Saturday, Feb 28, 2015Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

Fukushima monkeys show possible 'effects of radiation'

Published on Jul 24, 2014 11:22 PM

PARIS (AFP) - Monkeys near the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant have lower blood cell counts than cousins living further away, possibly because of radiation exposure, a study said on Thursday.

A Japanese research team wrote in the journal Nature Scientific Reports that although they could not prove the link, the blood levels "might likely be the result of exposure to some form of radioactive material".

Fewer blood cells could make the monkeys more prone to disease, they said, and "may suggest that the immune system has been compromised to some extent".

The team had compared white and red blood cell levels in macaques living in a forest area of Fukushima City, 70km from the nuclear plant, with that of 31 monkeys living 400km away in the Shimokita Peninsula.

If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here