People in Fukushima Prefecture are ingesting about eight times more radioactive cesium in their daily meals than people in Tokyo, a health ministry survey showed.
However, even if Fukushima Prefecture residents consume those meals for an entire year, their level of radiation exposure will be an estimated 0.0193 millisievert, much lower than the government's new permissible standard for food of 1 millisievert annually, according to the survey.
The survey was conducted by the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in September and November. The results were released on Dec. 22.
The NIHS researchers looked into the average intake of food items based on the ministry's fiscal 2007 survey on health and nutrition. They bought and cooked those food items from Fukushima Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture and Tokyo.
The daily intake levels of radioactive iodine and cesium, apparently from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March, were calculated. The researchers also measured radioactive kalium from the natural environment.
Consumers of food in Tokyo take in 0.45 becquerel of cesium a day, compared with 3.39 becquerels in Fukushima Prefecture and 3.11 becquerels in Miyagi Prefecture, according to the results.
The annual radiation exposure levels for eating those foods were 0.0026 millisievert in Tokyo, 0.0193 millisievert in Fukushima Prefecture and 0.0178 millisievert in Miyagi Prefecture, the survey showed.
The levels of radioactive kalium from the natural environment were 78.92 becquerels in Tokyo, 83.77 becquerels in Fukushima Prefecture and 92.04 becquerels in Miyagi Prefecture.
Radioactive iodine was measured at about 0.1 becquerel in all three areas.
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