It is conclusive that around 5,000 cases of thyroid cancer in the area were caused by the contamination, according to the BBC. The main victim of these cancers were children. It is believed that this is in part due to a failure of the authorities to prevent contaminated milk form being sold in the region.
Many who drank the milk were children and so they were receiving large doses of radioactive iodine.
Radioactive iodine was one of the contaminants blasted out of Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine.
A World Health Organisation report read: “Doses to the thyroid received in the first few months after the accident were particularly high in those children and adolescents living in the most affected regions, who drank milk contaminated with radioactive iodine.
“This subpopulation has since been followed-up through national Chernobyl registries for increased risk of thyroid cancer.
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The Chernobyl nuclear disaster caused children to get thyroid cancer; CT scan (Image: GETTY)
A couple milks their cow near to the exclusion zone (Image: GETTY)
“The 2006 WHO report anticipated that thyroid cancer incidence due to the Chernobyl accident would continue to increase over time.”
Iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days and has a known link to thyroid