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Temple Doctor Explains Dangers Of Radiation Exposure

A man is scanned for radiation exposure at a temporary scanning center for residents living close to the quake-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant Wednesday, March 16, 2011, in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

A man is scanned for radiation exposure at a temporary scanning center for residents living close to the quake-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant Wednesday, March 16, 2011, in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - One of the greatest dangers the people of Japan face now is exposure to radiation as nuclear reactors there are in danger of melting down.

SEE EXPANDED COVERAGE FROM JAPAN

Temple University Hospital’s Radiation Oncology Director, Dr. Curtis Miyamoto explains what impact radiation has on the human body.

miyamoto dr Temple Doctor Explains Dangers Of Radiation Exposure

Dr. Curtis Miyamoto (provided by Temple University)

“Radiation affects most of the cells that are reproducing rapidly — your gastrointestinal tract, your bone marrow cell. Another effect is on our genetic make-up, birth defects,” he said.

If someone is exposed to low doses of radiation, they may not feel any effects at all but the higher the dose, the greater the effect on the body including gastrointestinal issues and mouth sores.

“Once someone is exposed there is not a lot that anyone can do. The best advice I would have for a person like that is to get it out of their system as fast as possible,” Dr. Miyamoto says the best way to do that is to drink as much fluid you they can.

But once a person’s bone marrow is attacked by the radiation, a bone marrow transplant is indicated. Dr. Miyamoto hopes Japanese officials will be able to prevent the terrible effects similar to those seen at Chernobyl.

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio

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