Thursday 8 December 2016

No evidence backing Chernobyl statement

Published 26/04/2011 | 05:00

In the otherwise moving RTE programme about children from Belarus with various disabilities it was stated that "there is no conclusive evidence of what caused the deformities. They may be genetic or may be linked to the effects of radiation experienced by their parents".

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It is to be regretted that such a statement should be made that conflicts with all available scientific evidence. As international bodies of impeccable credentials, notably the World Health Organisation, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation have concluded, there is no medical or epidemiological evidence of an increase in genetic deformities resulting in humans exposed to radiation, including that resulting from the Chernobyl accident.

To suggest that this is even a possibility is misleading to the public generally, but perhaps more seriously, it can only add to the anxiety and confusion that are so detrimental to the continuing wellbeing of the population in the affected areas.

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