Life on the Edge... The Half-Lives and Half-Truths of Chernobyl ?It was Stalin who said: ?A single death is a tragedy; a million of deaths is a statistic.? An excruciating war waged by Chernobyl?s ?atoms for peace gone wrong? has been emitting its long lasting poisonous legacy for almost 20-years. According to the UN, 9 million people, primarily in Ukraine, Belarus and western Russia, were affected. 4,5 million children and adults live on contaminated land. 400,000 people became environmental refugees. Over 800,000 children are at risk of cancer. World dictionaries define Chernobyl as the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of humanity. But what the ?worst environmental catastrophe? actually means in the everyday lives of the people of Ukraine and Belarus, cannot be explained by any dictionary. The stigma of ?Chernobyl victim? is profoundly prevalent. Personal medical and family problems are rarely discussed and are often hidden away in shame. Medical data is frequently unreliable and incomplete; governments and the nuclear industry repeatedly refuse to make links between medical consequences and radiation; contaminated food is being grown, consumed, and distributed nationally; people are falling ill. Shocking morphological mutations exist but so do slow-ticking genetic changes caused by poisons that will radiate for decades, centuries, even thousands of years. We don?t know what those genetic changes may bring. The future of these countries, based as it is on the genetic pools of its populations, is uncertain? One has to focus on individuals?