High Cancer Risks for Fukushima Residents


The World Health Organization reports that Japanese residents who lived near the Fukushima nuclear reactor are at a higher risk of getting cancer.  An earthquake and tsunami that killed nearly 20,000 people also destroyed the Fukushima nuclear reactor and set radiation free. Thousands of people had to leave their homes.

The WHO says it is unclear how many people were exposed to high levels of radiation but those living in the area had a higher risk of developing cancer in their lifetime. Especially smaller children may develop thyroid cancer.

The organization also reports that leukemia, breast cancer may also go up. The report suggests that females are more likely to develop cancer than males. In addition, about a third of the emergency workers were exposed to radiation after the accident.

The World Health Organization emphasizes that there is no health risk to the rest of the Japanese population. However, people who live in the Fukushima area should be observed over a longer period.




Related Topics



  • cancer = very serious disease in which your body starts growing cells in an uncontrolled way
  • destroy = damage completely
  • develop = grow
  • emergency worker = person who helps in a dangerous situation
  • emphasize = to say clearly
  • especially =above all
  • expose = have contact with
  • females = women
  • however = but
  • in addition = also
  • leukemia = blood cancer
  • levels = amounts
  • males = men
  • nuclear reactor = building that produces energy by splitting atoms
  • observe = watch
  • radiation = energy that comes from a nuclear reactor
  • resident = person who lives in a place
  • thyroid = organ in your neck that produces hormones that affect the way a person grpows and how they behave