The Toxicological Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident

4365 Words9 Pages

The Toxicological Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident

Radiation has both beneficial and harmful effects. The most detrimental health effect on humans, is the incidence of cancer, which has been studied. Humans are exposed to radiation more than they realize. They are exposed medically with x-rays, just by being outside with cosmic rays, and by accidents such as at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Exposure to radiation is high and more studies are done which improve radiation protection.

The Chernobyl disaster is one such example in which the studies done had implications in the future of radiation protection. It was an unprecedented event. Large amounts of radiation were released into the area and affected the population living there. With the known damaging effects of radiation, this event was not to be ignored. The factors playing a role in the spread of the radiation as well as the future implications of radiation exposure/protection are explored in this paper. The results of the accident were due to the elements of the area, population and nature of the radiation. These results showed the need to improve radiation data collection as well as safety measures. Radiation is harmful because of its interactions with the environment and the body and in turn, the Chernobyl disaster was harmful because it released large amounts of radiation into the environment, exposing the population.

Radiation is broken up into four types: alpha particles, beta particles and positrons, gamma rays and x-rays. Electron volt is the conventional energy unit for ionizing radiation (1 eV = 1.6 x 10-19 J). Alpha particles and beta rays have energy equal

to their kinetic energy (E=1/2mv2, m = mass, v = velocity) while gamma rays and x-ray...

... middle of paper ...

...after the Chernobyl disaster. Environ Health Perspect. 1997;105(Suppl. 6):1491-1496.

Quastel MR, Goldsmith JR, Mirkin L, Poljak S, Barki Y, Levy Jackov, Gorodischer R. Thyroid-stimulating hormone levels in children from Chernobyl. Environ Health Perspect. 1997;105(Suppl. 6):1297-1498.

Rich V. Reaction design not perfect. Nature. 1986;322:588.

Tronko MD, Bogdanova TI, Komissarenko IV, Epstein OV, Oliynyk V, Kovalenko A, Likhtarev IA, Kairo I, Peters SB, LiVolsi VA. Thyroid carcinoma in children and adolescents in Ukraine after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Cancer. 1999;86:149-156.

Voigt G, Paretzke HG. Scientific recommendations for the reconstruction of radiation doses due to the reactor accident at Chernobyl. Radiat Environ Biophys. 1996:35:1-9.

Williams D. Editorial: thyroid cancer and the Chernobyl accident. J Clin Endo Metab. 1996;81(No. 1):6-8.

More about The Toxicological Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident

Open Document