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

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 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

    Fingerprint

    Nuclear Power Plants
    Decontamination
    Disasters
    Occupational Health
    nuclear power plant
    Nuclear power plants
    disaster
    Health
    Radiation
    Soil
    Soils
    Radioactive materials
    Cesium
    Radiation Injuries
    Explosions
    radiation exposure
    cesium
    Poaceae
    Dust
    Dosimetry

    Keywords

    • Decontamination
    • Fukushima
    • Protection
    • Radiation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

    Cite this

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    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.",
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