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Fukushima raised cancer risk, WHO says

People who live near Fukushima have an increased risk of developing cancer, the World Health Organization says.

Fukushima 2011 5 5Enlarge
President of troubled Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), Masataka Shimizu (C-in blue), is joined by company employees as they bow to evacuees (R) from the town of Namie near TEPCO's Fukushima nuclear power plant, to apologise for the nuclear crisis, at a shelter for those displaced in Nihonmatsu in Fukushima prefecture, 50 kms west of the stricken nuclear power plant on May 4, 2011. Japanese engineers on May 3 started preparing to send workers inside the Fukushima nuclear power station's reactor one building, the first time workers will have gone inside the building since the March 11 disaster, when four of the six reactors at the plant were heavily damaged by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)

People who live near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan are at an increased risk of developing cancer, the World Health Organization says.  The WHO said that the risks are still small, BBC News reported

Yet that is probably no comfort to the girls who were exposed as infants, who face the greatest risks. Their chance of getting thyroid cancer has risen as much as 70 percent, the Financial Times reported

However, a separate report released by a different organization makes the thyroid problem appear to be much worse than what the WHO has portrayed it as. 

More from GlobalPost: Fukushima worse than previously thought?

The earlier report found that more than forty percent of children tested have thyroid abnormalities. That survey, called The Tenth Report of the Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey, revealed that 44.2 percent of 94,975 children sampled have the abnormalities, and that the number of abnormalities has been increasing over time,  RT News reported earlier this month. RT also reported that two children exposed had been recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. 

That survey was conducted by researchers at The Radiation Medical Science Center of Fukushima Medical University, an organization founded in September 2011 in response to the nuclear disaster.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization researchers claim that the cancer risk is so small it will probably not be observable, USA Today reported

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/japan/130228/fukushima-raised-cancer-risk-who-says