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News Brief

September 2, 2004
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Parental anxiety, not radiation exposure, may have caused hyperactivity among children who were in utero in the former Soviet Union at the time of the Chernobyl disaster. Researchers at Israel’s Technion — Israel Institute of Technology found high attention-deficit/hyperactivity levels both in children who had high levels of radiation exposure and those who had moderate or very low exposure levels. “Immigrants to Israel from the Chernobyl region manifested high levels of anxiety and concern about radiation exposure,” explains the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Gad Rennert of the Technion Faculty of Medicine. “This resulting anxiety could have been transferred to the children.” The researchers also concluded that exposure to radiation does not affect children’s cognitive abilities.

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