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Ambassador to Japan Not Affected by Radiation

Radioactive iodine has been found in the body of Israel's ambassador to Japan, who remains unconcerned.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/29/2011, 12:39 PM / Last Update: 4/29/2011, 1:01 PM

www.israelidiamond.co.il

Radioactive iodine has been found in the body of Israel's ambassador to Japan, Natan Ben-Sheetrit, according to Yisrael Hayom. Ben-Sheetrit was unconcerned by the finding.

“Practically speaking, I'm much more concerned by the agreement between Fatah and Hamas than by my thyroid gland,” he said.

The ambassador was examined at the Nachal Sorek nuclear research center due to concerns that he may have been affected by radiation leaking from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan, which sustained heavy damage in the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March.

The radiation in Ben-Sheetrit's thyroid gland was not found to be at dangerous levels. “They explained to me that  it is very low level, and apparently won't affect my health. In higher doses it could cause cancer, but my case is not like that,” he explained.

He noted that the problem may have been caused by the fact that he did not take iodine tablets, which were distributed to citizens in Japan during the Fukushima disaster. Iodine tablets fill the thyroid gland with stable iodine, so that radioactive iodine is not absorbed.

The ambassador continued, “I feel excellent.” In several more months he will undergo another test, he said, in the meantime, he has returned to Japan to continue work. “We are trying to do what we can to help the Japanese in the rehabilitation process,” he said.

Ben-Sheetrit was in Israel for the Passover holiday.