Decontamination work in the area surrounding fukushima dai-ichi nuclear power plant: Another occupational health challenge of the nuclear disaster

Koji Wada*, Toru Yoshikawa, Masaru Murata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article describes occupational health measures for workers involved in decontamination of radioactive material discharged around Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant after the explosions in 2011. Decontamination is performed by removing radioactive particles (mainly cesium) from surfaces of soil, grass and trees, and buildings. Measurement of radiation doses is necessary to reduce exposure, and to determine whether workers can work below dose limits. Protective equipment for decontamination is determined based on the concentration of radiation in contaminated soil and the exposure to dust. Health examinations by physicians are mandated for decontamination workers upon hiring and every 6 months. While there is no possibility of acute radiation injury from decontamination, workers may be anxious about the unclear effects of chronic low level radiation exposure on health. Measures to protect the decontamination workers are the top priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Environmental and Occupational Health
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Decontamination
  • Fukushima
  • Protection
  • Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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