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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 656; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060656

Towards a Long-Term Strategy for Voluntary-Based Internal Radiation Contamination Monitoring: Representativeness of the Monitoring Results in Fukushima, Japan

1
Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
2
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK
3
Department of Radiation Protection, Minamisoma Municipal General Hospital, 2-54-6 Takami-cho, Haramachi-ku, Minamisoma, Fukushima 975-0033, Japan
4
Department of Health Risk Communication, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
5
Radiation Medical Science Center for the Fukushima Health Management Survey, Fukushima Medical University, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan
6
Research Institute of Science for Safety & Sustainability, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8569, Japan
7
Department of Health Informatics, School of Public Health, Kyoto University, Yoshida-Konoe, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 April 2017 / Revised: 10 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 20 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Abstract

Following Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident, voluntary participation, rather than mandatory, was adopted as the default scenario for individual radiation monitoring. We evaluated the representativeness of the internal monitoring results from voluntary participants in Minamisoma City, which is located 10–40 km from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Of approximately 70,000 individuals who were residing in Minamisoma City before the incident, a total of 19,263 residents (aged ≥21 years) participated in the monitoring from 1 October 2011 to 31 March 2015. Based on regression projection techniques with the available data obtained from the voluntary participants, the modeled probabilities of radiocesium (Cs) detection in October 2011 for Cs-137 and Cs-134 were 66.9% and 52.9%, respectively, which declined dramatically within a year following the incident. The rate of decline had stagnated since mid-2012, and the probability was close to zero after mid-2014. Sufficient agreement between the modeled probabilities of Cs detection (for the whole population) versus the measured Cs levels (for voluntary participants) was observed, except for Cs-134 in October 2011, indicating that the voluntary monitoring participant group was a good representative sample. Our findings affirmed the clinical importance of voluntary-based monitoring as a screening and dose-assessment tool in a post-nuclear incident. Our study informs societal decision-making regarding the long-term maintenance of the monitoring program under the current low exposure levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident of Japan; voluntary internal radiation monitoring program; representativeness 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident of Japan; voluntary internal radiation monitoring program; representativeness
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Nomura, S.; Tsubokura, M.; Murakami, M.; Ono, K.; Nishikawa, Y.; Oikawa, T. Towards a Long-Term Strategy for Voluntary-Based Internal Radiation Contamination Monitoring: Representativeness of the Monitoring Results in Fukushima, Japan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 656.

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