(NaturalNews) For the very first time, a scientific study published in a peer-reviewed journal has come up with a solid estimate of the total number of US deaths caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in the weeks following it. Epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, MPH, MBA, and his colleagues say that, based on compiled data, at least 14,000 people in the US were killed during the 14 weeks following the Fukushima catastrophe -- and the majority of these deaths were in children under age one.
Published in the International Journal of Health Services, Mangano's study looked at both infant and adult death rates during the time when Fukushima occurred, as well as in previous months and years. During the 14 weeks prior to Fukushima, for instance, infant deaths had been declining by 8.37 percent, while in the weeks following the disaster they increased by 1.8 percent. Among adults, a 4.46 percent death rate was observed in the weeks after Fukushima, compared to 2.34 percent, which is about half that rate, a year prior.
"This study of Fukushima health hazards is the first to be published in a scientific journal," said Mangano. "It raises concerns, and strongly suggests that health studies continue, to understand the true impact of Fukushima in Japan and around the world. Findings are important to the current debate of whether to build new reactors, and how long to keep aging ones in operation."
"Based on our continuing research, the actual death count here may be as high as 18,000, with influenza and pneumonia, which were up five-fold in the period in question as a cause of death," added Mangano. "Deaths are seen across all ages, but we continue to find that infants are hardest hit because their tissues are rapidly multiplying, they have undeveloped immune systems, and the doses of radioisotopes are proportionally greater than for adults."