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Expert says Shanghai's radiation risk no cause for alarm

AS many citizens are concerned about the possible effects following the explosion of nuclear power stations in Japan, Shanghai Daily talked with Professor Zhu Guoying, researcher of Radiomedicine Institute of Fudan University to check on the situation.

Q: What dangers does radiation pose to humans?
A: There are generally two kinds of impact that radiation may have on people – the acute impact and the long-term impact.
The acute impact is usually aroused by exposure to great amounts of radiation over time. It will cause instant reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea and headaches, as the digestive and nervous systems are most vulnerable to radiation.
There may also be a long-term impact which does not show symptoms instantly. The problems can conceal themselves for months or even years. But a high rate of cancers such as leukocythemia and cancerous goiter have been found in victims of the Chernobyl disaster.

Q: Since new explosions at the nuclear power stations in Japan have been reported this morning and the wind seems to have changed direction, many citizens are concerned whether Shanghai will be affected. What is the real situation for Shanghai?
A: A particular monitoring site in the Jinshang District of Shanghai will carefully and promptly monitor the radiation situation of the city. So far, no abnormal situation has been observed, and there is no need to panic. The government will keep an eye on it, and raise alarm should the situation change.

Q: Are there any simple precautions we can take to protect ourselves in case alarm occurs?
A: Don't panic is the first thing we should remember.
If it happens, citizens should close all doors and windows and remain inside. As the radiation comes through the air, shutting the doors and windows can help keep it outside. If you have to go out, remember to wear a breathing mask which can help filter the air. And if it rains, don't forget your umbrella.
It is better not to take medicine randomly. The government will advise on prescriptions if it is really necessary.


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