Ukrainian villages still suffering legacy of Chernobyl more than 30 years on


Milk in parts of Ukraine has radioactivity levels up to 5 times over the nation’s main safe limitation, brand-new research study programs.

Scientists from the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter and the Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural Radiology tested cow’s milk from personal farms and houses in the Rivne area, about 200 km from the website of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant surge in1986 .
They discovered levels of radioactive caesium in milk above Ukraine’s safe limitation for grownups of 100 Becquerel per litre (Bq/ L) at 6 of 14 settlements studied, and above the kids’s limitation of 40 Bq/ L at 8 websites.

The greatest levels discovered had to do with 500 Bq/ L – 5 times over the limitation for grownups and more than 12 times that for kids.

“More than 30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, people are still routinely exposed to radioactive caesium when consuming locally produced staple foods, including milk, in Chernobyl-affected areas of Ukraine,” stated Dr Iryna Labunska, of Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University ofExeter

“Many individuals in the location we studied keep cows for milk, and kids are the primary customers of that milk.

“Though the level of soil contamination in the studied areas is not extremely high, radioactive caesium continues to accumulate in milk and other foods, such that the residents of these villages are chronically exposed to radioactivity that presents health risks to almost every system in the body – especially among children.”

The scientists state that some easy protective procedures might be required to bring radiation direct exposure levels listed below limitations at an expense of less than 10 euros per individual annually for the 8,300 individuals residing in the 6 villages with the greatest contamination.

Such procedures consist of using a caesium binder, called Ferrocyn, to cows, mineral fertilisation of potato fields and feeding pigs with unpolluted fodder.

The expense of this would reduce each year as radiation levels fall – however if no action is taken, the specialists alert that milk contamination will continue to go beyond the 100?Bq/ L adult limitation in parts of Ukraine up until a minimum of 2040.

“The Ukrainian government has taken some of these measures in the past, but that stopped in 2009,”Dr Labunska stated.

“Government and global tracking has to happen, in addition to assistance for individuals impacted by this radiation.

“This scenario must likewise serve as a caution and a suggestion of simply for how long the legacy of nuclear mishaps can be.

“Without adequate countermeasures, what may now seem a purely historical event will remain a daily reality for those communities most impacted.”

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The paper, released in the journal EnvironmentInternational, is entitled: “Current radiological situation in areas of Ukraine contaminated by the Chernobyl accident: Part 1. Human dietary exposure to Caesium-137 and possible mitigation measures.”

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