Deformities found in butterflies near Fukushima plant

A recent butterfly study in Japan has found significant links between exposure to radiation after the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima last year and the mutation of butterflies in the area, establishing the first recognised link between the radiation emitted as a result of the disaster and physical deformity in living organisms. The scientists involved in the study collected a sample of butterflies, still in the larvae stage of development and analysed instances of deformity that occurred in the insects, which ranged from eye and wing problems to abnormality in their colouring. These findings were then compared with a sample of butterflies collected six months after the disaster, where the percentage of butterflies showing physical abnormality shot up from 28% to 52%, according to coverage by The Guardian. BBC coverage on this study’s findings also included photographs which clearly demonstrated the physical mutations observed by the scientists.

While experts emphasise that this study of the butterfly population in the Fukushima area does not necessarily entail similar consequences for the human population and that the deformities visible in the butterflies are due to both external and internal radiation exposure, as a result of eating plants also affected by radiation, it is difficult to ignore the very tangible and visible effects that radiation exposure can have on living creatures. In fact, it is a chilling reminder that these effects have the potential to escalate at an unpredictable rate and in unpredictable ways. In this sense the study almost acts as the starting pistol to a very long waiting game for those who were exposed to radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant….

News sources: The Guardian, The Japan Times, BBC online, The Seattle Times

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One Response to Deformities found in butterflies near Fukushima plant

  1. smcnurlan says:

    Reblogged this on S. McNurlan.

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