The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan released a survey result which shows that small amount of radioactive substances have been found in the breast milk of seven women. The tests were conducted on breast milk samples taken from 23 women living in Fukushima Prefecture and Kanto area. The health ministry officials said the survey result showed “undetected” or “small detection” of radioactive substances so they assumed that there would be no threat to the infant health even if mothers provide breast milk.
According to the health ministry, the breast milk samples were taken on April 24 and 25. As for the amount of the radioactive substances per one kilogram of the breast milk of a woman living in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, 3.5 becquerels of radioactive iodine and 2.4 becquerels of radioactive cesium were founded. In addition, the amount of radioactive iodine that was found in the samples of five women living in Ibaraki Prefecture and one in Chiba Prefecture ranged from 2.2 to 8.0 becquerels.
No radioactive substances were found in the samples taken from the remaining 16 women (three in Fukushima, four in Ibaraki, one in Chiba, one in Saitama, and seven in Tokyo).
There are no national safety standards for radioactive substances in breast milk; therefore, the health ministry provided the assessment based on the provisional drinking water standard (radioactive iodine: 100 becquerels (infants), radioactive cesium: 200 becquerels).
Those surveyed are breast-feeding women living in areas where food shipments are suspended or residents are required to refrain from drinking tap water. The health ministry asked for their cooperation through the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Source: Asahi Shinbun, Apr 30, 19:00
Translated by M. Kato
Link to original article: http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0430/TKY201104300238.html