Health and safety risks

In some places some health and safety risks may come in various guises – getting lost in deserts, falling off cliffs, being attacked by wild animals and the like. Or having an accident on a dangerous road – and the traffic habits in some parts of the world can indeed be pretty scary.
On the other hand, some risks are simply unavoidable when travelling to certain parts of the world. Everyone has to weigh it up. If you find it too risky, don't go. Risk perception can start at flying: if you're too worried about plane crashes and flying, don't fly. If you're too worried about, say, earthquakes, then you simply have to stay away from those parts of the world where a looming earthquake risk quite literally comes as part of the territory (San Francisco, Tokyo, Istanbul, etc.).
But all those risks and dangers are independent of whether the reason for travelling is dark tourism or not. So they are not specific to this form of tourism at all.
One health risk aspect, however, comes as a distinctive element of one particular form of dark tourism, namely that part of nuclear tourism that includes radioactively contaminated destinations. Chernobyl or Semipalatinsk are prime examples. Such places can be visited reasonably safely, though, provided you observe certain safety guidelines – and don't expose yourself to elevated radiation levels for a prolonged periods of time. In the case of Chernobyl, tours offered to tourists are restricted to a few hours in the area anyway, and during that time you don't get any more exposure than the naturally elevated levels of radioactivity you are exposed to on a transatlantic flight. Other places, such as Mayak/Lake Karachay in Russia, are complete no-go areas – absolutely too dangerous.  
(See also the separate entry on infamous dark sites not to be visited!)
In short: some risks and dangers may be involved in some forms of dark tourism, but they can be kept to a minimum by travelling/behaving responsibly.
Travelling for the sake of taking risks is something different – namely danger tourism and this is NOT encouraged by this site at all.

©, Peter Hohenhaus 2010-2019

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