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Every year, thousands of Hiroshima survivors treated for radiation-induced illnesses

Hiroshima nuclear bomb 70th anniversary: New research shows thousands of survivors treated every year August 6, 2015  Reporter   

“…….New Red Cross data released on Thursday shows that even 70 years after the atomic blasts, Japanese hospitals treat thousands of survivors each year, mostly for cancer which has caused two-thirds of deaths. In the past 12 months, the Red Cross hospitals treated nearly 11,000 survivors.

The full impact of the blast on the survivors and their children who are now reaching 50 years of age, is still not fully known, Dr Masao Tomonaga, the director of the Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospital and a survivor told Fairfax Media this week.

As well as suffering higher rates of cancer, new research by the Red Cross hospitals showed survivors who had lived close to the epicentres were also 1.5 times more likely to suffer from heart attacks and angina.

“I couldn’t imagine (these results) before we started this research some 65 years ago (when the hospitals were built.) This means atomic bomb radiation is a life-long effect, with evidence of a life-long susceptibility to cancers, leukaemia and heart attacks,” Dr Tomonaga said.

Of the 16,000 nuclear weapons held today, 1800 are launch ready and any one would make Little Boy or Fat Man “look tiny” and wipe out a city like Sydney, said Robert Tickner, the CEO of the Australian Red Cross. No country or medical service could handle the immediate or long-term impacts, including the millions who would go hungry, Red Cross research has found.

Mr Tickner is calling on Australians and their leaders to support a ban on nuclear weapons for humanitarian reasons.

The author Junko Morimoto drawing as a young girl near what became the Hiroshima Peace Memorial.Photo: Junko Morimoto

“If the world has moved on biological and chemical weapons as illegal weapons of war, if we have moved on clusters, landmines and had conventions to tackle those to deal with them as a weapon of war, what madness is it that we have not taken a similar stand on nuclear weapons.They are the standout greatest threat to the planet,” he said.

Around 113 countries have now signed the Austrian Pledge to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons because of their unacceptable humanitarian consequences. The federal government hasn’t signed, but the ALP ‘s new party platform, amended at last month’s conference, agrees to “prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons is a humanitarian imperative.”…..http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/hiroshima-nuclear-bomb-70th-anniversary-new-research-shows-thousands-of-survivors-treated-every-year-20150804-girqz8.html#ixzz3i4jl5UGt

August 7, 2015 - Posted by | health, Japan

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