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Health Phys. 2000 Aug;79(2):182-6.

Radiocesium in children residing in the western districts of the Bryansk Oblast from 1991-1996.

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Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Japan.


Measurements of 137Cs body burden were carried out in 1991-1996 for children residing in the western part of Bryansk Oblast (Russia) where area contamination with 137Cs following the Chernobyl accident varied from 0.03-3.7 MBq m(-2). The mean and median values of 137Cs specific activity (SA) in the bodies of children 5-15 y old for the whole period of surveillance averaged for 26,029 measurements was 85 Bq kg(-1) and 49 Bq kg(-1), respectively. Mean values in different places of residence varied from 30-342 Bq kg(-1) for the settlements where the number of examinees was not less than 50. There is a moderately strong relationship between mean SA in the settlement and the level of area contamination with 137Cs. A strong seasonal effect on 137Cs body burden was found. The ratio of average SA values is 1:1.75 for spring to autumn 1992-1995 in the settlement where the largest number of children was examined. This effect might be attributed to a seasonal change in diet. Based on questionnaire information on individual consumption of locally produced foods, the descending rank of contribution of food items to 137Cs intake by children was found to be: meat-mushrooms-milk-vegetables. Assuming that the dose distribution would follow the distribution of SA values, internal doses to the whole body from ingested 137Cs were assessed. The mean value of annual internal dose averaged for the whole set of measurements is 0.21 mSv, and the median of the individual dose distribution is 0.12 mSv y(-1) For 2% of the total sample the annual dose exceeded 1 mSv, with the highest individual dose being 9 mSv in 1994 for a 7-y-old girl.

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