Background: This study aimed to examine the level of perception of the technical terms related to the effect of radiation on the human body among residents of the six prefectures of Miyagi, Fukushima, Tokyo, Aichi, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki in Japan. Miyagi and Fukushima were selected as devastated area by Great East Japan Earthquake. Tokyo and Aichi were selected as control. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were selected as the A-bombed area. Methods: A total of 1030 respondents, 172, 173, 171, 173, 171, and 170, respectively, were surveyed. Differences in the recognition level of technical terms related to the effect of radiation on the human body among residents of the six prefectures were assessed. Results: The highest recognition levels were reported by the respondents from Fukushima (17 items). Those from Miyagi scored the second highest recognition levels (10 out of the 17 terms); the second highest recognition levels for the remaining seven terms were marked by the respondents of Tokyo. Respondents in the Tohoku region had a better recognition for the technical terminology relevant to the effect of radiation on the human body. Conclusions: Our findings indicate a need for continued, comprehensive risk communication pertaining to health hazards of radiation exposure in Tohoku region. Concerted efforts by central/local governments and other stakeholders are required to allay the anxiety/stress related to radiation exposure among the residents.
- Great East Japan Earthquake
- Perception gap
- Risk communication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health