Seven decades after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, experts say nuclear or radiological events are still a possibility.
With all the time that has passed since any nuclear or radiological events such as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and the Fukushima and Chernobyl accidents, a sense of complacency formed among people, thinking there is but a slim chance for any nuclear event to take place. As people deny this possibility, however, they may be less prepared when such time comes.
What are the effects of long-term radiation exposure? How, then, could a Nuclear Global Health Workforce work to mitigate the effects of radiation?
Radiation Exposure: its Long Term Effects
Previous studies have shown that exposure to radiation can yield adverse effects to the individual’s health. This explains the comprehensiveness of energy workers’ benefits, which almost always includes in-home cancer care.
In cases of a nuclear event, not just DOE employees are vulnerable to the effects of radiation. The Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF), an organization that looks into the effects of radiation on bombing survivors, for instance, links 1,900 excess cancer deaths to the bombings, as well as 1,700 cases of solid cancer and 200 cases of leukemia.
While congenital abnormalities among descendants of Chernobyl survivors were unconfirmed, records show a dramatic increase in the number of elective abortions among those who lived near the accident site. The culprit was a lack of information and inadequate guidance that led to what experts called the “nuclear phobia.”
The Role of Nuclear Health Workers
While nuclear occurrences are unpredictable, nuclear health workers may help mitigate its effects by helping health care practitioners, administrators, and policymakers have a clear grasp of the myths and realities of radiation. In the period following a nuclear crisis, this knowledge can help officials come up with evidence-based policies and decisions. This also helps authorities aid people in understanding the actual risks they may face.