U.S. kids sick from Japan fallout?

Nuclear disaster may have made children on the West Coast sick

Fallout from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster may have sickened American children on the West Coast, a study finds.

The study, compiled by the Radiation and Public Health Project, found that radioactive isotopes released from the failed reactors—which melted down following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011made children in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington born one to 16 weeks after the disaster 28 percent more likely to suffer from congenital hypothyroidism, according to Grist.org.

The radioisotope iodine-131 was released by the failing reactors, and fell over Hawaii and the West Coast in the form of rain and snow at levels hundreds of times greater than what is considered safe.

The link between nuclear fallout and hypothyroidism—in which development of the body and brain is stunted—was first established after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.