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Stress emerges as major health issue in Fukushima

Experts say that mental distress could be one of the biggest health problems to emerge from the nuclear disaster in Japan two years ago.



Minami-Soma (Japan): Experts say that mental distress could be one of the biggest health problems to emerge from the nuclear disaster in Japan two years ago.
A tsunami swamped the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on March 11, 2011, knocking out cooling systems and causing meltdowns and explosions.

The cancer risks from the radiation remain unclear, but the crisis is already exacting a psychological toll. A quarter of 35,300 respondents to a Fukushima Medical University questionnaire indicated they were experiencing high levels of stress or trauma.

Many families are split: The fathers are living at home for their jobs, while mothers and children have moved to temporary shelters or government-sponsored housing away from the radiation.

Mental distress was a significant health issue after Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986.

PTI

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