Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Comparing mortality rates from everyday health risks with those from radiation during the Chernobyl incident

A new study has found that risks from radiation exposure to people involved in the Chernobyl incident may be much less significant than most of us think.

The research, published online today in BioMedCentral Public Health, compares the health risks from radiation exposure following the Chernobyl incident with the more common risks of air pollution, passive smoking and obesity. All of the risks studied showed a relatively small increase (around 1%) in mortality rates.

Dr Jim Smith from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, who carried out the research, said, “The perception is that there are big risks to public health from radiation exposure. This study shows that for the population exposed to significant doses of radiation from the Chernobyl incident, the risks of premature death are no greater than those of being subjected to prolonged passive smoking, or of constantly over-eating. We can all face such health risks just going about our ordinary daily lives.”

Dr Smith has worked in the contaminated Chernobyl exclusion zone and has found that wildlife thrives in that region. Some people still living there unofficially are surviving well into their seventies.

Dr Smith said, “One of my reasons for comparing everyday risks with those of radiation contamination was the way in which contaminated Chernobyl refugees felt rejected by society. Our understandable fear of radiation needs to be placed in the context of other risks we encounter in our daily lives if we are to properly understand, and respond to, the potential impacts of any future radiation incidents.”

There are significant uncertainties in the calculation of health risks for all of the risk factors studied by a factor of two or so higher or lower. All of the risk factors studied have impacts on morbidity (illness) as well as mortality.

Marion O'Sullivan | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>