A Russian publication concluded that 985,000 excess cancer deaths occurred between 1986 and 2004 as a result of radioactive contamination. In general, a huge discrepancy among the estimates exists largely due to the geographical range of the accident and a large number of health problems caused. The highest radiation doses affected people responding immediatly after the explosion such as army, police and fireman. Evacuation and relocation of the nearby civil population was a traumatic experience for most since it meant they could never return to their homes. For many there was a social stigma associated with being an "exposed person". Read more about the radioactive effects here...Warning, some of the images are very graphic!