The Environment Ministry has begun thyroid gland tests on children in faraway Nagasaki Prefecture as part of efforts to gauge the effects of radiation fallout from last year’s nuclear disaster.
Those children will serve as a control group for kids undergoing similar tests in Fukushima Prefecture, where the disaster occurred.
By comparing the results from the two prefectures, officials expect to gain a better grasp of the issue.
The Fukushima prefectural government has implemented what it intends to be a lifelong thyroid gland test program for 360,000 children who were aged 18 or under when the disaster began to unfurl in March 2011.
The program draws on the finding that cases of thyroid cancer soared among children after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.
That survey found that 40 percent of 96,000 or so children for whom test results are available developed thyroid gland problems, such as nodules, or lumps, and cysts.
Read more at Thyroid gland tests on kids in Nagasaki to be compared with Fukushima findings