Study: Children’s respiratory problems at 700% previous levels, Hemorrhaging at 900% in areas contaminated by Chernobyl meltdown

Published: November 11th, 2011 at 7:43 am ET
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Female reproductive function in areas affected by radiation after the Chernobyl power station accident, Environ Health Perspect. 1993 July; 101(Suppl 2): 117–123:

Excerpts

  • “The rate of extragenital pathology during pregnancy increased in the years after the accident from 23.1% in 1982 to 33.9% in 1990 in Chechersky and from 7.1% to 51.2% in Polessky over the same period (Fig. 2). The main pathologies in both districts were anemia of pregnancy, renal disorders, transient hypertension, and abnormalities of fat metabolism.”
  • “The main complication in the postnatal stages was anemia, which increased in incidence progressively in the years after the accident. The increase in rates of incidence  between 1983 and 1990 were from 9.1% to 15.2% in Chechersky and from 1.1% to 9.3% in Polessky.”
  • The incidence of neonatal morbidity increased 3-fold in Polessky and 2-fold in Chechersky following the accident (Fig. 5). The diseases recorded were hypoxia, congenital abnormalities, respiratory distress, infections, and inflammatory disease. Fetal and neonatal hypoxia was twice as common. Respiratory distress increased 7-fold in Chechersky and by a factor of 2 in Polessky (Fig. 6).
  • Hemorrhagic syndromes increased in frequency 9-fold and were manifest as alimentary hemorrhage causing melena or subcutaneous hemorrhage. The pre-accident incidence was 0.5-1.0%, increasing to 4.4% (Polessky) and 5.1% (Chechersky) in 1990.
  • In the years following the accident, there was a general decline in the health index with a 3-fold reduction in the number of children in group 1 in comparison to the general population. Simultaneously, the number of ill children increased by a factor of 2.4 in both polluted areas

Conclusion

  • We carried out an extensive and complex investigation of pregnant women and their offspring after the accident at Chernobyl in April 1986 and calculated that the health of the mothers, fetuses and children differed significantly from the physiological norm. There was a specific complex of adaptational and pathological abnormalities of various organs and systems.
  • The female reproductive system itself remained intact, but defective compensatory and adaptational mechanisms of the mothers and fetoplacental units resulted in diseases of the neonates that are still, at present, progressing.
  • The general deterioration of the health of mothers and children is similar in all the polluted areas of Russia, viz., Belorussia and the Ukraine, and it must be concluded that this effect was caused by radiation, which triggered a complex pattern of bodily dysfunction. [...]
  • The disorders and diseases revealed by this survey make it necessary to undertake special programs of prophylaxis and treatment in the population groups affected by radioactive contamination. Social measures are required to prevent prenatal abnormalities by way of optimizing conditions for the protection of the fetoplacental complex.  This is essential to reduce the hazardous consequences of the Chernobyl accident and to preserve the health of posterity.

Full Text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1519931/pdf/envhper00379-0120.pdf

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Published: November 11th, 2011 at 7:43 am ET
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