There are differing opinions concerning radiation and its effects. After consulting with medical doctors CRASH Japan maintains that obeying the law by staying out of the 20 km radiation exclusion zone is the key factor to the safety of its staff and volunteers. CRASH Japan operates in areas that are deemed safe by the Japanese government and whose safety has been and can be verified by multiple sources. For more specific concerns please refer to the Q&A below.|
Q&A About Safety
Toshihisa Sakamoto, M.D.Professor Department of Traumatology and critical Care Medicine National Defense Medical College
※The radiation level is checked before the work starts and we don't enter the 20km exclusion zone.
Q1. I am three months pregnant. Is it safe for me to join the volunteer work?A. It is better for you to maintain your usual activities until you are three months pregnant. To be safe we recommend that you don't volunteer until you pass the second trimester.
Q2. Are there precautions we need to take as we volunteer? (Regarding the radiation hot spots, etc.)A. It is considered to be safe unless we enter the area that is designated as off-limits by the Japanese or prefectural governments. There may be some unconfirmed hot spots; however, we only work for a few days. The radiation exposure we may experience is not enough to affect our health in the future.
Q3. Would children (12 and under) be affected by the radiation if they volunteer?A. Young children are safe as long as they remain in the safe zone as mentioned above, but infants are the exception. There are still some areas where the radiation level is several times higher than usual; however, the criteria has been set very strictly so that the exposure to radiation of approximately 100μSv/hour for a short period of time should not be a problem. Radiation of 10μSv/hour is slightly higher than usual, and is the equivalent of receiving one CT scan a year. It is about the same amount of exposure you receive when you fly to Europe, and nobody worries about that. The astronauts are exposed to a much higher radiation but there has not been any report of them having adverse effects.
Q4. Is the food in the affected area safe?A. The exposure received outwardly over your body is called external exposure and the exposure you receive inside your body through food and such is called internal exposure. The internal exposure is more dangerous as the radiation remains in your system; however, the Japanese government has been conducting very strict checks and has set strict restrictions. I personally think the restrictions set are above the necessary precautions. There are no problems concerning the food. Even if we consume the food produced in a hot spot, there is no need for concern as long as we don't eat the same food every day for a year. Rather, we should watch more for other harmful substances (food dye, salt, and sugar).
Q5. Is it safe to drive through hot spots?A. There would be external exposure but it is no problem unless you stay there for a long period of time.
Q6. How dangerous is this radiation dosage?A. How dangerous a certain dosage is depends on:
For more safety information, check out the following guides: