Chernobyl Deaths Top a Million Based on Real Evidence
Medical records from contaminated areas speak for themselves; doctors,
scientists and citizens bear witness to the devastating health impacts of
radioactive fallout from nuclear accidents Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
Official denial by nuclear lobby—The Chernobyl disaster occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power -Plant near the city of Prypiat in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, and close to the administrative border with Belarus. A sudden power output surge prompted an attempt at emergency shutdown; but a more extreme spike in power output led to the rupture of a reactor vessel and a series of explosions. The graphite moderator was exposed, causing it to ignite, and the resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout over large parts of the western Soviet Union and Europe. From 1986 to 2000, 350 400 people were evacuated and resettled from the most contaminated areas of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. According to official post-Soviet data, about 57 % of the fallout landed in Belarus . Chernobyl is widely considered to have been the worst nuclear accident in history and one of only two classified as a level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the other being the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in 2011 (see  Fukushima Nuclear Crisis, SiS 50).— From the beginning, the official nuclear safety experts were at pains to minimise the projected health impacts, as they are doing now for the Fukushima accident. The UNSCEAR (United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation) estimated a “global collective dose” of radiation exposure from the accident “equivalent on average to 21 additional days of world exposure to natural background radiation”. Successive studies reported by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) continued to underestimate the level of exposure and to understate health impacts other than  “psychosocial effects, believed to be unrelated to radiation exposure” resulting from the lack of information immediately after the accident, “the stress and trauma of compulsory relocation to less contaminated areas, the breaking of social ties and the fear that radiation exposure could cause health damage in the future.”——The number of deaths attributed to Chernobyl varies widely . Thirty-one deaths are directly attributed to the accident, all among the reactor staff and emergency workers. An UNSCEAR report places the total confirmed deaths from radiation at 64 as of 2008. The Chernobyl Forum  founded in February 2003 at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna with representatives from IAEA and UN agencies including UNSCEAR, WHO, the World Bank, and Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, estimates that the eventual death toll could reach 4 000 among those exposed to the highest levels of radiation (200 000 emergency workers, 115 000 evacuees and 270 000 residents of the most contaminated areas); the figure includes some 50 emergency workers who died of acute radiation syndrome, 9 children who died of thyroid cancer and an estimated total of 3950 deaths from radiation-induced cancer and leukemia. The Union of Concerned Scientists based in Washington in the United States estimates another 50 000 excess cancer cases among people living in areas outside the most contaminated, and 25 000 excess deaths. A Greenpeace report puts the figure at 200 000 or more. The Russian publication, Chernobyl, by scientists Alexey V. Yablokov, Vassily B Nesterenko, and Alexey V. Nesterenko, translated and published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009, concludes that among the billions of people worldwide who were exposed to radioactive contamination from the disaster, nearly a million deaths had already occurred between 1986 and 2004. Most of the deaths were in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine  (see Truth about Chernobyl, SiS 47). The report drew on thousands of published papers and internet and printed publications. Those publications and papers, written by leading Eastern authorities, were downplayed or ignored by the IAEA and UNSCEAR. These agencies minimised their estimates by several ploys including —– Underestimating the level of radiation by averaging exposure over a large regions, such as an entire country; so high exposure doses and health statistics of the most contaminated areas are lumped together with the less and least exposed
– Ignoring internal sources of radiation due to inhalation and ingestion of
radioactive material from fallout
– Using an obsolete and erroneous model of linear energy transfer due to external
sources of ionising radiation
– Not counting diseases and conditions other than cancers
– Overestimating the natural background radiation; today’s ‘background’ has been greatly increased by discharges from nuclear activities including tests of
nuclear weapons, use of depleted uranium, and uranium mining
– Suppressing and withholding information from the public.
Nevertheless, the devastating health impacts did not escape the notice of the hundreds of doctors, scientists and other citizens who had to bear witness to the deformities, sicknesses and deaths of exposed babies, children and adults in their care. -Diversity of health impacts and their global extent over generations to come Alexei Yablokov, distinguished academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, spoke at the Scientific and Citizen Forum on adioprotection – From Chernobyl to Fukushima, 11-13 May 2012 in Geneva . He is adamant that the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster can be clearly demonstrated by comparing the states of people’s health in areas receiving different amounts of additional radiation following the accident, instead of one based on average effective dose calculated by the ICRP and UNSCEAR which underestimates the true levels of irradiation. For example, there is a clear difference in mortality rates between highly contaminated provinces and less contaminated provinces of Russia (see Figure 1). Yablokov is lead author of a massive report, now in its third enlarged 2011 edition , which has collated all the available evidence.
Estriol, an estrogen that has virtually been ignored by the mainstream medical community, is one of the three principal estrogens produced by the body. Estriol was originally thought to have little significance due to its weak estrogenic activity when compared with estrone and estradiol. Nonetheless, research has found that its weakness may very well be its strength. –Studies suggest that when the lower-potency estrogen, estriol, is administered topically, it does not increase the risk of hormone-dependent cancers of the breast or endometrium (uterine lining).1-3 However, having weaker estrogenic effects does not mean that estriol has none of the benefits that come with more potent estrogens. Studies suggest that estriol reduces symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, but with a better safety profile compared with more potent estrogens.1,4,5 This makes estriol a better choice for bioidentical hormone-replacement treatment regimes. –That is not all this ‘weak’ hormone is good for! Research suggests that estriol has benefits for bone density, heart health, multiple sclerosis, and postmenopausal urinary tract health.6-12 In this article, we will review the attributes of this ‘weaker’ estrogen, and why this estrogen is currently in the news.
F The body naturally makes three estrogen hormones—estradiol, estrone, and estriol. Since estriol possesses the weakest estrogenic effects of the three, it has been largely overlooked by the medical community.
Many studies show that estriol offers a wealth of potential health benefits—without the dangers that sometimes accompany higher-potency estrogens and synthetic or horse-derived hormones.
Studies suggest that estriol helps relieve menopausal symptoms while benefitting bone and urinary tract health. Estriol may also help improve cardiovascular risk factors and even shows promise in reducing the brain lesions of multiple sclerosis.
The most reliable way to measure estriol levels is through 24-hour urine collection.
Despite abundant evidence to the contrary, the FDA has recently claimed that estriol is not safe. You can act now to help preserve consumers’ access to bioidentical hormones such as estriol by visiting http://www.homecoalition.org.
Fear of cancer prevents many women from restoring youthful hormone levels. When applied through the topical (transdermal) route, estriol is not associated with increased cancer risk. Other methods women can use to prevent hormone-related cancers include consuming regular amounts of vitamin D, and Bioflavonoids, Tumeric,Rosemary,Parsley,Dandelion, Hawthorn Berry, Black tea and Black Tea extracts, Celery Root, regulating meat and high-fat dairy intake.—
Estriol and Hormone Replacement Therapy
In addition, several studies suggest that bioidentical estrogen has less health risk when given with low doses of bioidentical progesterone.26,27— if you are on hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) and have never heard of estriol, you might be wondering why not? Before the 1970s, estriol was thought to have significance only during pregnancy we saw the beginning of hormone-replacement therapy with patented equine estrogens such as Premarin® and synthetic progestins as found in Provera®. By the 1990s, one-third of menopausal women were taking Premarin®. Research uncovered the increased incidence of breast cancer, increased risk of blood clotting, and increased cardiovascular risk associated with the use of these horse-derived and synthetic hormones (used in combination in the patented medication Prempro®).13 The medical community began to wonder if using hormones from pregnant horses was such a good idea. In an effort to find a safer alternative, many patients and practitioners began looking into ‘natural’ hormone-replacement treatment using bioidentical hormones, which are identical to those produced naturally within the body. Bioidentical-hormone replacement was pioneered in the 1980s as a treatment for menopause by Dr. Jonathan Wright in Washington state. ——-Interest in estriol increased as it was discovered that estriol was safer than horse-derived and synthetic hormones in relation to cardiovascular health and potentially cancer risk. Unfortunately, many doctors have not adopted its use, and many bioidentical hormone-replacement regimes use only estradiol, a more potent estrogen with increased associated risks.— The benefits of estriol may, in part, be explained by the mixed pro-estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects of this interesting estrogen hormone. Scientists Melamed et al. investigated the mixture of stimulating and non-stimulating effects posed by estriol upon estrogen receptors. When estriol is given together with estradiol, the estradiol-specific stimulation to cells is decreased. This little-appreciated scientific fact helps to explain how estriol can reduce pro-carcinogenic effects of more powerful estrogens like estradiol. However, when estriol is given alone over a long period of time, it can produce a more complete pro-estrogenic effect, explaining why symptom relief is achieved when menopausal women take estriol.2 Experimental studies suggest that both estriol and tamoxifen (a synthetic anti-estrogen) have protective effects against radiation-induced cancer of the breast[U10].14— Most of the research cited in this article used oral estrogen as the route of administration. However, for enhanced safety, topical estriol would be a better choice. Several studies have shown that transdermal estrogen confers less health risk as a route of administration than oral estrogen.3,21-25 Clinical experience of many doctors over the past 20-30 years suggests that transdermal estrogen is also more effective for some women. This is largely thought to be due to the ‘first-pass effect’—meaning that orally ingested drugs are often first metabolized in the liver, before having any activity in the body. Orally ingested estrogen hormones are among these drugs that are first metabolized in the liver before exerting their effects in the body. Physicians experienced in hormone replacement often observe that women treated with oral estrogens show high levels of estrogen metabolites in 24-hour urine specimens, suggesting that most of the orally ingested hormones are being excreted.———- In a prospective study funded by the US Army and performed at the Public Health Institute, Berkeley, California, researchers compared estriol levels during pregnancy with breast cancer incidence 40 years later. Results revealed that of the 15,000 women entered in the study, those with the highest levels of estriol relative to other estrogens during pregnancy had the lowest cancer risk. In other words, as the relative level of estriol increased during pregnancy, risk of breast cancer decreased 40 years later. In fact, women with the highest level of estriol during pregnancy had 58% lower risk for breast cancer compared with women who had the lowest serum estriol levels. The authors also noted that Asian and Hispanic women had higher estriol levels compared with other racial groups. Interestingly, Asian and Hispanic women have the lowest breast cancer rates. The authors concluded, “If confirmed, these results could lead to breast cancer prevention or treatment regimens that seek to block estradiol estrogen action using estriol, similar to treatment based on the synthetic anti-estrogen tamoxifen.”15 —In another study, Takahashi et al. studied the safety of estriol treatment for Menopausal symptoms. Fifty-three women with either surgically induced or natural menopause were given 2 mg of oral estriol/day for 12 months. Endometrial and breast assessments done with endometrial biopsy and breast ultrasound, respectively, found normal results in all women. The authors concluded that over a 12-month period, “estriol appeared to be safe and effective in relieving symptoms of menopausal women.”1—In one investigation, 52 postmenopausal women were given 2 mg, 4 mg, 6 mg, or 8 mg/day of oral estriol for six months. In all patients, vasomotor symptoms of menopause (such as hot flashes) were decreased. The most improvement was experienced by women taking the highest dose of 8 mg. There were no signs of endometrial hyperplasia confirmed by endometrial biopsy over the six-month treatment period. Mammograms were obtained on six of the patients who had mammary hyperplasia at the study’s outset, and no further changes were seen.8- Although the oral route of administration of estriol appears relatively safe over the short-term, the transdermal route is preferred for long-term use. For example, Weiderpass et al. found an increased risk of endometrial atypical hyperplasia and endometrial cancer with oral use of estriol, but not with transdermal estriol over at least a five-year period. Compared with no use of estriol, those who took oral estriol for at least five years had a significantly greater risk, compared with individuals who did not take any estriol. Women using topical estriol for at least five years did not have any increased risk.