Japanese Mothers Measure Radiation in Make Shift Lab

An hour's drive from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, a woman with a white mask over her mouth presses bright red strawberries into a pot, ready to be measured for radiation contamination.

Six years after a massive earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered meltdowns at three of Fukushima's reactors, local mothers with no scientific background staff a laboratory set up from donations that keeps track of radiation levels in food, water and soil.

Since official screenings began following the nuclear accident, 174 children in Fukushima prefecture have been diagnosed with - or are suspected of having - thyroid cancer, according to figures from Fukushima's local government.

Japan’s government officials predict the likelihood of an increase in these cases is unlikely, but the mothers are not convinced after studying the freely available information on the subject that highlights how children are more susceptible.

Ai Kimura, one of the mothers said, “But what if there's a chance that in 10 or 20 years time, my own child gets thyroid cancer? And I could have done my bit to minimise the risks. My children are mine and I want to do whatever I can to protect them."

Australian children may not be at risk of nuclear contamination, however obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease are just as insidious when we consider the health impacts. We can take inspiration form the proactive fight these Japanese mothers are taking to fight these invisible threats to our children’s health. – Medscape online

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