Australian news, and some related international items

BBC documentary discusses Chernobyl and Breast Cancer

Doctors told us our radiation levels were 100 times higher than normal.

Catriona Munro on Chernobyl and her breast cancer, BBC News, 7 Oct 11, Catriona Munro believes her incurable breast cancer is linked to the fall out from the Chernobyl disaster. For a BBC Scotland documentary she has recalled how she may have been exposed to radiation and told of her fears for others whose health may also have been affected.

“I never expected to become involved in an international incident, but that’s exactly what happened in late April 1986. It was very definitely a case of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. I had been sunbathing on the roof of a student hostel in Minsk, the capital of Belarus when a radioactive cloud began spreading over Europe.

Its source? A decrepit nuclear power station 250 miles away, in a place called Chernobyl….. It took three days for our evacuation to be arranged, with the help of Belarussian language students…..

I wanted to know much more about the impact of radiation on human health”They [Belarusian officials] were sceptical about our decision to leave. Some believed we were being used by the British government to provide a propaganda coup.

Our hosts were relying on the Soviet media for information. We were relying on the BBC World Service. They were hearing reports playing down the consequences of the accident. We were hearing reports of deaths and mass evacuations. We were to fly home from Moscow, but not before we were subjected to a series of medical checks.

As the people of the Russian capital celebrated May Day, we anxiously awaited the results of our Geiger counter tests. The airline which flew us home carried out more tests before we were allowed to board the plane, and forced us into unfetching grey tracksuits.

There were yet more tests when we arrived back in the UK. Doctors told us our radiation levels were 100 times higher than normal. It seems extraordinary now, but we were then simply sent home. As the years passed, my experience became little more than a dinner party anecdote.

That was until I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, three years ago…… My personal story reflects the wider situation.BBC Scotland’s investigation Fall Out reveals a breath-taking lack of research into the health implications of Chernobyl…

October 7, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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