Radiation detected on student’s clothes

The China Post news staff

Authorities at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday found above-normal radiation levels on the clothing of a Taiwanese student who had just returned from Japan, a situation that is considered “mild.” Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Radiation Protection Director Lee Jo-chan said the student’s clothes had been taken to the council to be washed with a special detergent before being returned. Lee described the situation as “mild,” noting that the student was not very affected and can go about doing everyday things without worry. Around 50 local hospitals are providing radiation-related services, in the form of a “Radiation Health Advisory” clinic, which will perform blood and urine tests and check-ups for those just returning from Japan or providing information for those who would like to know where to buy iodine.

A Taiwanese citizen, who lived 200 kilometers from the Fukushima nuclear power station returned yesterday, as a precaution underwent a full physical at National Taiwan University Hospital. The individual was cleared, but asked to return if any unusual symptoms cropped up.

The Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI) is also covering the medical costs of anyone who has recently returned from Japan if doctors prescribe them anything related to radiation.

Although the radiation helpdesks at the hospitals can answer questions regarding iodine doses, they will not provide actual does to the public. The reason for this, according to the Department of Health (DOH), is that iodine is taken in the event of a nuclear emergency, for which Taipower has a substantial supply (130,000 boxes with two tablets in each box) for those who live within five kilometers of local nuclear power plants.

Among the hospitals providing special radiation advisory services are National Taiwan University Hospital and its Yunlin branch, Taipei and Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospitals, Tri-Service General Hospital, Keelung and Linkou, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Mackay Memorial Hospital in Danshui and Taitung, the Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, as well as local DOH hospitals. For an exact listing, visit the DOH website.