Campus News

Question of exposure

Some American sailors and Marines who aided victims of Japan’s 2011 tsunami have reported serious health issues since the disaster. Blaming their illnesses on radiation from the nuclear reactor meltdowns, dozens of people aboard the USS Ronald Reagan during its mission to Japan are suing the company responsible for the nuclear plant.

However, in a CNN story, experts question whether the meltdown could be responsible for their illness.

Cham Dallas, director of the Institute for Disaster Management in UGA’s College of Public Health, said the reports of deteriorating health don’t necessarily point to radiation as a cause.

“There was probably some exposure to radiation on the USS Ronald Reagan,” Dallas said. “But saying ‘some’ manifests to many people that any exposure to radiation is going to be dangerous. That is actually not the case.”

Dallas said the evidence suggests the sailors and Marines were exposed to about the same amount of radiation that one would get from taking a trans-Atlantic flight. Furthermore, health effects from radiation can take years or even decades to develop, he also told CNN