World Bulletin / News Desk
People who survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as children continue to have a higher-than-normal risk of thyroid cancer more than 50 years after radiation exposure, according to a U.S. study.
Thyroid cells are particularly vulnerable to ionizing radiation, the kind produced by the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown or the atomic bombings in Japan.
The study published in the International Journal of Cancer tracked new cancer diagnoses in people who were in Japan during the bombings in 1945 and those who were not.
In total, there were 371 thyroid cancers diagnosed between 1958 and 2005 in about 105,000 atomic bomb survivors.
The study found little evidence that adults exposed to the radiation were more likely to develop thyroid cancer later on.
However, for children exposed to the radiation, the result was different. The study found 36 percent of 191 thyroid cancers in people who were children or teens at the time was likely due to radiation exposure.
"Thyroid cancer is one of the most radio sensitive cancers," said Kiyohiko Mabuchi at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, who worked on the study.
"Younger (thyroid) tissue may be more sensitive to radiation - that's one of the hypotheses."
The thyroid releases hormones that help regulate the body's metabolism. The gland works especially hard during times of fast growth and development in children and teens.
The researchers said it was not clear whether the findings have implications for Japanese children who were living near the Fukushima nuclear plant, which suffered a meltdown last March following an earthquake and tsunami.
In the case of Fukushima, quick evacuations may have minimized the exposure risk, said radiation researcher John Boice from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Boice pointed out that even among atomic bomb survivors, the risk of thyroid cancer was very low for people who only got a small dose of radiation.
"And, it appears around Fukushima and in Japan that the exposures to kids were below a level where there's been any detectable increase (in cancer risk)," Boice added.
Researchers are still calculating radiation exposures after Fukushima. A typical head CT scan delivers about 2 millisieverts (mSv) worth of radiation, compared to 350 mSv and higher exposures among people who were evacuated after Chernobyl. SOURCE: http://bit.ly/PscolC
A vaccine developed by researchers has shown promising results with a trial tests showing 100% protection against Ebola
Low lying areas in the Sundarbans region has forced many mothers to join fathers away from home to work, leaving little choice for their children but to take refuge in hostels away from family.
World Wildlife Fund communications manager says plan could come to fruition by 2020, but depends on final gov’t approval
Meteorologists expect El Nino effects to delay the rainy season as dry conditions force locals to pray for rain
Hawaii has become the first American state to ban the use of plastic bags.
Gene therapy for cystic fibrosis has for the first time shown slight but significant benefit on lung function, new British research reveals.
A new study has determined that soda drinks are responsible for more than 184,000 deaths with nearly 80% occurring in low to middle income countries
The plight of these urban areas show how dire the coming global freshwater shortage could get.
Coin-sized band analyzes blood glucose levels and releases insulin when needed
A WHO report has found that the use of lindane and DDT are linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Pope Francis has said that the emissions trading is a ploy to allow wealthy emitters to continue their work
Russian sewerage dump is responsible for declining fish stock in the Baltic seas.
A new cancer drug will be tested as part of a joint effort by AstraZeneca and Lilly.
Smart technology and regulation will aid challenges in global power sector, helping to lower the carbon emitted globally.
A deal between the richest nations in the world has been seen as unlikely, as OECD seeks to phase out export credits.
Soon more than 1 billion consumers in developing nations will be able to buy their first air conditioner, increasing energy demand which will impact global warming