In an article entitled “Food not checked for radiation poses risk in Fukushima: study“, we once again see a couple of errors in the Japan Times’ reporting.
Researchers followed nine people, who were the only ones out of 30,622 examinees from the city to have internal cesium-137 levels greater than 50 becquerels per kilogram in screenings between March 11, 2012, and March 10, 2013. That’s roughly equal to 0.1 to 0.2 millisieverts per year.
That’s pretty impressively reassuring figures – only 0.03% of the tested population coming up “hot”!
Cesium-137 levels among the nine participants ranged from 3,230 to 15,918 becquerels per body, which corresponds to between 0.07 to 0.53 millisieverts per year
I’m not quite sure why 50 becquerels per kilogram was 0.1 to 0.2 millisievers per year in the first quote, but now 0.07 in the second. Furthermore, the report says the figures were calculated as 0.14 to 0.97 mSv/year, although that figure combined both Cs-134 and Cs-137.
Finally, the introduction to the report itself says:
Accordingly, serious health threats have emerged in radiation-contaminated areas after nuclear accidents such as the Chernobyl accident , and similarly, cumulative radiation exposure is currently a serious public health concern in Fukushima .
Looking at the two references here, both are not, as the casual reader might suspect, related to contamination, but instead appear to focus on the mental health of people from the worry about radiation. They seem to be odd references to me.