Individual measurement data on radiological surveillance of people residing in the territories most radioactively contaminated following the Chernobyl accident are analyzed to provide a comparison of doses from caesium radionuclides to children and adults. The external doses to children does not exceed those to adult inhabitants of the same settlement. By the results of surveillance in 1986 more than 80 thousand inhabitants of the western areas of Bryansk region, a specific activity of caesium radionuclides and corresponding internal radiation dose rate in a number of settlements appeared at children age under 3 years old exceeding the appropriate parameters for adult inhabitants. Among persons evacuated from the contaminated areas, such excess in day of departure from an area averaged 3.8 for surveyed pairs the child-parent.
Limited data have been collected on the presence of contaminants in the Arctic terrestrial ecosystem, with the exception of radioactive fallout from atmospheric weapons testing. Although southern and temperate biological systems have largely cleansed themselves of radioactive fallout deposited during the 1950s and 1960s, Arctic environments have not. Lichens accumulate radioactivity more than many other plants because of their large surface area and long life span; the presence and persistence of radioisotopes in the Arctic is of concern because of the lichen----reindeer----human ecosystem. Effective biological half-life of cesium 137 is reckoned to be substantially less than its physical half-life. The database on organochlorines in Canadian Arctic terrestrial mammals and birds is very limited, but indications are that the air/plant/animal contaminant pathway is the major route of these compounds into the terrestrial food chain. For terrestrial herbivores, the most abundant organochlorine is usually hexachlorobenzene followed by hexachlorocyclohexane isomers. PCB accumulation favours the hexachlorobiphenyl, pentachlorobiphenyl and heptachlorobiphenyl homologous series. The concentrations of the various classes of organochlorine compounds are substantially lower in terrestrial herbivore tissues than in marine mammal tissues. PCBs and DDT are the most abundant residues in peregrine falcons (a terrestrial carnivore) reaching average levels of 9.2 and 10.4 micrograms.g-1, respectively, more than 10 times higher than other organochlorines and higher than in marine mammals, including the polar bear. Contaminants from local sources include metals from mining activities, hydrocarbons and waste drilling fluids from oil and gas exploration and production, wastes from DEW line sites, naturally occurring radionuclides associated with uranium mineralization, and smoke containing SO2 and H2SO4 aerosol from the Smoking Hills at Cape Bathurst, N.W.T.
Activity concentrations of 137Cs and 90Sr in samples of vegetation and natural food products collected in the Kola Peninsula in 1998 and 1999 indicate a very slow decrease in contamination levels during the last decade, mainly due to the physical decay of the radionuclides. The activity concentrations of 137Cs in reindeer meat decreased with a half-life of about 9 years. 137Cs in lichen, moss and fungi is significantly higher than in natural vegetation (grasses) and agricultural plants (potatoes). The activity concentrations of 137Cs in reindeer meat were two orders of magnitude higher than those in locally produced beef and pork. Consumption of reindeer meat, fish, mushrooms and berries constituted the main contribution to the internal dose from 137Cs and 90Sr for reindeer-breeders in the Lovozero area. The estimated committed doses due to 137Cs intake in this group were about 10 microSv per month in summer 1998 and 15 microSv per month in winter, 1999. There was good agreement between internal dose estimates based on intake assessment and whole body measurements. The population of Umba settlement, which is not involved in reindeer breeding, received individual committed doses due to 137Cs intake of about 0.5 microSv per month, about a factor of 20 less than the reindeer-breeders in Lovozero. In this case, the main contribution to the internal dose of the general population came from consumption the of 137Cs in mushrooms and forest berries. The contribution of 90Sr to the internal dose varied from 1% to 5% in the different population groups studied.
Current doses arising from external and internal pathways have been estimated for the residents of two villages, Muslumovo and Brodokalmak, alongside the Techa River, which was contaminated by radioactive releases from the Mayak production facility. The dose estimates are based on numerous environmental measurements supplemented by further human whole body measurements and studies on occupational and dietary habits of Slavic and Turkish ethnic groups. Estimated doses arise mainly from use of the contaminated floodplains alongside the Techa River. The current average annual effective dose attributable to Cs and Sr in the environment, under conditions where restrictions on some river-related activities are in place, may exceed the Russian national action level of 1 mSv only in the hypothetical critical group of herdsmen in Muslumovo. The dose to this critical group in Brodokalmak is assessed to be 3 times less than that in Muslumovo and 2 fold below the action level. The external and internal exposures give comparable contributions to the total dose in both settlements and population groups: 47% and 53% in Muslumovo and 40% and 60% in Brodokalmak, respectively. About one quarter to one half of the internal dose in adults arises from the intake of Sr. In order to avoid substantial increases in the dose received by Muslumovo residents, it is expedient to prolong the current policy of restriction of some river-related population activities in this village.
The results of dosimetric evaluations carried out after Chernobyl accident in the Health Physics Department of Niguarda Ca' Granda Hospital (Milan) on air, rain and ground contamination are presented. The results obtained show that the incidence of stochastic late effects, both somatic and genetic, will be so low that practically will not be distinguishable from "natural" incidence.
Erratum In: Radiol Med (Torino) 1986 Dec;72(12):986
The pathways of 131I, 134Cs and 137Cs from the Chernobyl fallout to man were followed in the county of VÃ¤sterbotten, Sweden. Reported airplane measurements had shown that the ground deposition of 137Cs was 3-40 kBq/m2 with hot spots with more than 80 kBq/m2. Multiplying with a factor of 0.6 gave the 134Cs deposition and an approximate factor of 20 the 131I ground deposition. The effective dose equivalent from 131I became low, less than 0.1 mSv, as the cows were stabled. The 137Cs activity concentration in different types of food was measured in approximately 8,000 samples. The most important sources of Cs intake in man were lake fish, elk (European moose) and reindeer. Variations with time was studied in detail for four types of lake fish. Whole-body measurements on more than 250 persons showed that no group of people on average received more than 1 mSv from food during the first year after the Chernobyl accident. However, single persons eating large amounts of reindeer meat received up to 2.5 mSv. People buying all their food in ordinary provision-shops got less than 0.1 mSv from the food during the first year. The present level of 90Sr activity concentration in man will only give an effective dose equivalent of 0.004 mSv/year, most of it being a result of the atmospheric nuclear bomb tests.
On 26 April 1986, an accident at a Ukrainian nuclear reactor at Chernobyl triggered the release of large quantities of fission products into the atmosphere. After 7 May 1986 measurable quantities of ruthenium-103, iodine-131, cesium-134, and cesium-137 were detected in environmental sampling carried out in all regions of Canada. Maximum airborne concentrations for each radionuclide were of the order of a few mBq.m-3 and contaminated milk samples on average contained less than 1Bq.L-1 of iodine-131 and cesium-137. The mean value of the effective dose equivalent for an adult Canadian in the two months following the accident is calculated to be 0.28 microSv. As this total radiation dose is about 10(-33) of the dose from natural background during the same period, the resultant radiological detriment is concluded to be negligible.
On April 26, 1986, after partial fusion and confining loss by explosion of a nuclear reactor, 5 x 10(7) Ci of radionuclides escaped from Chernobyl. Three years later, maps show contamination by radioactive isotopes (formed during that period) of 21,000 km2 of Soviet soil, mainly in Byelorussia and part of the Ukraine. Decontamination measures have not been effective to date and 135,000 persons are being followed medically, taking into account the radioactive doses they received. An initial excess of morbidity from solid tumors has been noted much sooner than in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but its significance is in dispute. Three years later, only the extent of the ecologic disaster caused by the radioactive contamination can be confirmed. It is too early to draw conclusions about radiation-induced carcinogenesis for the contaminated population.
A comparative analysis of radiation doses determined by tooth enamel electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and by an acknowledged analytical method is performed for individual doses and for average doses in population of some settlements of the Bryansk region (Russia), which have been contaminated after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. The analysis is performed for doses in the range of 0-200 mGy for individuals and in the range of 0-50 mGy for the averaged populations. The method of orthogonal distance linear regression is used for the analysis. For both data sets the slopes of the regression line close to unity and the intercept close to zero are obtained, which indicates that doses determined by these two methods agree with each other. The root-mean-square difference between the results of EPR and analytical methods is estimated to be 35 mGy for individual doses and 15 mGy for averaged doses, which is consistent with uncertainty of these methods.