First of all, a study was published on Muration in butterflies around Fukushima. A large number of butterflies showes deformities in larvae and also in adult animals with deformed wings, antennae and eyes in several generations:
Radiation that leaked from the Fukushima nuclear plant following last year's tsunami caused mutations in some butterflies — including dented eyes and stunted wings — though humans seem relatively unaffected, researchers say.The mutations are the first evidence that the radiation has caused genetic changes in living organisms. (via kval.com)
It is likely that the first generation of butterflies suffered both physical damage from radiation sickness and genetic damage from the massive exposure to radioactive isotopes after the disaster, the researchers reported. This generation passed on their genetic mutations to their offspring, who then acquired their own genetic defects from eating radioactive leaves and from exposure to low levels of radiation remaining in the environment. The cumulative effect caused successive generations to develop more serious physical abnormalities. "Note that every generation was continuously exposed," said Otaki.
Mousseau said, "This study adds to the growing evidence that low-dose radiation can lead to significant increases in mutations and deformities in wild animal populations."
The findings are consistent with previous studies in Japan and at Chernobyl, Mousseau added. "The ecological studies that we have conducted found that the entire butterfly community in Fukushima was depressed in radioactive areas, as were the birds, and that the patterns seen in Fukushima were similar to what has been observed in Chernobyl. If the plants and animals are mutating and dying, this should be cause for significant public concern." (via livescience.com)
As a comparison: the highest caesium contamination found in a wild bore in Western Europe after the Chernobyl incident was 4900bq/kg in a Bavarian wild boar. Japanese Fishermen are not allowed to fish in the zone where this fish was caught, but the fishery exclusion zone spreads only a small area of 30 square miles.
Today, Nuclear activists around the world were shocked to hear that:
The operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said Tuesday it had found 25,800 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive caesium in greenling, 258 times higher than the government safety standard. Fishing in waters off the plant has been voluntarily restricted since the nuclear disaster at the plant, which went into meltdown after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Less than a month after the start of the disaster, Tokyo Electric dumped more than 11,000 tons of wastewater containing radioactive substances into the Pacific. (via times.co.za)
Since these figures come from Tepco itself it is hard ower really is. After the Chernobyl Event, the European Union raised the limit from 30 Bq/kg to 360bq/kg allowing especially Eastern European mushroom and other farming products to be still imported to the E.U.
The health effect on children also becomes more and more threatening. Over a third of the kids of Fukushima are threatened by cancer or lumps:
After examining more than 38,000 children from the area, medics found that more than 13,000 have cysts or nodules as large as 5 millimeters on their thyroids, the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey states. In comparison, a 2001 analysis by the Japan Thyroid Association found that fully zero per cent of children in the city of Nagasaki, which suffered a nuclear attack in August of 1945, had nodules, and only 0.8 per cent had cysts on their thyroids, reports the Telegraph. Radiation enters the body and is distributed through soft tissue, especially in muscle, and then accumulates in the thyroid. It is this accumulation that can potentially lead to cancer. "Yes, 35.8 per cent of children in the study have lumps or cysts, but this is not the same as cancer," says Naomi Takagi, an associate professor at Fukushima University Medical School Hospital, which administered the tests.(via rt.com)
In another interesting contribution, Dr.Tsubokura Shoji from the Institute of Medical Science at Tokyo University who spends 2 weeks a months in Minamisoma City General Hospital where he gives support to families affected by the Fukushima disaster. The internal specialist and hematologist describes the following cases of people contaminated by eating local food like shiitake mushrooms and vegetables:
"A man in his 70-year-old and has consulted screening WBC. It was a result of 20000Bq (!) / Body cesium-134 and 137 together about the results...
Was consulted along with the wife. The result was a result of a total of about 10000Bq/body. Also fix per body weight, and 300Bq/kg. It has come to our inspection look at several hospitals, some of the highest value that I have seen in Japan so far. There is also the value as scattered in the report, such as Belarus. This person was a referral from a certain married couple actually. Another couple is visited a couple of weeks ago, the total cesium 14000Bq/body husband, wife that I was about 8000Bq/body. When asked about the diet, it was that you eat every day and shiitake stop shipment was decided early, leek or make yourself, you can come to collect near you, bamboo shoots, dried persimmons, and garlic" (via Health Blog of Asahi.com)