Fukushima nuclear-power disaster

Media reports claim radiation from the 2011 Fukushima disaster caused thyroid problems in one-third of West Coast newborns. But they’re so, so wrong.

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH

The news is grim. West Coast babies are being born with thyroid problems left and right, media reports suggest. One-third have been affected! Radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster is to blame. What to do?!!!

Except … this isn’t true.

The rumor has spread across the Internet, but it comes from the misinterpretation of a new study. The preparedness organization Living Ready asked me to report the unbiased truth about this study’s findings in a guest blog post.

“Even worst case, the researchers found that nowhere near one-third of the newborns were hit with thyroid problems,” I write. “Not even close.” You can read the post here.

Have you seen these Fukushima thyroid rumors? What did you think?

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Digital Globe (CC-BY-SA-3.0).