Hospital tests show no radiation on travelers
Updated: 2011-03-19 08:11
By Li Yao (China Daily)
Two medical personnel at the No 307 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army conduct a radiation check for Li Liuping, who had just returned to Beijing from Japan, on Friday. [Photo/China Daily]
BEIJING - The No 307 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army in the capital has been providing radiation exposure-related services to people returning from Japan since Wednesday night.
As of Friday night, at least 44 people, including reporters, diplomats and students, have come voluntarily to the hospital for radiation checkups, and nothing unusual has been detected, said Zhou Zhenshan, director of the hospital's radiotherapy department.
People who stayed within 30 kilometers of the quake-hit Japanese nuclear plants in Fukushima are advised to go through intense checkups, but the hospital has not yet received anyone in that category, Zhou said, adding he did not know whether other hospitals were conducting such tests for people returning from Japan.
"We opened the service because people are worried, and many called us during the past few days," he said.
The hospital advises people to stay calm and get back to their normal lives, said Sheng Hongguo, a radiotherapist at the hospital, who is in charge of checking radiation levels on people's clothing.
The probability of being exposed to a life-threatening level of radiation is quite slim for those who were far from the radiation-contaminated areas, Sheng said.
Li Liuping was in Japan on a business trip from March 9 to 16. After returning to Beijing on Wednesday, he was deeply worried and went to the hospital on Friday morning to be tested.
"I didn't want to put my family under risk. So I lived in a separate room after coming back to Beijing. Now I've taken the checkup, and the doctors told me everything was fine," Li said with great relief.
Zhao Zhan, a reporter from the Beijing-based Mirror Evening News, went to the hospital on Thursday night after arriving from Osaka. He said he was not screened for radiation contamination at the airport in Beijing.
"I was worried about radiation exposure because I went out for interviews after acid rain fell following the nuclear power plant explosion. Last night I arrived at the No 307 Hospital and took a blood test. They said everything was fine," Zhao said.
An unidentified worker with Xinhua News Agency came to the hospital on Friday morning to make appointments for eight reporters who are to return to China soon.
Obtaining an anti-radiation suit has become a priority for those who have a scheduled trip to Japan.
Yang Shaopeng, a sales manager of Radiation Shield Technology, a US-based company in Beijing, said the company had sold 50 anti-radiation suits after the outbreak of Japan's nuclear crisis, mostly to China's environmental and quarantine authorities, and nuclear industries. In normal circumstances, it sells about 100 suits a year.
A full body suit costs 20,000 yuan ($3,043), and a vest is 10,000 yuan, Yang said.
"The products are also in short supply in the United States these days. But I don't think individuals need them unless they are going to Japan," he said.
Out of every 10 swimsuits in the world, seven are made in China.
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Rising property prices and a fast-growing economy have been the key drivers.