Dependence of radiation dose on the behavioral patterns among school children: A retrospective analysis 18 to 20 months following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident in Japan

Shuhei Nomura, Masaharu Tsubokura, Tomoyuki Furutani, Ryugo S. Hayano, Masahiro Kami, Yukio Kanazawa, Tomoyoshi Oikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

After radioactive incidents, the exposure risk in daily activities among children is a major public concern. However, there are limited methods available for evaluation of this risk, which is essential to future health risk management. To this end, this study assessed the relationship between behavioral patterns of school children and radiation exposure for a period of 18-20 months following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident. The assessed population comprised 520 school children from Minamisoma city, located 20 km north of the nuclear plant. Data for the doses were obtained using individual dosimeters and from results of a behavior survey administered by the City Office. The mean value of the doses in the study period was 0.34 mSv, with a standard deviation of 0.14 mSv, indicating an annual dose of ∼1.36 mSv, which includes doses from natural sources. Our results showed that behavior with respect to outdoor activities had no statistically significant relationship to the dose. A 0.1 μSv/h increase in the air dose rate at home was associated with a 10% increase in the dose; however, a 0.01 μSv/h increase in the air dose rate on the school grounds was associated with a 2% increase in the dose. This study indicates that the air contamination levels at the places where children spend most of their day are the significant predictors of the dose, as opposed to the levels at those outdoor locations in which short periods of time spent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of radiation research
Volume57
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Behavior pattern
  • External radiation dose
  • Fukushima nuclear incident
  • School children

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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