Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Investigation of the possible effect of the chernobyl accident on irish mortality rates

  • 17 Accesses


RADIOACTIVE fallout from the Chernobyl accident reached Ireland in May 1986 and caused serious concern with regard to its possible effects on health. Reports of a large scale American study claim an almost immediate effect of Chernobyl fallout in terms of increased mortality rates. A study of Irish mortality rates reported a substantial increase in numbers of deaths during the three months immediately post-Chernobyl. The present study investigates whether there is a statistically significant basis for the reported increase in mortality in Ireland. No discernible evidence was found for increased motality rates in Ireland during 1986, following the Chernobyl accident. The initial report of increased mortality rates was based on provisional mortality registration statistics and not on actual day by day data.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Simmonds, J. Europe calculates the health risk. New Scientist 1987: 114, No. 1557, 40–43.

  2. 2.

    Cunningham, J. O., McNeill, G., Pollard, O. Chernobyl: Its effects on Ireland. Nuclear Energy Board. 1987.

  3. 3.

    Pochin, E. Nuclear Radiation: risks and benefits. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1983.

  4. 4.

    Lean, G. (ed.). Radiation - Doses, Effects, Risks. United Nations Environment Program, Nairobi, Kenya. 1985.

  5. 5.

    Sternglass, E. Environmental Chemistry. Plenum. 1977.

  6. 6.

    Heidenreich, A. Victims of Radiation. The Ecologist 1987: 17(2), 116–119.

  7. 7.

    Kellner, P. Long arms of the grim reaper. 1988. The Independent, 4 January.

  8. 8.

    Reports in Cork Examiner and Irish Times 25 April 1988 of study carried out by Dr. Mary Dunphy of the Irish Medical Campaign for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

  9. 9.

    Department of Health Vital statistics. Fourth Quarter and Yearly Summary. 1986. Stationery Office, Dublin 1987.

  10. 10.

    Department of Health Reports on Vital Statistics 1981–1985. Published by The Stationery Office, Dublin.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to M. J. Crowley or W. J. Reville.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Crowley, M.J., Reville, W.J. Investigation of the possible effect of the chernobyl accident on irish mortality rates. I.J.M.S. 158, 114–116 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02943039

Download citation


  • Increase Mortality Rate
  • Chernobyl Accident
  • Radioactive Fallout
  • Female Death
  • Brendan