster. According to speculation in 2016, there could be a total of $200 billion in compensation from TEPCO to the families affected by the disaster. By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDSep 6 2018For the first time, Japan has acknowledged that the death in a worker at the Fukushima nuclear power plant occurred due to radiation exposure. The power plant was destroyed in a tsunami and an earthquake around seven years back.The earthquake had hit the region in March 2011 and was of a magnitude 9.0. It had triggered a massive tsunami that had killed nearly 18,000 people. The tsunami had also resulted in one of the world’s worst nuclear disaster by destroying the nuclear power plant and causing radiation fall out. The cooling systems of the plant in Japan’s north-east coast failed leading to leakage of the radioactive materials.
Pesticides found in honey around the world By Erik StokstadOct. 5, 2017 , 2:00 PM Insecticides are cropping up in honey samples from around the world, a new study finds, suggesting that bees and other pollinators are being widely exposed to these dangerous chemicals. The commonly used insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, are absorbed by plants and spread throughout their tissues. When pollinators collect and consume contaminated pollen and nectar, they can suffer from learning and memory problems that hamstring their ability to gather food and sometimes threaten the health of the whole hive. That’s a pressing concern because of the important role of honey bees and wild bees in pollinating crops, particularly fruits and vegetables. To get an idea of the extent of the threat to pollinators from pesticides, researchers in Switzerland asked their friends, relatives, and colleagues around the world to provide locally sourced honey. They found neonicotinoids most frequently in samples from North America, where 86% had one or more neonicotinoid, and least often in South America, where they occurred in 57% of samples. Globally, just over a third of samples had levels that have been shown to hurt bees, the researchers report today in Science. None of the samples had concentrations dangerous to human health. More than two types of neonicotinoids turned up in 45% of the honey samples, and 10% had four or five; the effects of mixtures are not known, but suspected to be worse. The team calls on governments to make more data available on the amounts of neonicotinoids being used in agriculture, which would help clarify the relationship between the amounts used by farmers and how much turns up in honey.