LETTER: Evidence of contamination from Chernobyl

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The Independent Online
Sir: In claiming that the Chernobyl death toll numbers hundreds of thousands the Ukrainian Government is likely to be correct ("Confusion as scientists dispute the death toll after Chernobyl", 10 April).

Chernobyl fallout was measurable not just in Scotland, but as far away as the US, where a number of health effects were identified. These included increases in thyroid cancer and neonatal hypothyroidism, despite the fact that doses from radio-iodine were between 1,000 and 10,000 times smaller than in Belarus and the Ukraine.

Cautious western scientists may concede that "the full picture" of health detriment will take years to emerge, but we do not have to wait. There is already plenty of evidence that, where internal contamination is concerned, officially accepted perceptions of health hazard from man-made isotopes err by a factor of 1,000 or maybe more. A reassessment of internal dosimetry is urgently needed.

Richard Bramhall

Low Level Radiation


Builth Wells, Powys