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Why Belarus does not recognize the connection between cancer and Chernobyl?

Почему Беларусь не признает связь между раком и Чернобылем?

The growing number of cancer diseases (plus 20% for the last 10 years) are not usually linked to Chernobyl. Really there is no connection?

Ten years ago the UN had before it a report on the consequences of the Chernobyl accident for Belarus. It reaffirmed the official position of the Belarusian authorities – the only consequence for public health has become a pathology of the thyroid gland due to radioactive iodine. And since iodine has long disintegrated, the Chernobyl our health is no longer threatened.

Cancer (except thyroid) are not officially associated with the radiation. Really there is no such relation, “Daily” asked Alexei Sys, head of Department of radiation hygiene and epidemiology Institute of environmental. Sakharov, member of the European Association of cancer research.

Mathematical problems

According to him, between thyroid cancer and radiation, scientists found statistically significant associations. For other cancer link was not proven. However, this does not mean that it is not just scientists do not have enough data to draw firm conclusions.

To reveal the dependence of cancer from small doses of radiation, it is necessary to investigate a large number of the population: the smaller the dose, the more people should be in the sample.

“People in the affected areas received an effective dose in the region of 33 millisieverts, some regions – up to 100. Despite the fact that 200 milizivert is the threshold at which carcinogenic effects are hard to track, need a big sample,” explained Alexey Sys.

So, it is believed that at doses of 50 millisieverts (mSv) selection of 10 million people. While the population of the affected areas is estimated at around 200 thousand.

“That is a purely mathematical problem,” – said the expert.

Small doses of radiation is only one of the risk factors of cancer, and today he is not the most significant.

“We assessed the risk of carcinogenic effect when receiving radiation of 1 mSv per year (this is the standard value for Belarus) – at this dose, only 70 people out of our nine millionth of the country can have some effects, – said the representative of the environment Institute. – The influence of alcohol and tobacco is much higher. We conducted research and found that up to 40% of all cases of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract – the mouth, the larynx, the esophagus associated with alcohol consumption”.

Illnesses are

However, all this does not mean that the question of the impact of the Chernobyl catastrophe on our health it’s time to make your point. New research shows that with the decay of iodine diseases do not disappear.

So Alexey Sys noticed that goitre, an enlargement of the thyroid gland, the country has still not returned to dicernable level. Now even though radioactive iodine on people does not work – it broke up a few months after the accident.

“The surge of diseases of the thyroid gland occurred in 95-96 years, approximately ten years after the accident. Then the number of pathologies are beginning to decline, however, to the previous level, the situation is still not reached. Despite the fact that after the accident in our country was the two programs of iodine prophylaxis, now iodized salt is contained in food. That is, the iodine is supplied in the required quantities, however, the number of abnormalities remains high,” – said the expert.

In addition, the Department of radiation hygiene and epidemiology have studied the pathology of the endocrine system and the thyroid gland in Narovlya district – one of the most affected areas of the Gomel region. There the researchers found an increase of pathologies among the pediatric population – their parents were children at the time of the accident.

“If in the country there is a trend to reduce such abnormalities among children in the area registered growth. The reason is not clear, we cannot say that it’s all because of Chernobyl, but nevertheless radiation factor cannot be ruled out,” said the researcher.

Radiation is not a death sentence

The scientist stressed that the human body is able to cope with certain doses of radiation. Because people always acted natural radiation coming from space. And for different parts of the world these doses are different.

We, the residents of the Northern region, during the year receive up to 2.5 mSv. Whereas in India, there are separate regions where the average annual radiation dose of 50 mSv. It’s more of the dose received by the residents of Chernobyl-affected areas – an average of 33 mSv, but does not prevent people to survive.

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