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Facts:

Other than thyroid cancer, long term health impacts from radiation have not been detected

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  • There are numerous reports of increases in incidences of specific malignancies in people living in contaminated zones and among liquidators. These reports are inconclusive, and require further investigation.

  • No increase has been detected either in the rate of leukaemia or in the incidences of any malignancies other than thyroid carcinomas because of the accident. Only ten years have passed, however, and cancers other than leukaemia do not usually occur until several years after exposure. Cancer registries need to be monitored and careful studies carried out to determine ongoing public health impacts and confirm predictions. Photo of girl being measured for radiation exposure in Novozybkov, Russia

  • There are significant psychological health disorders and symptoms among the populations affected by the accident including anxiety, depression, fatalistic attitudes and psychosomatic disorders caused by mental distress. However, it is very difficult to separate these effects from those caused by the economic decline and the dissolution of the former USSR. What is clear is that these effects are not caused by radiation exposure.
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