Dr. Sherman is interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!
Chernobyl Catastrophe: 25th Anniversary of World’s Worst Nuclear Accident
Considerations on the 25th Anniversary of the Chernobyl Disaster in the context of current events [Fukushima Disaster]
Each is a major public health and environmental disaster, and while Chernobyl occurred 25 yeas ago, it is not over, nor will Fukushima be over any time soon. Unless the laws of biology, chemistry and geography change, what we have learned from Chernobyl will apply to people exposed to the radioactive emissions from Fukushima.
1. Radiation was distributed around the entire northern hemisphere, with “hot spots” in some areas.
2. There will be a marked increase in thyroid diseases in general and thyroid cancer specifically.
3. There will be an increase in birth defects in humans and in animals.
4. There will be an increase in heart disease, brain damage, and other illnesses, especially among the clean-up workers (called “liquidators” at Chernobyl.)
5. The onerous agreement between the WHO and IAEA, signed into effect in 1959, remains a barrier to information and to protection of public health.
6. There was a delay in declaring an evacuation zone.
7. There has been an attempt to minimize the effects of the radiation, emphasizing whole-body external doses, while ignoring the more important exposure to radioactive isotopes that are absorbed by inhalation and ingestion. These include I-131, I-129, Cs-137, Sr-90, various isotopes of plutonium and uranium as well as other radioactive emissions.
8. The governmental and industry spokespersons have ignored the BIER report that there is no safe level of exposure to radioactivity. Every exposure is cumulative and can result in genetic damage, cancer, and other damage to health.