Sunday, May 1, 2011


I have a new hero. His name is Toshiso Kosako. Until recently, he held the very prestigious position of Senior Nuclear Adviser to the Government of Japan. But I don’t admire him because of his importance. I admire him because he gave it up, and for the reason he gave it up. That took a lot of guts and showed tremendous integrity.

Among the reasons he reportedly gave up the adviser post was that he could not go along with allowing children living near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to receive doses of radiation that are equivalent to levels established for adult nuclear power plant workers. He understands that they are more vulnerable. This greater vulnerability also applies to any nuclear (or other toxic) contaminants they receive from food.

When this crisis began, I blogged the special dangers pregnant women needed to be aware of. Maybe I should have given more attention to infants and young children. Their bodies are much smaller, and therefore a small quantity of a toxic substance can affect them as much as a larger quantity would affect an adult.
Their brains and bodies are also still developing and can be easily damaged. In addition, infants are sometimes more vulnerable to toxic substances in the environment because they crawl and put things in their mouth. In fact, they could be exposed from several sources - the atmosphere, direct contact with contaminated surfaces, and contaminated food and water.

But a final thought on the food issue: infants and young children can also be more exposed to toxic iodine and cesium from radiation-contaminated food, because they rely on a limited range of food and drink, day after day. This concentrates their risk. If one of these is contaminated - such as milk, apple juice, certain vegetables, it can be very bad news indeed.

Thank you Mr. Kosako, for speaking out for children.


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