HICARE to cooperate with IAEA in spreading method for measuring radiation exposure

by Takuya Murata, Staff Writer

The Hiroshima International Council for the Health Care of the Radiation-exposed (HICARE), an organization supported by such entities as Hiroshima Prefecture and Hiroshima City, announced on November 7 that it has agreed to cooperate in the effort by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to disseminate a method for measuring radiation exposure. This is part of the collaboration between HICARE and the IAEA based on a memorandum exchanged in August 2010 in which they pledged to cooperate in efforts related to radiation medicine.

Six representatives of HICARE, including Chairman Hiroo Dohy (president of the Hiroshima Red Cross Hospital and Atomic Bomb Survivors Hospital) visited Europe for a period of six days until November 5. They concluded the agreement following discussions at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

The IAEA has been seeking to spread a method of measuring dosages of radiation exposure in the event of nuclear plant accidents or medical accidents. This method measures levels of exposure by gauging changes in radiation-damaged cells of the body.

HICARE’s support was requested due to the fact that the Radiation Effects Research Foundation and Hiroshima University’s Research Institution for Radiation and Medicine, both of which are part of the HICARE network, possess expertise on measurement methods using data gathered from lymphocytes in the blood and tooth enamel.

The IAEA is set to hold an international conference at its headquarters in March 2012, with 30 nations in attendance, in order to share the results of its research.

At a press conference that took place at the Hiroshima Prefectural Government on November 7, Dr. Dohy commented: “We were able to exchange valuable opinions regarding our future collaboration.” For their first joint project, a symposium discussing the effects of radiation on the human body will be held on November 23 and 24 at the International Conference Center Hiroshima.

(Originally published on November 8, 2011)