Intake of radionuclides through food chains as a factor in the exposure of the Soviet population after the Chernobyl accident

In the first few days after the accident, a standard (of 1x10-7 Ci/L) was established for the concentration of iodine in milk, calculated to ensure that the dose to the thyroid gland would not exceed 30 rem. Temporary permissible levels for the concentration of radioactive substances in 24 types of food, water and medical material were established and implemented on 30 May 1986. The highest concentrations of radiocaesium in milk recorded in 1986 were 3-5x10-7 Ci/L. Unrestricted consumption of that milk could have led to a daily intake of 3000-5000x10-10 Ci of radiocaesium. Those individuals who had consumed such milk were identified. The average levels of radiocaesium per region did not exceed the emergency standards. The actual concentrations of radiostrontium in food products did not exceed the temporary permissible levels calculated for this dose and in most cases were 10-100 times less as a result of the control measures which were implemented. Standards, monitoring and classification of foodstuffs were introduced to reduce the internal exposure dose by a factor of 10-30, down to levels which were not only in line with the temporary limits but also with the radiation safety standards (NRB-76). The concentration of strontium-90 in all the main food products studied was relatively insignificant - namely about 0.3-3% of the radiocaesium concentration. (author). 11 tabs.


Knizhnikov, V.A.; Barkhudarov, R.M.; Bruk, G.Ya. (and others).


cesium 134; cesium 137; chernobylsk-4 reactor; contamination; dose limits; food chains; intake; iodine 131; milk; milk products; public health; radiation accidents; radiation doses; accidents; beta decay radioisotopes; beta-minus decay radioisotopes; biological materials; body fluids; cesium isotopes; days living radioisotopes; electron capture radioisotopes; enriched uranium reactors; even-even nuclei; food; graphite moderated reactors; hours living radioisotopes; intermediate mass nuclei; internal conversion radioisoto; iodine isotopes; isomeric transition isotopes; isotopes; lwgr type reactors; materials; medicine; nuclei; odd-even nuclei; odd-odd nuclei; power reactors; preventive medicine; radioisotopes; reactors; safety standards; strontium isotopes; thermal reactors; water cooled reactors

Subject Category

Actual Accidents


Report; International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria); Medical aspects of the Chernobyl accident; IAEA-TECDOC--516.; Jul 1988.; 381 p.; p. 101-116.

Place of Publication

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)


Available from INIS in electronic form.