Chernobyl Liquidators' Health
as a Psycho-Social Trauma

3.5. Conclusions

       The above overview of the literature data about the liquidators health state gives grounds for the following conclusions:
       1. The health state of the liquidators does not have classical features of a radiation injury.
       2. At present, the physical health of the liquidators does not manifest dramatic, outstanding differences, as compared to both the intact population and the irradiated (by the comparable doses) professionals.
       3. On the contrary, the mental health of the liquidators seems to be distinctly worse than that of the control groups.
       4. There are abundant indications of the crucial role of non-radiation harmful factors in the observed health effects — namely, both the in-zone and post-zone factors of psychological, social and economic nature.

       Thus, it seems impossible to adequately treat the issue of the liquidators' health:
       • without clear understanding of the essence, mechanisms and outcomes of the effects of non-radiation harmful factors, connected with their work and stay in the zone (the factors described in Ch. 3.), and
       • without a distinct picture of hazards of the post-zone period of the liquidators' life, and of how they can affect the liquidators and/or modify the impact of the “in-zone” harmful factors.
       Two subsequent chapters of this study will address exactly these two domains: Chapter 4 — frameworks of interpretation of the Chernobyl zone conditions' and experiences' impact, and Chapter 5 — the post-zone harmful factors of the Chernobyl Disaster and their influence upon the liquidators.

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Design by: M.Opalev
Studio ARWIS  Kharkov, 2001