A study on caesium contamination in human milk, as a consequence of the Chernobyl fallout, was conducted in 1989 on a group of women from one of the areas of northern Italy most heavily affected by the radioactive fallout. Their diet was studied, and the caesium intake was calculated by using the mean food activity concentration in that area. The caesium transfer factor was evaluated both as the ratio of caesium concentration in mother's milk to the daily intake, and by using a simplified milk compartment model.
Dietary studies and whole-body measurements were used to estimate the intake of radiocesium and the radiation dose received by different groups of people in Norway after the Chernobyl accident. Freshwater fish, milk, and reindeer meat were the major sources for radiocesium intake. Dietary advice, together with agricultural decontamination measures, resulted in a considerable reduction in the exposure level of the population. A majority (40-80%) of the specially selected groups (farmers-hunters and Sami reindeer herdsman) changed its diet significantly after the accident. Without dietary changes, specifically a reduction in the consumption of freshwater fish and reindeer meat, the Sami group would have had a 400-700% higher radiocesium intake, and the farmers-hunters' intake would have been up to 50% higher than what they actually had experienced.
This paper reports the levels of radiocesium registered in about 9000 samples collected in different parts of Sweden following the Chernobyl accident during the period May-November 1986. The maximum Cs levels were detected in reindeer, freshwater fish and mushrooms. Parameters possibly affecting the nuclide concentration in different biota are briefly discussed.
The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident, in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR), on April 26, 1986, was the first major nuclear power plant accident that resulted in a large-scale fire and subsequent explosions, immediate and delayed deaths of plant operators and emergency service workers, and the radioactive contamination of a significant land area. The release of radioactive material, over a 10-day period, resulted in millions of Soviets, and other Europeans, being exposed to measurable levels of radioactive fallout. Because of the effects of wind and rain, the radioactive nuclide fallout distribution patterns are not well defined, though they appear to be focused in three contiguous Soviet Republics: the Ukrainian SSR, the Byelorussian SSR, and the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic. Further, because of the many radioactive nuclides (krypton, xenon, cesium, iodine, strontium, plutonium) released by the prolonged fires at Chernobyl, the long-term medical, psychological, social, and economic effects will require careful and prolonged study. Specifically, studies on the medical (leukemia, cancers, thyroid disease) and psychological (reactive depressions, post-traumatic stress disorders, family disorganization) consequences of continued low dose radiation exposure in the affected villages and towns need to be conducted so that a coherent, comprehensive, community-oriented plan may evolve that will not cause those already affected any additional harm and confusion.
Erratum In: Public Health Rep 1991 May-Jun;106(3):352
The authors provide the results of measuring the content of radionuclides in foods in the first 4 years after the Chernobyl accident and the data on the diet of the population. Pollution of foods was demonstrated to decrease with time. The supply of 137Cs to the body fell 3-fold from 1986 to 1989. The rejection of foods in the most polluted Vetkovsk and Narovlyansk regions made it possible to reduce 3-6-fold the mean daily supply of 137Cs with the diet and up to 2-fold the supply of 90Sr.
The effects produced as a consequence of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in the population of Como are assessed on the basis of the measurements taken in the environment and on the food. Exposure measurements produced by external radiation and the activities of the different radionuclides introduced into the body, by ingestion and inhalation, made it possible to obtain an estimate of the dose equivalent and its somatic and genetic effects on the population. The results show that such effects may produce 0.5-2 cases of malignant tumour in the next 25 years and 0.2-1 case of genetic damage in the next 60 years and are therefore statistically insignificant.
Noninbred female white rats were fed for 30 days with diets containing 137Cs and 85Sr in indicative doses. After that the animals received some sea products to investigate their radioprotective properties. Natural sea products proved able to influence the kinetics of the radionuclides metabolism. Laminaria salad "Dalnevostochny" given in the dose 20 g per animal reduced the accumulation of radioactive Cs and Sr by 76.7 and 57.6%, respectively. Moreover, sea products stabilize functional activity of peripheral blood natural killers which are important in immunological defense of the body.
Radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident affected parts of central Norway to a considerable extent, in particular the 134Cs+137Cs deposition had a significant impact on the natural environment. When this became apparent, a comprehensive radioecological research programme was initiated in order to study the behaviour of radiocaesium in boreal and alpine ecosystems, with emphasis on food-chains leading to exposure of species used for human consumption, i.e., reindeer and freshwater fish. In this paper results from the terrestrial part of this research programme during the period 1986-1990 are presented. The work was mainly confined to the mountain areas of Dovre and Rondane. Parallel studies were performed in eutrophic and strongly oligotrophic communities. The influence of local variations in topography and microclimate on the observed radiocaesium levels in topsoils, lichens and vascular plants was studied in detail. Currently a significant re-distribution of radiocaesium from the originally strongly exposed surfaces to those that were less exposed is observed. In the soil, radiocaesium is strongly retained in the litter and raw humus layers. Current levels in lichens are 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than in vascular plants. This strongly affects the seasonal variation of radiocaesium in reindeer, showing winter maxima of about 5 times higher than the August levels. The radiocaesium levels in reindeer showed a decline of approximately a factor of 3 during the period 1987-1990. Other animal species studied in the programme exhibited substantially lower radiocaesium levels than reindeer, but a considerable interspecies variation was observed.