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A handbook of environmental toxicology: human disorders and ecotoxicology.

Book cover for A handbook of environmental toxicology: human disorders and ecotoxicology.

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Chapter 34 (Page no: 497)

Fukushima nuclear accident: potential health effects inferred from butterfly and human cases.

Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant released massive amounts of radioactive materials in 2011, resulting in environmental pollution in the Tohoku-Kanto districts of Japan. Biological effects of this nuclear accident have been examined using the pale grass blue butterfly, Zizeeria maha, as an environmental indicator species that is amenable to both field and laboratory studies. In this chapter, on the basis of the butterfly results, low-dose effects are discussed from biological perspectives that are not dependent on the conventional dose-centric view. Advantages of using this butterfly are that it can monitor the human-living environment and thus help to infer effects of environmental pollution on human health. Pronounced ingestional toxicity of contaminated diets at low radiation levels on this butterfly likely originated not only from the 'direct' ionization mechanism in the butterfly, but also from multiple 'indirect' mechanisms, including physical and immunological damage from insoluble particles and naturally occurring dust to which radioactive materials are attached and nutritional deficiencies or plant-derived chemical poisoning in the polluted hostplant leaves. These unconventional indirect effects cannot be readily predicted by dosimetry, because most of them are field effects mediated by field substances and species interactions. To illustrate a possible unconventional effect on humans, a case is presented here of patient 'C.U.', who developed systemic oedema and was medically diagnosed as nephrotic syndrome. Retrospectively, she was likely sensitized by nuclear dust in her repeated visits to Fukushima; and then her exposures in Okinawa to minute amounts of the dust from Fukushima preceded acute increases of her body weight, an objective indicator for disease progression, suggesting an essential role of the contaminants for her health problem at very low doses. Taken together, butterfly and human cases suggest that pollutants released by the Fukushima nuclear accident caused harmful impacts on organisms through unconventional indirect mechanisms.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 3) Phytotoxins. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 19) Mycotoxins. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 33) Cyanobacterial toxins. Author(s): Metcalf, J. S. Souza, N. R.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 49) Amino acids and peptides as mediators of abiotic stress tolerance in higher plants. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 75) Ozone I. Human disorders: an overview. Author(s): Silveyra, P. Fuentes, N. Rivera, L.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 93) Ozone II. Biophysical observations. Author(s): Thompson, K. C.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 105) Nitrogen dioxide: ambient exposure in human disorders. Author(s): Huang, Y. C. T. Tucker, J. L.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 114) Sulfur dioxide and human disorders. Author(s): Ahmad, S. Ahmad, A. Ahmad, A.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 127) Plant response to acid rain stress. Author(s): Liang, C.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 141) Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: ecotoxicity in the aquatic environment and implications for human health. Author(s): Pampanin, D. M. Schlenk, D.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 156) The developmental neurotoxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls: a continuing environmental health concern. Author(s): Sethi, S. Lein, P. J.
Chapter: 12 (Page no: 173) Dioxins I. Dynamics and legal directives in Europe. Author(s): Dopico, M. Gómez, A.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 187) Dioxins II. Human exposure and health risks. Author(s): Tuomisto, J. Viluksela, M.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 206) Dioxins III. Relationship to pre-diabetes, diabetes and diabetic nephropathy. Author(s): Everett, C. J.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 214) Environmental endocrine-disrupting chemicals and human health. Author(s): Darbre, P. D.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 233) Organochlorine insecticides: neurotoxicity. Author(s): Caudle, W. M.
Chapter: 17 (Page no: 246) Organophosphates I. Human health effects and implications for the environment: an overview. Author(s): Wille, T. Thiermann, H. Worek, F.
Chapter: 18 (Page no: 261) Organophosphates II. Neurobehavioural problems following low-level exposure: methodological considerations for future research. Author(s): Ross, S. J. M. Harrison, V.
Chapter: 19 (Page no: 282) Glyphosate as a glycine analogue. Author(s): Seneff, S.
Chapter: 20 (Page no: 299) Crude oil pollution I. Deepwater Horizon contamination: human health effects and health risk assessments, a case study. Author(s): Wilson, M. J.
Chapter: 21 (Page no: 311) Crude oil pollution II. Effects of the Deepwater Horizon contamination on sediment toxicity in the Gulf of Mexico. Author(s): Montagna, P. A. Arismendez, S. S.
Chapter: 22 (Page no: 320) Crude oil pollution III. Exxon Valdez contamination: ecological recovery, a case study. Author(s): Haycox, S.
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Chapter: 25 (Page no: 371) Lead poisoning. Author(s): Katner, A. L. Mielke, H. W.
Chapter: 26 (Page no: 384) Cadmium I. Exposure and human health effects: an overview. Author(s): Åkesson, A. Kippler, M.
Chapter: 27 (Page no: 394) Cadmium II. Cardiovascular effects of human exposure to cadmium: left ventricular structure and function. Author(s): Yang, W. Y. Staessen, J. A.
Chapter: 28 (Page no: 405) Particulates from combustion sources: formation, characteristics and toxic hazards. Author(s): Purser, D. A.
Chapter: 29 (Page no: 424) Assessment of the ecotoxicity of airborne particulate matter. Author(s): Kováts, N.
Chapter: 30 (Page no: 436) Toxicity of microplastics in the marine environment. Author(s): Santana, M. F. M. Turra, A.
Chapter: 31 (Page no: 457) UV exposure and skin-protective effects of plant polyphenols. Author(s): Agulló-Chazarra, L. Pérez-Sánchez, A. Herranz-López, M. Micol, V. Barrajón-Catalán, E.
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Chapter: 35 (Page no: 517) Microbial remediation of contaminated soils. Author(s): Shahsavari, E. Mansur, A. A. Aburto-Medina, A. Haleyur, N. Jones, N. Ball, A. S.
Chapter: 36 (Page no: 531) Metallic iron for environmental remediation: prospects and limitations. Author(s): Noubactep, C.
Chapter: 37 (Page no: 545) Remediation of contaminated soil by biochar. Author(s): Sima, X. F. Jiang, H.
Chapter: 38 (Page no: 561) Environmental regulations in China. Author(s): He, G. Z.
Chapter: 39 (Page no: 577) 21st Century toxicology: methods for environmental toxicology and monitoring. Author(s): Lundqvist, J.
Chapter: 40 (Page no: 587) Unequivocal evidence associating environmental contaminants and pollutants with human morbidity and ecological degradation. Author(s): D'Mello, J. P. F.

Chapter details

  • Author Affiliation
  • Department of Chemistry, Biology and Marine Science, Faculty of Science, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.
  • Year of Publication
  • 2020
  • ISBN
  • 9781786394675
  • Record Number
  • 20193493764