, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 433-434
Date: 16 Sep 2009

Overestimation of Chernobyl consequences: calculation of a latent period for tumors with unproven radiation etiology

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According to UNSCEAR (2000) and other sources (WHO 1995; IAEA 2006), a significant increase of the incidence of solid malignant tumors as a consequence of the Chernobyl accident has not been proven, in adult population including the emergency cleanup workers (the so-called liquidators). When studying the health effects among liquidators one must keep in mind that most of the liquidators underwent regular medical examinations in a period of time when tumor expectancy (“oncological alertness”) was elevated. For example, remarkable observations with regard to the post-Chernobyl attitude to thyroid nodules can be found in the Russian-language literature (verbatim translation): “Practically all nodular thyroid lesions in children, independently of their size, were regarded as potentially malignant neoplasms, requiring urgent surgical operation” (Parshkov et al. 2006).

In a recent paper by Ivanov et al. (2009), it is stated that a cohort of 2,718 liquidators underwent medical examinations yea