Tokyo: Small amounts of radioactive substances have reportedly been detected in the breast milk of five women in Japan.
Online newspaper Japan Today said that in samples taken from 41 women across five prefectures, the tests found caesium in the breast milk of four women in Tokyo, Fukushima and Ibaraki, and radioactive iodine in the breast milk of a woman in Fukushima.
According to the New York Post, the study was conducted one month after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami rocked Japan’s northeast coast, triggering a nuclear crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant which saw radiation leak into the ground, sea and soil.
Safety levels of radioactive substances in breast milk have not been set by the Japanese government but readings -- 5.5 becquerels of iodine and up to 10.5 becquerels of caesium -- in all five cases were well below the safe levels -- 100 becquerels of radioactive iodine and 200 becquerels of caesium -- for tap water consumption by infants.
The group has called on health authorities to make testing available to concerned parents.