In addition to radiation exposure and the associated risks of cancer, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster triggered various acute and chronic stressors among the people living in the area. These health impairments include primarily psychological consequences, such as ongoing psychological stress, post-traumatic stress disorder and diminished well-being, manifesting themselves in depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide.
Taking all exposure combinations into account, the authors of the Chernobyl study conclude that, to this day, up to 10 million people have been affected. The present findings on the neuropsychological long-term consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in children, adults and workers consistently show adverse effects.
These are the findings of a Green Cross study carried out under the direction of Professor Jonathan M. Samet, Director of the USC Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern California (USC), in cooperation with local partners in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.