Grim Fallout from Chernobyl

Sooner than expected, cancer begins to hit children who were downwind

One of the most disturbing predictions following the near meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on April 26, 1986, was that cancer cases would eventually begin to rise in areas affected by fallout from the accident. What no one suspected was that it would happen so soon, or that many of the first victims would be children. Two reports in Nature, one by the World Health Organization and one by health officials in Belarus, the ex-Soviet republic that was immediately downwind from Chernobyl on that fateful day, indicate that childhood thyroid cancer has skyrocketed from an average of four cases...

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