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article imageFukushima radiation linked to Japanese monkeys’ blood count

By Tim Sandle     Jul 24, 2014 in Science
Fukushima - A new report suggests that Japanese monkeys have suffered health issues likely attributable to the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011.
The findings, have been published in the Scientific Reports journal. The assembled data shows that low blood counts appeared in Japanese macaques at a time coincidental to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. The risk of the low blood counts (abnormally low white and red blood cell levels and low haemoglobin) makes the monkeys more susceptible to various diseases.
The report suggests that the monkeys were probably exposed to radiation from feeding on tree buds and bark that accumulated radioactive caesium from the power plant explosions. The researchers examined wild monkeys who were 43 miles away from the plant reactors in the forest area of Fukushima City. The blood counts of these monkeys were considerably lower than those of monkeys about 250 miles away in the Shimokita Peninsula in the Aomori Prefecture.
Commenting on the study outcomes, Professor Shin-ichi Hayama, of the Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University in Tokyo, told The Guardian: "This first data from non-human primates—the closest taxonomic relatives of humans—should make a notable contribution to future research on the health effects of radiation exposure in humans."
The new research is titled "Low blood cell counts in wild Japanese monkeys after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster".
More about fukushima, Blood, Monkeys, Radiation
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