Reporters Threatened by Radiation

Lester Holt, NBC news, and his crew revealed today that they were exposed to radiation while covering the earthquake disaster in Japan. While covering the nuclear power plant damaged by the tsunami and earthquake, the crew was forced to retreat due to an increased threat of radiation from the site.

After returning to Tokyo, Holt was scanned with a Geiger counter and contamination was found on Holt’s shoes, even after he had been completely scrubbed down. The amount of radiation Holt was exposed to was very minute. There is now a hugh evacuation zone around the plant.

Amounts of radiation currently coming from the plant are said not to be life-threatening; however, acute exposure to radiation causes radiation sickness as well as long-term illnesses, such as, cancer, tumors, and genetic damage.

Diane Sawyer, ABC news, also in Japan covering the story, took iodine pills with her in case of radiation exposure. Iodine is absorbed by the thyroid gland instead of the radiation and it provides some protection from small doses. News reporters covering the situation are now wearing devices around their neck to measure radiation amounts and sound alarms if the level becomes dangerous. 

The U.S. government believes radiation leakage is much higher than the Japanese government has revealed and advised US citizens in Japan to vacate to a distance of 50 miles from the nuclear plant.

Read more in Washington Post story.

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