On April 26th 1986, explosions at reactor number four of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine led to huge releases of radioactive materials into the atmosphere. The new HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, explores the cause and aftermath of this nuclear disaster. On the podcast we discuss the first episode of the series and the health impacts of Chernobyl, specifically, the rise in thyroid cancers over 20 years later in patients, who lived not far from the Chernobyl plant, that Dr. Cohen has treated in Los Angeles.
GREAT PODCAST. INCREDIBLE TOPIC. Dr Cohen is correct. No one knew to prophylactically take iodine tablets to saturate the thyroid to block the radioactive iodine. How could we know that? I am from Germany and was living in Europe during this disaster when every attempt was made to downplay the damage by the ones responsible. The Russians (under communist rule back then) told us it was simply “a fire on the roof. Nothing to worry about”. There is no way that nurse could have known to take iodine tablets by looking out her window and seeing roof smoke. Finally we are talking openly about this terrible phenomenon that was kept nearly hidden from the world for almost 4 decades. Luckily the US satellites captured the event and were able to warn the world that something terrible was happening. Consequently we Germans (although thousands of miles from the meltdown) were able to implement precautions such as not drinking the milk, playing outside or drinking the tap water. Great topic, great conversation. Keep them coming please.
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