Following the Chernobyl accident, an increase in the levels of some health problems was observed in the local area. These problems include:

  1. An increase in the incidence of thyroid cancers in young people. This was due to initially high levels of  131I. 

Between 1981 - 1985,  the average
thyroid cancer rate was 4-6 incidents per million Ukrainian young children (birth to 15 years). However between 1986 - 1997 this rose to 45 incidents per million. 







 Researchers also found that 64% of all Ukrainian thyroid cancer patients age 15 or younger lived in the most contaminated regions (the provinces of Kiev, Chernigov, Zhitomir, Cherkassy, and Rovno and the city of Kiev) 

Both sets of figures are based upon a Ukrainain study in CANCER
published on 1st July 1999.
Below is a link to an interesting article concerning the high rate of thyroid cancers in children after Chernobyl, and how it may have been prevented. 



click on the diagram to enlarge.

  1. A significant increase in the incidence of lung cancers caused by the inhalation of dust particles rich in 239Pu.
  2. A variety of other cancers occurred at slightly elevated levels among certain populations living in contaminated areas and liquidators (Those who helped with the clean up of the accident).
  3. An increase in the number of babies born with birth defects. However, this could also be due to the economic slump in the region after chernobyl.
  4. After the accident, exclusion areas were created around the site. These have now become havens for wildlife, with no evidence of health problems in the wildlife.