The field studies of the Japan Offspring Fund (JOF) in Ukraine, scene of the Chernobyl disaster, have contributed to the recovery of many people, and eventually came to be called “Nihon* Project”.
We (JOF) are now willing to help even more people using the knowledge acquired through this project.
Study on the effects of nuclear radiations on the body
In February 2012, we went to Ukraine in order to analyze the Chernobyl disaster health effects. We conducted a second field study in May, with the collaboration of Tetiana Androsenko, representative of the Women Association “Hope”, who was entrusted with the task of reducing the radioactivity in food and conducting medical examinations on the population to check how their health condition was changing. For our part, we were at the head of the project and in charge of raising the necessary funds.
What are the effects on health of a 70 day therapy?
Natalia, 26 years old, was living in the village of Bihun, situated in a contaminated area 130km away from the nuclear plant. Because she was in a serious condition, we sent her in 2012 for a 70 day therapy in an uncontaminated area, to observe how her physical condition would change.
Even though her condition didn’t improved in the first 45 days, she then began to recover and on the 70th day, she was almost completely healed. She is now a mother and living in a non-contaminated area.
Through this case, we could confirm that reducing the radiation exposure improved health, and could also apprehend the underlying mechanism.
Study on the influences of very low intensity radiations on health
We then tried to determine if reducing the radiation intensity without moving to another area would be enough for health to improve.
One of our contacts in Ukraine, Tetiana Androsenko, was living in the village of Kobylyn, situated 60km away from the capital, Kiev. Even though Kobylyn was out of the radiation protection zone, many of its inhabitants were suffering from serious health issues. From what we have seen, we would say that more than one out of two inhabitants was affected by headaches, foot pains, and chronic diseases.
After confirmation, we found that the quantity of Cesium was of 210 Becquerel (Bq)/kg in mushrooms, and of less than 10Bq/kg in the other food products, which was the detection limit then.
We had received the information that river fishes were containing an average of 8Bq/kg, so we initiated a program which consisted in providing Kobylyn’s inhabitants with meat and milk as a replacement for mushrooms and river fishes, in order to reduce the radiation level in the meals, and see how their health condition would progress.
In March 2013, the health of the 33 people composing the 8 families participating in the project had improved greatly.
Their dizziness, dry skin, headaches, nosebleeds and stomachaches had either disappeared, either much decreased.
Reducing radioactivity in food contributes to health improvement, even in contaminated areas
We had the chance to interview the families of 3 sisters living in the village of Bihun, situated in a contaminated area, and found out on this occasion that they were all, from the children to the elderly, suffering from serious diseases.
In an attempt to change the situation, we launched a project in 2013, asking them to eat meat and stop consuming mushrooms, berries and honey. When we visited them 6 months later, they were all so much healthier that we could barely recognize them. Even the mother, who was regularly having heart attacks before, hadn’t had any since then.
It is the proof that people suffering from health problems can get better even while living in a contaminated area.
Radioactivity in food impacts the body from 1.1Bq/kg
In the village of Kobylyn, we measured the quantity of Cesium contained in food at two occasions. To do that, we tried lowering down the detection limit, but even set at 1.8Bq, no radioactivity could be detected in the food of 37 different meals.
It is in fact very difficult to detect Cesium under 1Bq/kg, and that is the reason why we decided to focus on determining the lowest level of radiation affecting the body.
We visited several schools in the south-eastern region of Ukraine, and found out that in the region of Poltava Oblast, 70% of the children were suffering from headaches, when there weren’t any in the central and southern regions of Ukraine.
We considered the village of Novi Martynovychi, where 7 children on 10 were affected by headaches, as the boundary line, and had the mayor to provide us with the food a child would eat in a day. After examination, it was confirmed that it was containing 1.1Bq/kg.
So, the children were having headaches from eating 2 150g of meals for an amount of 2.36Bq per day.
In order to confirm this result, we decided to reduce the radioactivity in food crops by providing the inhabitants with uncontaminated mineral fertilizers to spread in their family farm plots. When we conducted a survey a year later, their headaches had eased a lot and we could tell a real difference with the families who didn’t use fertilizers.
Through this experiment, we could conclude that the lowest radiation level to impact the body was of 1.1Bq/kg.
# One day’s worth of food in the village of Novi Martynovychi
Let’s make the legal limit for radioactivity in food a thousand times stricter
The limits for radioactivity in food over the world are of 1200Bq/kg in the US, 1000Bq/kg for the Codex Alimentarius, 500Bq/kg in the EU and 100Bq/kg in Japan.
A safety limit for chemicals if usually calculated by applying a safety factor of 100, taking into account the differences between species and the differences between individuals, and so that nobody suffers any damage.
However, the current international limit (by the Codex Alimentarius) is a thousand times higher than the actual level likely to cause harm to human health.
That level is far from corresponding to the current notion of safety and that is why there is a real necessity to change the international limit.
Healing children school by school
Since the autumn 2014, we went from school to school to heal children.
In the autumn 2012, there were 38 children out of 45 that were suffering from foot pains in the village of Pishchanytsia, which is situated 100km away from the nuclear plant. After asking them not to eat mushrooms, berries, honey and river fishes, providing them with mineral fertilizer to spread in their family farm plots, that number dropped to 1 child out of 65 in March 2015. It is also true for headaches, which were affecting 26 children out of 32 in 2012 before decreasing to 4 children out of 72 in 2015.
#1 Improvement of children’s health in Pishchanytsia’s school
#2 Results of radioactivity measurements in food and family farm plots in Pishchanytsia
#3 Improvement of children’s health in Mozhary’s school
In the village of Mozhary, situated in a contaminated area 120km away from the plant, 23 children out of 32 were suffering from foot pains in the autumn 2012, against 2 out of 72 in March 2015. Besides, 26 children out of 32 were affected by headaches in 2012, for only 4 out of 72 in 2015.
#4 Results of radioactivity measurements in food and family farm plots in Mozhary
The Nihon Project demonstrated that the health of people living in contaminated areas could be improved by reducing the radioactivity in food.
Producing healthy milk by feeding cows cereals
On the recommendations of the professor Nikolay Lavarev, vice head of the Ukraine Bioresources Sciences University’s research center on radioactivity in agriculture, we launched a project aiming at improving the health condition of the inhabitants of Ukraine’s most contaminated area, Narodychi.
The milk produced in that region exceeds at times 200Bq/kg, so we decided to feed the cows cereals to reduce the radioactivity. Fortunately, the grain-producing regions weren’t affected by the nuclear pollution, so that the cereals were perfectly safe.
In this project started in June this year, besides making the milk safe, we also encourage the population not to eat mushrooms, berries, honey and river fishes, to then observe how their physical conditions would change.
Furthermore, the excrements of cows fed cereals are not radioactive, what contributes to securing the meadows. We have already planned to analyze to what extent meadows were made safer by this method.
To make it a national project
More than 10 000 inhabitants are living in the region of Narodychi, at the expense of their health for most of them.
By using the knowledge acquired through the Nihon Project, we can greatly improve the health of those 10 000 people.
Therefore, in order to save them all, we decided to ask the Japanese government for help.
When the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went to Ukraine on June 6th and had a meeting with the President Poroshenko, he reportedly declared “We wish to develop knowledge exchanges with Ukraine about food safety”.
In fact, it is the noticeable result of to the combined efforts of the JOF and our contacts in Ukraine if Mr. Abe really used the expression “food safety”.
If the Japanese government offers a financial support of several hundred million dollars, at least 500 000 people living in contaminated areas, including Narodychi, could be saved.
It would also allow to reduce medical costs, and therefore would not only benefit the inhabitants but also the central and local governments. We, JOF, and our contacts in Ukraine are currently negotiating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that this project sees the day.
You who are reading this article, please help us spreading the knowledge acquired through the Nihon Project and correct the common misconceptions on the influence of radioactivity on health.
July, 1st 2015
Japan Offspring Fund
Representative Junichi KOWAKA