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BELARUS - POST-CHERNOBYL EROSION OF NATION'S HEALTH: INFERTILITY, BIRTH DEFORMITIES, GENETIC CONCERNS
Tony Wesolowsky (freelance writer based in Prague), "Low Exposure, High Risk; E.U. study finds radiation riskier than previously thought", In These Times, June 9, 2003
The aftermath of Chernobyl is being felt 17 years later. The head of an Irish charity
helping the victims of Chernobyl has warned of a spike in thyroid cancer among children in
neighboring Belarus. "What we are witnessing in Belarus is the erosion of the nation's health,"
says Adi Roche, founder of the Chernobyl Children's Project. Roche, whose group recently
brought $ 3.2 million in aid to Belarus, speaks of "soaring" infertility rates, and warns
genetic mutations are now being passed on to a new generation. "Many of those who were children
at the time of the explosion are now beginning their own families, and we are seeing the
effects of radiation being passed on to the next generation and into the gene pool. The rate of
congenital birth deformities is frighteningly high," she told Agence France Presse.