Towards a Long-Term Strategy for Voluntary-Based Internal Radiation Contamination Monitoring: A Population-Level Analysis of Monitoring Prevalence and Factors Associated with Monitoring Participation Behavior in Fukushima, Japan

TitleTowards a Long-Term Strategy for Voluntary-Based Internal Radiation Contamination Monitoring: A Population-Level Analysis of Monitoring Prevalence and Factors Associated with Monitoring Participation Behavior in Fukushima, Japan
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsNomura S., Tsubokura M., Ozaki A., Murakami M., Hodgson S., Blangiardo M, Nishikawa Y., Morita T., Oikawa T.
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume14
Date PublishedApr 9
ISBN Number1660-4601
Accession Number28397769
Keywords*Community Participation/statistics & numerical data, *Fukushima Nuclear Accident, *Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident, *monitoring behavior, *voluntary internal radiation monitoring program, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Geography, Humans, Japan, Male, Middle Aged, Radiation Exposure/*analysis/standards, Radiation Monitoring/*methods/statistics & numerical data, Risk, Sex Factors, Young Adult
Abstract

Following Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident, we assessed voluntary-based monitoring behavior in Minamisoma City-located 10-40 km from the Fukushima nuclear plant-to inform future monitoring strategies. The monitoring in Minamisoma included occasional free of charge internal-radiation-exposure measurements. Out of around 70,000 individuals residing in the city before the incident, a total of 45,788 residents (female: 52.1%) aged >/=21 were evaluated. The monitoring prevalence in 2011-2012 was only 30.2%, and this decreased to 17.9% in 2013-2014. Regression analyses were performed to estimate factors associated with the monitoring prevalence and participation behavior. The results show that, in comparison with the age cohort of 21-30 years, the cohort of 71-80 and >/=81 years demonstrated significantly lower monitoring prevalence; female residents had higher monitoring prevalence than male residents; those who were living in evacuation zones at the time of the incident had higher monitoring prevalence than those who lived outside any of the evacuation zones; for those living outside Fukushima and neighboring Prefectures post-incident monitoring prevalence decreased significantly in 2013-2014. Our findings inform the discussion on the concepts of radiation risk perception and accessibility to monitoring and societal decision-making regarding the maintenance of the monitoring program with low monitoring prevalence. We also stress the possibility that the monitoring can work both to check that internal contamination levels are within acceptable limits, and as a risk communication tool, alleviating individuals' concern and anxiety over radiation contamination.

Short TitleInt. J. Environ. Res. Public HealthInt. J. Environ. Res. Public Health
Alternate JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health