Tag Archives: Background Radiation

The Impact of the Fukushima on Canada: Health Canada Reports

By Jay T. Cullen

The purpose of this post is to bring to the attention of interested readers a recently released report that provides comprehensive account of the environmental radiation surveillance activities conducted by Health Canada in the months immediately following the Fukushima accident.  This report includes an assessment of the overall levels of contamination and resulting impacts to the health of Canadians.  Contrary to irresponsible and inaccurate rumors that Health Canada suspended monitoring in the wake of the triple meltdowns, monitoring activities were, in fact, enhanced and expanded to increase the flow of information and improve understanding of the implications of the contamination for environmental and public health.  While there was no discernible change in total background radiation a distributed system of monitoring stations and the rapid collection and measurement of environmental samples tracked the trace levels of atmospheric contamination across the country. The report concludes:

  1. conservative estimates of the maximum individual dose from Fukushima was less than 0.0003 (1/ 3,000) of the typical annual dose for a Canadian owing to natural background sources
  2. the additional dose resulting from Fukushima derived contamination is far less than the normal variation in dose from place to place in Canada
  3. there are likely to be no health impacts related to this small, incremental dose

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External ionizing radiation doses of high school students in Japan, France, Poland and Belarus

By Jay T. Cullen

Third-year science students H. Onodera and R. Suzuki, both 18, and second-year students M. Saito, Y. Fujiwara, both 17, and S. Anzai, 16 and their supervising teacher T. Hara, 57, took part in compiling the study.  They used citizen science deployed dosimeters to compare external radiation dose experience by students in different countries.
The purpose of this post to report on a peer-reviewed, open access study published in the Journal of Radiological Protection where high-school aged citizen scientists measured and compared the external ionizing radiation doses experienced by students in Japan, Belarus, France, and Poland. Adachi and colleagues equipped 216 high-school students in Japan (inside and outside Fukushima Prefecture), Belarus, France and Poland with an electronic dosimeter to estimate and compare annual external ionizing radiation doses in 2014.  The distribution of doses experienced in each region overlapped with each other indicating that personal external ionizing radiation exposure in Fukushima Prefecture and Belarus are within the range of annual doses from terrestrial background radiation in other locations.

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