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Sunday, May 29, 2011

20 mSV for Children: "Scientific Basis Not Clear" by the Japan Medical Association 日本医師会「子ども20mSV」問題声明英訳


The Japan Medical Association's statement, issued on May 12, was a significant addition to the mounting criticism against the Japanese government's April 19 decision to raise the annual radiation dose limit from 1 mSV (millisievert) to 20 mSV. An English version is available now, thanks to Hideko Wada, one of the leaders of MSCR, Moms to Save Children from Radiation. Some criticized that this statement from the Japanese doctors' association came too late, but many thought better late than never. The statement does not specifically ask the government to rescind their new limit, but it clearly expresses its concern for children's susceptibility to radiation, and the lack of scientific ground on the 20 mSV decision.

Please also see the list of related articles available in English and other langugages on this issue.

May 12, 2011

The opinion of the Japan Medical Association on the “Notification of interim policy regarding decisions on the use of school buildings and outdoor areas within Fukushima Prefecture” issued by MEXT
The Japan Medical Association

On April 19, the National Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) issued a notification concerning radioactive exposure limits for children using school grounds to the governor of Fukushima and the Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education.

This notification set the children’s interim radiation exposure limit to 20 mSv per year. Thus assuming a life pattern of 16 hours inside the (wooden) building and 8 hours in the yard, they calculate that the outdoor and indoor radiation dose rate at 3.8 μSv/h and 1.52 μSv/h respectively. They conclude that schools below this level will not exceed 20 mSv per year.

But the statement issued by the International Commission on Radiation Protection (ICRP) dated March 21, on which the designated radiation rate is based, only states, ” after the termination of this emergency, it is possible to choose as a reference levels for ordinary people in the band of 1 to 20 mSv per year.”

The scientific basis for choosing the maximum amount of 20 mSv in the band of 1 to 20 mSv is not clear. The government’s action should be more carefully deliberated considering the fact that growing children are more sensitive to radiation exposure compared to adults. We as a nation should make the utmost effort to reduce the exposure to radiation of children, as well as adults. We are responsible for the children’s health and life.

Although the government has released a notification to the schools and related facilities requesting that they should start examining measures for environmental amelioration, such as removing the surface soil of the grounds of kindergartens, nursery schools, schools and parks, they should take more active responsibility for the initiative.

We urgently request that the Japanese National government strive to reduce children’s radiation exposure in the fastest and most effective way possible.


Below is the original Japanese version. 日本語版です


20ミリシーベルトの基準引き下げを 学校屋外活動で日医

2011.5.12 21:50


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