Description of Chernobyl today was `too comforting' Chernobyl article painted a misleadingly rosy picture

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RICHARD NORTH'S article on the aftermath in Russia of the Chernobyl accident ("Living with catastrophe", Sunday Review, 10 December) strikes me as being rather more comforting than past and present health statistics indicate.

It failed to mention an increase in Belarus of cataract, heart disease, hyperactive thyroid and mental retardation - the last being considered due to pre-natal exposure to radiation and also observed at Hiroshima. Further, in the 10-30-year period after its bombing, the surviving Hiroshima population also suffered increases in breast, lung, gastric and colon cancers, together with multiple myeloma.

A F M Burdett

Butleigh, Somerset