number of deaths due to Chernobyl

Ok. I searched Cecil’s archives and found nada. I also searched the forum GQ archives, but the word Chernobyl comes up a lot (seems to have become slang for nasty and/or klutzy disaster due to hubris or incompetent management).

So here’s my question:

I was dragged to see Michael Crichton (yes, THE Michael Crichton of ER and dino- movie fame) speak about public policy and complexity theory. It was gawdawful. :smack: He (mis)represented data left and right. Anyway, it was fun (as it was easy for him or anybody to do) to see him dig up some contradictory press reports on science (e.g., wine will kill you, wine will save you, the earth is cooling (1970s), the earth is warming (1980s-now)). It was all fun, but pointless as papers report what scientist report and it’s not clear that all of the science is legit or even reported remotely accurately. Any way, for the Chernobyl disaster he noted how wildly the estimates of the number of deaths, long and short term, would be. The lowest seemed to from a 2005 report (apparently from the U.N., but it wasn’t clear–plus he mocked the U.N. frequently, so it’s not clear why he felt they should be trusted) that there were only 56 deaths. Other media reports ranged from 3.5 million deaths (from a prediction of long-term effects) to tens of thousands to thousands.

So, how many deaths have their been? Any proven increases in birth defects, or illnesses/disorders? He argued that more people became ill from fear than radiation. Any citations would be useful…(and IMHO, avoid paying to see this guy and avoid his new book he’s huckstering.) :cool: Thanks!

According to this page:

The incidence of thyroid cancer in 1990, after the accident was 30 times the rate prior to the accident in the same area. Basecd on statistics like this, WHO predicts tha 1/3 of the childrern between 0 and 4 living in the area will eventually get thyroid cancer, about 50,000 people.

And that’s only one type of cancer.
There’s been a significant rise in leukemia. The adult cancer rate is higher than would be expected

It’s difficult to state exactly how much damage is due to the accident, since much of this is change in statristics, and because there was no accurate measurement of irradiation in different areas. There seems little doubt that the damage is spread over a large area, and affecting an enoprmous number of people. Pegging the damage to 56 proven deaths seems outrageous.

From this site:

And on the flip side is this:

An authoritative UN report in 2000 concluded that there is no scientific evidence of any significant radiation-related health effects to most people exposed. This was confirmed in a very thorough 2005 study.9/quote]
That’s the World Nuclear Association, who I suspect is going for the most positive spin. But their claim that the UN sponsored study only found 56 deaths doesn’t seem to jibe with my first link, which goes to UN studies, and found much greater effects, which are footnoted there.

Take a look at the World Health Organization’s report, released in September.

The Chernobyl Children’s Project International has a different view of the subject.

Both are too long to quote here; do take a look.