The level of radiation exposure in children in Belarus caused by the Chernobyl accident was investigated on the basis of whole body 137Cs count. The subjects were 10,062 children (4,762 boys and 5,300 girls) in Mogilev and Gomel, Belarus, who received Chernobyl Sasakawa Health and Medical Cooperation Project health examinations from May 1991 to December 1992 and who were 5-16 y old at the time of examination. The median whole body 137Cs count per body weight varied from 21-48 Bq kg-1 and from 28-126 Bq kg-1 in Mogilev oblast and Gomel oblast, respectively. (The "oblast" is the largest administrative district constituting the country. Belarus consists of 6 oblasts). Corresponding annual effective dose equivalents were all less than the public dose limit of 1 mSv y-1, but the observed levels in the children were considerably higher than the average level of 2.3 Bq kg-1 reported in the past for the former Soviet Union.
Comment In: Health Phys. 1995 May;68(5):733-57730075
The prevalence of goiter among children living in areas affected by the Chernobyl accident was investigated by analysis of data on approximately 120,000 children examined at five medical diagnostic centers in Belarus, Russia, and the Ukraine. Examinations of thyroid gland were conducted with an arch-automatic ultrasonographic instrument at the five centers under the same protocol. The diagnosis of goiter was established when the thyroid volume exceeded a limit calculated from age, height, and body weight of a child. A considerable variation by region was noted in the prevalence of goiter. Highest in the Kiev region, the prevalence in the five regions was 54% in Kiev, 38% in the Zhitomir regions of the Ukraine, 18% in Gomel, 22% in the Mogilev regions of Belarus, and 41% in the Bryansk region of Russia. Urinary iodine content was measured in approximately 5700 children, and an endemic iodine deficient zone was confirmed in the Bryansk, Kiev, and Zhitomir regions. A significant negative correlation was observed between the prevalence of goiter and the median level of urinary iodine content (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was -0.35, P = 0.025).