Public Health Concerns on Radiation Exposure After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident
Reiko Kanda*, Satsuki Tsuji*, Hidenori Yonehara**, and Masami Torikoshi***
*National Institute of Radiological Sciences
4-9-1 Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8555, Japan
**The Secretariat of Nuclear Regulation Authority
1-9-9 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8450, Japan
***Heavy Ion Medical Center, Gunma University
3-39-22 Showa-Machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan
This study analyzes data from telephone consultations made with a research institution during approximately one year following the March 11, 2011, Fukushima, Japan, Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Data was correlated with newspaper and online media coverage. During the analysis, many calls for consultation concerned aspects of daily life such as food, clothing, and housing and to radiation exposure during the accident. As the year of study went on, the proportion of consultation on daily life changed to more technical topics, such as dose measurement, scientific knowledge, natural radiation, and Russia’s Chernobyl accident. The topic of “children” raised the greatest number of consultations over the entire period; 20–40% of callers inquiring about soil, dose measurement and internal exposure asked also about children. Media reports on the topics consulted on were few except for those on dose measurement. The proportion of consultations on children and dose measurement may have been raised due to media reports circulating at about the same time. We concluded that it is important in postaccident risk communication that information related to daily living – especially protective measures that could be taken – and to effects on children be provided efficiently and at an appropriate timing.
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