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October 18, 2011

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Japan cargo banned due to levels of radiation

EXCESSIVE levels of radiation have been discovered in cargo arriving in Shanghai from Japan, following the nuclear leak there in March, authorities said yesterday.

Goods with higher than permitted levels of radiation were either returned or destroyed, the Shanghai Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said.

Officials said some ships from Japan also had radiation levels above national limits.

The bureau insisted that checks have remained stringent since an earthquake and tsunami crippled a nuclear power station in Fukushima in eastern Japan and led to radiation escaping.

"Inspections cover travelers, ships, flights and cargo," said Lu Zhongshan, deputy director of the bureau.

"We can assure the public that no radiation-polluted goods are allowed to enter the country."

Meanwhile, local doctors have denied an online rumor that a tourist returning from Japan was found to have radiation sickness.

Fallen ill

The Medical Institute of Radiology of Fudan University said a patient suffering from vomiting was recently checked for radiation, but tests proved negative.

Last week a web user said on microblog site that her friend had fallen ill after returning from Japan and was diagnosed with radiation sickness.

"It's simply not true," said Wu Caifa, an official with the institute.

"In any case, if radiation had caused the vomiting, that would require exposure to high levels of radiation over a long period."

Wu said at the height of the nuclear crisis many people came to the institute for radiation checks, but now few did.

Yesterday, media reported that a non-governmental radiation control organization based in Tokyo found 22 high radiation hotspots in Japan's capital.

Despite official assurances, some residents have decided to leave Tokyo.


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