Serious health effects of Chernobyl radiation previously hidden

In the end, it would seem prudent to  seriously consider the potential role  played by radioactive contaminants as  a contributor to the array of human  morbidities that Dr. Yablokov has uncovered within the previously hidden  scientific literature of Eastern Europe. 
 
We should all be very grateful for this  infusion of important information  to discussions related to the health  and environmental consequences of  radiological events. Lessons learned  from Chernobyl are particularly relevant  now as society grapples with a prognosis  for the impacts of the Fukushima  disaster and its implications for the  future of nuclear energy.
highly-recommendedPerspectives on Chernobyl and Fukushima Health Effects: Journal of Health and Pollution, Vol 3 June 2013  What Can Be Learned From Eastern European Research?   

 Timothy Mousseau, PhD1

Anders Pape Møller, PhD2
 1 University of South Carolina, 
Columbia, SC U.S.A.
2 CNRS, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, 
France
This is part of the first half of the  monograph: “A Critical Analysis of the  Concept of an ‘Effective Dose’ of Radiation”.  The monograph in its entirety features two  review papers from prominent Russian
scientist Alexey Yablokov looking critically  at the current standards of human radiation
safety, accompanied by two editorials  presenting a point/counterpoint perspective  on Professor Yablokov’s work.
The second
paper and editorial will be published in the
next issue, due later this year.
It is now evident that much more
is known concerning the health
and ecological consequences of
radioactive contaminants than is being
acknowledged or appreciated by the
mainstream scientific and regulatory
communities.
This became apparent
following the 2005 publication of the
influential Chernobyl Forum report, in
which a large body of literature from
Eastern Europe was ignored and an
attempt was made to downplay efforts
to predict health outcomes for human
populations living downwind from the
Chernobyl disaster.1-5 The Chernobyl
Forum report suggested, largely in the
absence of supporting data, that the
disaster’s net ecological consequences
for flora and fauna was positive because
of reduced anthropogenic influences
(i.e. the so-called DMZ Effect, named
after the phenomenon of wildlife
proliferation in the demilitarized
no-man’s-land between North and
South Korea) and that the reported
diverse array of human morbidities
in the region were largely the result
of stress and environmental factors
beyond radiation (e.g., smoking and
alcoholism).
Critical analysis of this
report reveals that these statements
were included, and perhaps tolerated
by the majority of participants, because
of a lack of Western peer-reviewed
scientific literature to refute them.
However, an evidence-based approach
to public policy development cannot
rely on ignorance as its foundation. If
information necessary for informed
public policy is absent or meager
then an appropriate response is to
acknowledge this deficiency and
commission the needed research to
meet societal needs.
Yablokov’s final contribution to this
series, to be published in the next issue
of the Journal of Health & Pollution,
draws extensively from his NYAS book.
In it, he explores the wide range of
morbidities that have been associated
with radioactive contaminants in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. A key
message from this piece is that it is
important to investigate the full range
of health effects, not just cancers.
When taken collectively, there is a
diverse array of studies that provide
strong evidence of large biological and
public health impacts associated with
the Chernobyl disaster. These studies
have largely been overlooked and not
effectively considered when it comes to
regulatory discussions of “safe” levels
of exposure to radiation.
Many of these
non-cancer effects may not have yet
been demonstrated to directly associate
with human mortality (e.g., radiation
damage to chromosomes). But where
there is smoke, usually there is fire, and
it is intuitively obvious to any biologist
that genetic damage is often a prelude
to larger consequences for the organism
or its descendants.
It is precisely for  this reason that health surveillance
programs of workers involved in the
nuclear industry and nuclear medical
fields utilize bio-dosimetric methods
involving estimates of genetic damage
Ukraine, Belarus and Russia……
…………….In the end, it would seem prudent to  seriously consider the potential role  played by radioactive contaminants as  a contributor to the array of human  morbidities that Dr. Yablokov has uncovered within the previously hidden  scientific literature of Eastern Europe.
We should all be very grateful for this  infusion of important information  to discussions related to the health  and environmental consequences of  radiological events. Lessons learned  from Chernobyl are particularly relevant  now as society grapples with a prognosis  for the impacts of the Fukushima  disaster and its implications for the  future of nuclear energy. http://cricket.biol.sc.edu/chernobyl/papers/Mousseau-Moller-JHP-2013.pdf
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