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Newborns affected most by Chernobyl disaster

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 14 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:918
  1. Judy Siegel-Itzkovich
  1. Jerusalem

    A new study of children who were living near the Chernobyl nuclear reactor when it exploded in April 1986 or who were born in the area after the accident shows that newborn babies and those aged under 1 year were worst affected. It also shows, for the first time, that children born after the disaster have experienced more ill effects than those who were aged over 1 year at the time.

    The study looked at 1080 children, aged 5 to 15 years, who were permanently evacuated to Israel from 1990 onwards, by the Chabad Children of Chernobyl non-profit organisation, which runs a rescue programme.

    It showed that the longer children remain in the contaminated area in Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of the Russian Federation, the sicker they became, and the higher their risk …

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