The radioactive plume from the meltdown of Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, due to a 9.0 earthquake which led to a massive tsunami, was initially reported as harmless by the time it reached the US. But new statistics show that this was NOT the case: An estimated 14,000 deaths in the United States have now been linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster, and the impact is seen as being roughly comparable to 16,500 radiation-related deaths that took place in the 17 weeks after the Chernobyl meltdown in 1986. EPA measurements found levels of radiation in air, water, and milk hundreds of times above normal across the US.
Infants were the hardest hit, and continuing research will probably reveal an even higher death count. The cities that had the most excess infants deaths were Boise, Idaho (with 390 deaths), Kansas City (with 200 deaths), Salt Lake City (with 190 deaths), Jacksonville, Florida (with 150 deaths), Olympia, Washington (with 125 deaths, and Boston (with 92 deaths).
On the Market Watch website, Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman quote epidemiologist Joseph Mangano as saying, "This study of Fukushima health hazards is the first to be published in a scientific journal. It raises concerns, and strongly suggests that health studies continue, to understand the true impact of Fukushima in Japan and around the world. Findings are important to the current debate of whether to build new reactors, and how long to keep aging ones in operation."
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