A UN health expert alleged today that Japan hadn't done enough to protect residents and workers affected by the Fukushima nuclear accident.
UN special rapporteur on the right to health Anand Grover said the government was overly optimistic of radiation risks and has conducted limited health checks following the partial meltdown of reactors at Fukushima nuclear power plant last year.
The government has been previously criticised for cover-ups and delays in disclosing radiation information, causing evacuees to be unnecessarily exposed to radiation.
Mr Grover said that ongoing health checks of residents fail to cover all radiation-affected zones stretching across much of Honshu, Japan's largest island.
Health checks are only intended to cover Fukushima's two million people and only children are being given thyroid tests. So far, only one-quarter of Fukushima's population has been covered.
Many nuclear plant workers on short-term contracts have no access to permanent health checks and many residents complain that they have not been allowed access to their own health check results, Mr Grover said.
He said the government's radiation threshold of 20 millisieverts per year conveys a misleading message that doses up to that level are safe.
That level is more than 10 times the three-year limit for ordinary citizens and over double Chernobyl's obligatory resettlement threshold limit.
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