[ RadSafe ] Don't underestimate the death rate from Chernobyl what about life time hormone treatment for the children who survived thytroid cancer?

parthasarathy k s ksparth at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Oct 19 23:32:44 CDT 2005

Dear Dr. Jacobus
We must not underestimate the consequences of Chernobyl, while making an objective asssessment of  the accident. Death is  accepted as one of the gruesome consequences of radiation exposure, but  we cannot ignore the trauma of survivors. 
My mind goes to 4000 children and adolescents who suffered from thyroid cancer. The number of deaths was only eight; but I understand that most of the exposed children who had their thyroids removed due to highly invasive cancer may have to continue hormone treatment for the rest of their life. 
Is it not an inconsolable tragedy?The scars of the accident made  an indelible impression on these innocent kids.While meaningless propaganda must be abhored, as scientists we must look at the broader picture. I have heard comments on US uranium miners who had lung cancer. I was told that these miners belonged to such a socioeconomic group that many who did not suffer from lung cancer died due to knife wounds inflicted during drunken brawls!! This may be true; but comments of that type while analysing the impact of uranium mining among the early miners appear to be insensitive to say the least.
While every effort should be made to enlighten the public about radiation effects, we must not belittle or trivialize the effects.It is strenuous for anyone who has a separate agenda.

K.S.Parthasarathy Ph.D

(formerly, Secretary, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board)

Raja Ramanna Fellow

Department of Atomic Energy

Room No 18

Ground Floor, North Wing

Vikram Sarabhai Bhavan

Mumbai 400094

E-mail ksparth at yahoo.co.uk

91+22 25555327

91+22 25486081

9869016206 (mobile)



John Jacobus <crispy_bird at yahoo.com> wrote:
Correspondence from Nature 437, 1089 (20 October 2005)

"As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the
Chernobyl disaster we should be sensitive to the
long-term implications." T. A. Mousseau and

Don't underestimate the death rate from Chernoby
Timothy A. Mousseau(1), Neal Nelson(2) and V.

(1)School of the Environment, University of South
Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, USA
(2)8102 Ashton Birch Drive, Springfield, Virginia
22152, USA
(3) Radioecology Centre of the Ukrainian National
Academy of Sciences, Kyiv 01054, Ukraine

Your News story "Chernobyl: poverty and stress pose
'bigger threat' than radiation" (Nature 437, 181;
2005) suggests that the health and environmental
effects of the Chernobyl accident were not as great as
originally suggested.

Writing on behalf of an international group of
researchers in this area (see
we believe that these suggestions, based on the
reports of the UN Chernobyl Forum, are misleading.

The full estimate, given by the UN report, of people
who could eventually die of factors linked to
radiation includes people in other contaminated areas
as well as those within Soviet Contaminated Zones and
is 9,335, not 4,000 as reported. This estimate is
similar to earlier estimates of future cancer
mortality prepared by the US government in December
1987 (Report on the Accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear
Power Station, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission,
Washington DC). Further details to support our
argument that neither of these estimates should be
down played are available at the website above.

We believe it is too early to assess the overall
impacts of radionuclide exposure on human health or on
plant and animal populations. In particular, we do not
know all the possible consequences of the
multi-generational accumulation of genetic defects. As
we approach the twentieth anniversary of the Chernobyl
disaster we should be more sensitive to the long-term
implications rather than suggesting that the coast is
clear for redevelopment in the contaminated zones.

Up to now, most studies have focused on cancer,
because of funding constraints, with little investment
in studies of non-cancer morbidity or model systems.
But model organisms with relatively short lifespans
may provide a clear picture of the multigenerational
consequences for human health, while humans exposed to
Chernobyl are a unique population that must be
supported and observed far into the future.

Given the long latency period for many diseases and
the growing interest in rejuvenating the nuclear power
industry, it is imperative that studies of the
affected populations continue.

On Oct. 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe. 

-- John
John Jacobus, MS
Certified Health Physicist
e-mail: crispy_bird at yahoo.com

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