updated 5/23/2012 1:43:50 PM ET 2012-05-23T17:43:50

A year after Japan's nuclear accident at Fukushima, the World Health Organization says several areas near the plant had radiation above cancer-causing levels but most of the nation did not.

The U.N. health agency's first global estimate Wednesday of radiation exposure from the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says increases in radiation were below cancer-causing levels in nearly all of Japan.

The agency's 124-page report also says neighboring countries had levels similar to normal background radiation and for the rest of the world there was some minor exposure through food.

The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency has previously confirmed that radiation levels in some Japanese milk and vegetables reached significantly higher levels than Japan allows for consumption.

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