Fukushima to test infants urine for internal radiation

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Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture has decided to include infants and small children in tests for radiation taken into their bodies.

Parts of the city are designated as evacuation zones following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Since July, the city has been testing residents for internal radiation exposure, but infants and small children were excluded as the equipment did not fit them. It has been studying other test methods for them.

A city-run general hospital, working with a Tokyo-based medical firm, has decided on a method to measure amounts of radioactive substances in urine and began accepting applications on Thursday.

The new test will be provided free of charge for children 6 years old and under. Results will be mailed about 2 weeks after urine samples are received.

A mother said she has not been allowed to go outside with her baby, adding she wants to have her baby tested as soon as possible.

An official at the hospital said many parents must be worried about the health of their children, and that he hopes the tests would ease their concerns

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