14 years after the Chernobyl disaster, the UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Nuclear Radiation) report of 2000, it is said that there were no stated indications of the Chernobyl fallout's effect on children, spare from a theoretical view. Maybe this report has been revised since then, but if you start reading this at page 497, you will discover the opposite and five years later, USCEAR reported about 6000 cases of thyroid cancer cases amongst children who in one way or another were exposed to the radioactive fallout from the destroyed 4th reactor. In this text I explain why the thyroid glands of young individuals are extra sensitive to readioactive exposure. Iodine-131 has a tendency to be stored in milk from mammals. This includes cow milk and goat milk as well as the milk from human females. As children need milk for the development of skeleton and teeth, Iodine contaminated milk consitutes a health danger, but that's not all. The isotope of Strontium, Strontium-90 resembles Calcium (milk is rich on Calcium) and goes straight to the bone in the very same way. Strontium-90 increases the risk or bone growth retardation when it comes to young individuals and may cause skeleton cancer based in the bone marrow for human individuals all ages.
By 2005 UNSCEAR, even though having admitted the 6000 cases of thyroid cancer, still states that:
"...there is no clearly demonstrated increase in the incidence of solid cancers or leukaemia due to radiation in the exposed populations. Neither is there any proof of other non-malignant disorders that are related to ionizing radiation. However, there were widespread psychological reactions to the accident, which were due to fear of the radiation, not to the actual radiation doses.
There is a tendency to attribute increases in the rates of all cancers over time to the Chernobyl accident, but it should be noted that increases were also observed before the accident in the affected areas. Moreover, a general increase in mortality has been reported in recent decades in most areas of the former Soviet Union, and this must be taken into account when interpreting the results of the accident-related studies."
One year later, this is contradicted by UNICEF. The deputy director at the time, Kul Gautam, stated that:
"One thing is absolutely clear. Increased incidence of childhood thyroid cancer caused by radioactive Iodine fallout has been the most dramatic health impact of Chernobyl. There are over 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer affecting the ‘Chernobyl generation’ of children. But cancer is only the tip of the iceberg. Widespread iodine deficiency in the vicinity of Chernobyl and other parts of Belarus, Russian Federation and Ukraine is leading to a whole generation of children growing up potentially brain-damaged."In Gautam's statement, compared to the report dealt with here, it's all focusing on the effects of radiation on fetuses and the possible retardation of brain development but that is perhaps one of the least risks. At least compared to the unknown number of cases of leukemia, various kinds of leukepenia and skeleton deformations.
UNICEF as well as UNSCEAR may have been correct, but still rash in some of their conclusions, as most of the defections cannot be seen in the first generations but in Belarus - that received a large part of the Chernobyl fallout, there's been over 10 000 confirmed cases of thyroid cancer amongst children, 25 years after the accident, and we'll see these numbers increase in all the affected areas of the former Soviet Union and Europe for the next decades to come.
I deliberately avoid stating more numbers as these are unknown and sources continue to contradict each other and I'm not looking to upset people with shocking images, but the main disorders and defects tens of thousands of children suffer from as a consequence of the Chernobyl disaster are thyroid cancer, leukemia and other forms of cancer related to blood and skeleton. Many children born just before, and after the disaster in the fallout areas have problems with their lungs, heats, immune system, and they will never recover.