A methodological approach for a comparative assessment of ionising radiation effects on man and non-human species, based on the use of Radiation Impact Factor (RIF) - ratios of actual exposure doses to biota species and man to critical dose is described. As such doses, radiation safety standards limiting radiation exposure of man and doses at which radiobiological effects in non-human species were not observed after the Chernobyl accident, were employed. For the study area within the 30km ChNPP zone dose burdens to 10 reference biota groups and the population (with and without evacuation) and the corresponding RIFs were calculated. It has been found that in 1986 (early period after the accident) the emergency radiation standards for man do not guarantee adequate protection of the environment, some species of which could be affected more than man. In 1991 RIFs for man were considerably (by factor of 20.0-1.1 x 10(5)) higher compared with those for selected non-human species. Thus, for the long term after the accident radiation safety standards for man are shown to ensure radiation safety for biota as well.