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NUKE KIDS' LIFELINE; Scottish air could benefit Chernobyl visitors.

Byline: brian mciver b.mciver@dailyrecord.co.uk

A GROUP of Chernobyl kids are enjoying a trip to Scotland which could help save their lives.

The 10 youngsters, aged between nine and 14, were brought here by a charity who help look after kids from areas still affected by the former Soviet nuclear reactor explosion in 1986.

According to workers from the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline charity, even spending just a few weeks way from the polluted atmosphere - which still affects food supplies as well as air quality - can have a massive effect on their health.

Although they were born long after the disaster, it is thought that 90 per cent of children from the worst affected parts of Ukraine and Belarus will suffer from some form of illness or defect by the time they reach adulthood.

Chairwoman of the Forth Valley branch of the charity Gail Macdonald said: "It may sound like an exaggeration, but the three weeks these children spend in Scotland could save lives.

"Youngsters have told us that families forage in the forests for mushrooms and people fish in the river for food.

"But the land and the river are still contaminated. All the children have extremely high levels of radioactive caesium in their bodies.

"While they are in Scotland, they are breathing clean air and eating uncontaminated food for long enough to reduce radiation levels in their bodies and boost their immune systems.

"At the very least, it could add two years to their lives."

The group of children from the Borodianka district, which lies south of Chernobyl in Ukraine, were invited to spend a day at Soar entertainment complex and Braehead shopping centre as part of their stay.

They enjoyed a round at Paradise Island Adventure Golf and also did some sledging at Snow Factor.

Gail added: "We've got to say a big thank you to the good people at intu Braehead. It's an experience they would not be able to enjoy back home."

CAPTION(S):

PARADISE Visitor tries Adventure Golf game

LIFE-CHANGING The group of Ukrainian children were entertained at the Soar complex. Picture: Jeff Holmes

DISASTER Nuclear explosion

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 9, 2015
Words:355
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