7. Mortality after the Chernobyl catastrophe

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Nov;1181:192-216. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04828.x.


A detailed study reveals that 3.8-4.0% of all deaths in the contaminated territories of Ukraine and Russia from 1990 to 2004 were caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe. The lack of evidence of increased mortality in other affected countries is not proof of the absence of effects from the radioactive fallout. Since 1990, mortality among liquidators has exceeded the mortality rate in corresponding population groups. From 112,000 to 125,000 liquidators died before 2005--that is, some 15% of the 830,000 members of the Chernobyl cleanup teams. The calculations suggest that the Chernobyl catastrophe has already killed several hundred thousand human beings in a population of several hundred million that was unfortunate enough to live in territories affected by the fallout. The number of Chernobyl victims will continue to grow over many future generations.

MeSH terms

  • Chernobyl Nuclear Accident*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Radiation Injuries / mortality*
  • Republic of Belarus / epidemiology
  • Russia / epidemiology
  • Ukraine / epidemiology