Research

Center for Environmental DentistryCenter for Environmental Dentistry

 The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station during the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011 was environmentally detrimental in surrounding areas centred in the Fukushima Prefecture. It is an important social issue to clarify how the environmental pollution caused by radioactive substances affects the health of residents.

 Teeth tend to incorporate and accumulate various radioactive substances such as strontium-90 and caesium-137 from the environment. We can therefore estimate the status of radiation exposure in humans and animals by measuring the radionuclides incorporated into teeth. The Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry established the Center for Environmental Dentistry in April 2013. Since then, we have collected more than 8,000 milk teeth samples from children in the Fukushima area and have archived them for a survey on epidemiological studies. Furthermore, many animal teeth have been collected from the disaster area for basic research on radiochemistry. By establishing new evaluation methods for exposure dose using these teeth and deriving valuable data, we will help alleviate the anxiety of residents regarding radioactive levels in the area.

Director: Dr. Ken Osaka, Professor

Staff

  • Emeritus Prof. Hisashi Shinoda,

  • Assist. Prof. Yoshinaka Shimizu,

  • Senior Assist. Prof. Mirei Chiba,

  • Assist. Prof. Atsushi Takahashi,

Topics of Research

  • Comprehensive dose evaluation project for disaster-affected animals. (Tohoku University President's Discretionary Expenses / Special Expenses from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, 2011-2015).
  • Development and pharmacokinetic analysis of radioactive cesium and pre-slaughter estimation technology for meat livestock. (Practical technology development project consigned by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 2011-2013).
  • Analysis of human internal exposure to radiation using teeth. (Special grant from the International Research Institute of Disaster Science, Tohoku University, 2012-2015).
  • Comprehensive assessment of internal exposure to radiation using teeth (Budget for nuclear disaster impact survey on radiation health effects, Ministry of Environment, 2013-2015).
  • Screening of internal exposure to radiation using teeth. (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2015-2019).
  • Dosimetric assessment of radiation exposure using deciduous teeth collected from children in Fukushima. (Budget for nuclear disaster impact survey on radiation health effects, Ministry of Environment, 2016-2018, 2019-2021).
  • Pluralistic approach for elucidating biological effects of radiation using animal models. (National issue-based R&D promotion project for the nuclear science and technology / Human resources development promotion project that brings together wisdom, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, 2017-2019).
  • Dosimetry and reproductive function assessment in high natural radiation areas in India and Japan. (International Joint Research Acceleration Fund (B), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 2019-2022).

Recent Publications

  1. Takahashi A, Chiba M, Tanahara A, Aida J, Shimizu Y, Suzuki T, Murakami S, Koarai K, Ono T, Oka T, Ikeyama J, Kaneko O, Unno M, Hirose K, Ohno T, Yasushi Kino, Sekine T, Osaka K, Sasaki K, Shinoda H.: Radioactivity and radionuclides in deciduous teeth formed before the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Scientific Reports 14:11(1) 10335 (2021)
  2. Koarai K, Matsueda M, Aoki J, Yanagisawa K, Terashima M, Fujiwara K, Kino Yasushi, Oka T, Takahashi A, Suzuki T, Shimizu Y, Chiba M, Osaka K, Sasaki K, Sekine T, Fukumoto M, Shinoda H, Kitamura A, Abe. H.: Rapid analysis of Sr-90 in cattle bone and tooth samples by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Jornal of Atomic Spectrometry 36(8): 1678-1682 (2021)
  3. Oka T, Takahashi A, Koarai K, Mitsuyasu Y, Kino Y, Sekine T, Shimizu Y, Chiba M, S Toshihiko, Osaka K, Sasaki K, Urushibara Y, Endo S, Suzuki M, Shinoda H, Fukumoto M.: External exposure dose estimation by electron spin resonance technique for wild Japanese macaque captured in Fukushima Prefecture. Radiation Measurements 134:106315-106315 (2020)
  4. Urushihara Y, Suzuki T, Shimizu Y, Ohtani M, Kuwahara Y, Suzuki M, Uno T, Fujita S, Saito A, Yamashiro H, Kino Y, Sekine T, Shinoda H, Fukumoto M: Haematological analysis of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in the area affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Scientific Reports 8, 16748 (2018).
  5. Koarai K, Kino Y, Takahashi A, Suzuki T, Shimizu Y, Chiba M, Osaka K, Sasaki K, Fukuda T, Isogai E, Yamashiro H, Oka T, Sekine T, Fukumoto M, Shinoda H: 90Sr specific activity of teeth of abandoned cattle after the Fukushima accident – teeth as an indicator of environmental pollution, J Environ Radioactivity 183, 1-6 (2018)
  6. Takino S, Yamashiro H, Sugano Y, Fujishima Y, Nakata A, Kasai K, Urushihara Y, Suzuki M, Shinoda H, Miura T, Fukumoto M: Analysis of the effect of chronic and low-dose radiation exposure on spermatogenic cells of male large Japanese field mice (Apodemus speciosus) after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Radiation Research 187, 161−168 (2017)
  7. Koarai K, Kino Y, Nishiyama J, Takahashi A, Suzuki T, Shimizu Y, Chiba M, Osaka K, Sasaki K, Fukuda T, Isogai E, Oka T, Sekine T, Fukumoto M, Shinoda H.: Estimation of environmental pollution after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident by measurement of radioactivities in teeth, Proceedings of the 18th Workshop on Environmental Radioactivity 202-207 (2017)
  8. Nishiyama J, Koarai K, Kino Y, Shimizu Y, Takahashi A, Suzuki T, Chiba M, Osaka K, Sasaki K, Fukuda T, Isogai E, Oka T, Sekine T, Fukumoto M, Shinoda H.: Correlation of Sr-90 activity concentration between the tooth and bone of cattle suffered from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Proceedings of the 18th Workshop on Environmental Radioactivity, 196-201 (2017)
  9. Urushihara Y, Kawasumi K, Endo S, Tanaka K, Hirakawa Y, Hayashi G, SEKINE T, Kino Y, Kuwahara Y, Suzuki M, Fukumoto M, Yamashiro H, Abe Y, Fukuda T, Shinoda H, Isogai E, Arai T, Fukumoto M: Analysis of plasma protein concentrations and enzyme activities in cattle within the ex-evacuation zone of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant accident. PLos One 11(5): e0155069 (2016)
  10. Koarai K, Kino Y, Takahashi A, Suzuki T, Shimizu Y, Chiba M, Osaka K, Sasaki K, Fukuda T, Isogai E, Yamashiro H, Oka T, Sekine T, Fukumoto M, Shinoda H: 90Sr in teeth of cattle abandoned in evacuation zone: Record of pollution from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Scientific Reports 6: 24077 (2016)
  11. Fukuda T, Kino Y, Abe Y, Yamashiro H, Kobayashi J, Shimizu Y, Takahashi A, Suzuki T, Chiba M, Takahashi S, Inoue K, Kuwahara Y, Shinoda H, Hiji M, Sekine T, Fukumoto M, Isogai E: Cesium radioactivity in peripheral blood is linearly correlated to that in skeletal muscle: Analyses of cattle within the evacuation zone of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Animal Science Journal 86; 120-124 (2015)
  12. Takino S, Yamashiro H, Sugano Y, Fujishima Y, Nakata A, Kasai K, Urushihara Y, Suzuki M, Shinoda H, Miura T, Fukumoto M: Analysis of the effect of chronic and low-dose radiation exposure on spermatogenic cells of male large Japanese field mice (Apodemus speciosus) after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Radiation Research 187, 161−168 (2017)
  13. Urushihara Y, Kawasumi K, Endo S, Tanaka K, Hirakawa Y, Hayashi G, Sekine T, Kino Y, Kuwahara Y, Suzuki M, Fukumoto MO, Yamashiro H, Abe Y, Fukuda T, Shinoda H, Isogai E, Arai T, Fukumoto M: Analysis of plasma protein concentrations and enzyme activities in cattle within the ex-evacuation zone of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant accident. PLos One 0155069 (2016)
  14. Fukuda T, Kino Y, Abe Y, Yamashiro H, Kobayashi J, Shimizu Y, Takahashi A, Suzuki T, Chiba M, Takahashi S, Inoue K, Kuwahara Y, Morimoto M, Shinoda H, Hiji M, Sekine T, Fukumoto M, Isogai E: Cesium radioactivity in peripheral blood is linearly correlated to that in skeletal muscle: Analyses of cattle within the evacuation zone of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Animal Science Journal 86, 120−124 (2015)
  15. Yamashiro H, Abe Y, Fukuda T, Kino Y, Kawaguchi I, Kuwahara Y, Fukumoto Mo, Takahashi S, Suzuki M, Kobayashi J, Uematsu E, Tong B, Yamada T, Yoshida S, Shinoda H, Sato E, Sekine T, Isogai E, Fukumoto M: Effects of radioactive caesium on bull testes after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident. Scientific Reports 3, 2850 (2013)
  16. Fukuda T, Kino Y, Abe Y, Yamashiro H, Kuwahara Y, Nihei H, Sano Y, Irisawa A, Shimura T, Fukumoto M, Shinoda H, Obata Y, Saigusa S, Sekine T, Isogai E, Fukumoto M: Distribution of artificial radionuclides in the abandoned cattle in the evacuation zone of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. PLos One 8, e54312 (2013)

Laboratory Contacts

Eriko Shiozawa

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