Evidence of disease and birth defects in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other territories affected by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986
page 15

CHERNOBYL 1996: NEW MATERIALS CONCERNING ACUTE RADIATION SYNDROME AROUND CHERNOBYL. Lupandin V.M. Inst. Sociol. RAS Moscow
An example of the uncertainty surrounding the health effects of the accident. In an area of Gomel District which received a high level of contamination in the first two days, as measured by an experienced person (ex-nuclear submarine technician), 12,000 people had been examined in a military field hospital. Their records were subsequently stolen but some years later a few were found, representing 82 people examined between May 1 and the middle of June 1986. In no case was a diagnosis of Acute Radiation Syndrome recorded, but symptoms were typical of ARS. Lupandin concludes that just one of these cases is enough to "reject the point of view [maintained by] the IAEA, the Red Cross, the WHO and other organisations that acute radiation cases could not and did not occur outside the Chernobyl NPP". Lupandin believes that significant numbers of weekend visitors increased the number of people at risk who will be unrecorded and excluded from risk estimates.

OVERVIEW OF DIFFERENT INFORMATION ABOUT ACUTE RADIATION SYNDROME AMONG INHABITANTS AROUND CHERNOBYL; Alla Yaroshinskaya, Alla Yaroshinskaya Charity Fund
A collision of beliefs - official complacency and secrecy about the facts vs. secular common sense and the realities of exposure and effects. "In the first year no less than 20,000 pregnancies were aborted ... in Kiev alone. ... As I was travelling through the contaminated villages of the Zhitomir region several months after the catastrophe I heard the same [thing]: pregnant women were advised to make abortions but were recommended not to tell anyone about such advice."

DOSE ASSESSMENT FOR INHABITANTS EVACUATED FROM THE 30 KM ZONE SOON AFTER THE CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT. Imanaka I., Koide H. Research Reactor Inst. Kyoto Univ. Osaka, Japan.
Problems with official estimation of doses to public. Maximum average doses did not reach the 1 sievert criterion assumed for onset of acute radiation syndrome, though dose to people in substantial parts (15-20%) of settlements would have been higher on the basis of measured ground deposition. This is "consistent with reports of cases of ARS in inhabitants of Chernobyl region." Reference to a specific typical case reported by Lupandin (op. cit.) which present author says is outside his method of estimation of risk because the patient was a weekend visitor on a fishing trip. Lupandin believes there were significant numbers of such visitors. Authors draw attention to poor or completely missing information on doses to liquidators.

CURRENT STATE OF EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES IN BELARUS ABOUT CHERNOBYL SUFFERERS, Matsko V P. Inst. Radiobiol. Acad. Sci. Belarus.
Review of studies (34 cited papers all in Russian). Concludes: "The analysis of epidemiological studies performed in Belarus after the ... accident and comparison .. with data obtained in the pre-Chernobyl period testify [sic] to the aggravation of health state of Belarus population. The specialists unambiguously recognise the direct influence of radioactive pollution in the environment on rise of thyroid pathologies, hereditary and congenital diseases and cancers of different locations." The studies are not unanimous about the dynamics of haematological diseases which some researchers feel cannot simply be attributed to radiation and may be due to a combination of unfavourable factors.

EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES IN RUSSIA ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE CHERNOBYL APS ACCIDENT Ryabzev I A, Inst. of Problem[s] of Ecology and Evolution, RAS Moscow.
A comparison of morbidity and mortality in liquidators and morbidity in populations of six contaminated regions of Russia relative to rates for all Russia. Rates of neoplasms in liquidators are below Russian average but all other categories are higher (it is not clear that these figures are all age standardised):

  • Neoplasms 0.9
  • Malignant Neoplasms 1.6
  • Endocrine system diseases 18.4
  • Diseases of blood and haematopoietic system 4.3
  • Mental disorder 9.6
  • Diseases of blood circulating organs 4.3
  • Diseases of digestive organs 5.7
  • All classes 1.5
For deaths among liquidators suicide and alcohol are strongly implicated, oncological disease is no higher than the average and there is reference to better ascertainment among the liquidators.
1994 rates for the "uninterrupted rise" in general oncological morbidity among the contaminated populations have been compared with 1981. The four regions for which data are given show increases of 39%, 30%, 40%, 21% compared with a 19% increase in Russia as a whole. "Since 1987 the levels ... were permanently higher in the six regions that in Russian Federation." 18 citations, mostly in Russian.

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