Evidence of disease and birth defects in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other territories affected by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986
page 14

CHERNOBYL: ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS IMPLICATIONS. Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, International Medical Commission on Chernobyl Conference Proceedings Vienna 12-15 April 1996 ed. Solange Fernex ISBN 3-00-001534-5
Eloquent and exhaustive testimony on secrecy and denial within the Soviet regime at the time of the accident and within IAEA then and subsequently. This included exclusion of evidence during the conference on Chernobyl which the IAEA was holding at the same time, also in Vienna. Speakers presented evidence on a wide range of topics including cell membrane effects, molecular changes in blood diseases, radiation induced mental disorder, control of scientific research and the history of hypothyroidism in relation to radio iodine releases since 1945. The proceedings cite to substantial amounts of documentary evidence, particularly medical data, which were submitted. A consistent theme was that observed health effects frequently do not show increased response at increasing dose. Elena Burlakova had also found this in the laboratory:- "Since the beginning of our investigations on the effects of low doses of radiation we found a non-linear dose dependence which is not a monotone but in many cases a bimodal dependence. ... when we increase the radiation dose the effect decreases before increasing again. With higher doses the effect may be less than we obtained with lower doses." Michel Fernex outlined a range of epidemiological techniques designed to find nothing.

RESEARCH ACTIVITIES ABOUT THE RADIOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE CHERNOBYL NPS ACCIDENT AND THE SOCIAL ACTIVITIES TO ASSIST THE SUFFERERS BY THE ACCIDENT. ed. Imanaka T. Research Reactor Institute, Kyoto Univ. March 1998 ISSN 1342-0852

Summaries of Abstracts

CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT: THE CRISIS OF THE INTERNATIONAL RADIATION COMMUNITY Malko M V. Inst. of Phys. and Chem. Rad. Problems, Acad. Sci. of Be. Minsk.
Malko analyses the reasons for the authorities' failure to detect or recognise the reality of health detriment and the consequent adoption of the 350mSv concept. This was important because "the central authorities of the USSR were making all attempts to avoid relocation as a measure of radiation protection". Malko presents 1990 data for general morbidity from contaminated and control districts of Brest showing that for every age group and every category of disease rates were markedly higher in the contaminated areas. Workers from Osaka, Japan had examined non-cancer effects in A-bomb survivors finding elevated rates relative to the general population, undermining official claims that similar effects seen in the Chernobyl affected territories were caused by psychological factors, not the radiation. Concludes that the Soviet authorities were not able to accept reliable health data and that the international radiation community supported their attempts to play down the radiological consequences of the accident for a long time. 58 references to published material, many in Russian.

GENERAL SITUATION OF THE RADIOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT IN UKRAINE. Grodzinski D M. Inst. Cell Biol. and Genetic Eng. NAS Ukraine, Kiev.
Noting "disgraceful and inhumane attempts to mendaciously diminish the consequences", Grodzinski gives pages of general data on declining birth rate, increasing infant mortality, massively increasing long-term decline in health status in liquidators, evacuees and children of irradiated parents, described both in general and by specific disease categories and disability rates. He concludes with comments on difficulty or impossibility of finding adequately differentiated study groups and controls for epidemiological investigations and appeals for access to small area data. His own research with plant systems reveals that genotoxicity of irradiation from a mix of radionuclides is much greater than from external gamma irradiation alone. He demonstrates significant non-linearity in dose response curves at low dose. Effects observed were induction of genome instability, disruption of DNA repeat sequences position control, and deterioration of DNA repair. Relative biological effectiveness of internal radionuclides was far greater than for external irradiation. He concludes "We know many biological test systems particularly suited to evaluating the dose-dependence of the main cellular and molecular genetic processes which can be primary events of radiological effects."

IMPACT OF RADIATION ON THE POPULATION DURING THE FIRST WEEKS AND MONTHS AFTER THE CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT AND HEALTH STATE OF THE POPULATION 10 YEARS LATER. Alla Yaroshinskaya, Yaroshinskaya Charity Fund, Moscow.
Analysing previously secret documents after the collapse of the Soviet Union Yaroshinskaya shows that in 1986 all data, especially on health, had immediately been classified "top secret ". Diagnosis of acute radiation syndrome in military personnel was banned. During four days in early May 1986 hospitalisations of the general public had reached levels which worried the USSR's Communist Party and on the fourth day the Ministry of Health Care "confirmed .. new norms of acceptable population irradiation 10 times higher than old norms. Increase of these norms to levels 50 times higher than the previous is possible in specific cases. .... By these means the health safety of the population of all ages is guaranteed, even in case the current radiation situation remains for 2.5 years." Yaroshinskaya reports that the new norms had been confirmed even for pregnant women and children. Their application meant that more than 10,000 people previously hospitalised for treatment "become healthy automatically and were discharged from hospitals and clinics. This explains the sharp decrease in the numbers suffering acute radiation syndrome and why at all subsequent meetings of the relevant committee in Moscow heard nothing about numbers of people in hospital.

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