Cesium 137 (Cs-137) Contamination of Food of Polissia Region in Rivne Oblast
Radiation Situation in Oblast Requires Permanent Surveillance
Volodymyr Kuznetsov, M.D.,
Head Radiation Hygiene Department
Rivne Regional Sanitary and Epidemiologic Station
April 27, 2007
Elimination of Chornobyl disaster (the biggest ecological catastrophe of the XX century) consequences is directly associated with ecological policy of our state. It anticipates rehabilitation of radiation polluted territories, recovery of soil, woods, water reservoirs, solving problems of the abandoned territories, closing the Chornobyl nuclear power station and its transformation into an ecologically safe system.
Social protection of population suffered as a result of the Chornobyl disaster, elimination of its ecological consequences includes ensuring radiation safety and holding activities to protect population from radiation. Officers of the Oblast Sanitary-and-Epidemiologic Station Radiation Hygiene Department and radiological groups of the regional sanitary-and-epidemiologic stations constantly control foods, food raw materials, drinking water and environment. During 2006 they conducted 13054 radiometric and spectrometric tests of foods and food raw materials. In 1386 samples (10.6%) they registered exceeding of acceptable levels of radionuclides (DR-2006). According to the schedule they conduct spectrometric and radiochemical tests of drinking water (shaft wells, bores, water pipes). Last year in total there were 49 such tests as well 11 radiation-hygienic inspections of open water reservoirs. There was found no exceeding over current norms.
Besides, last year they conducted 5083 tests of milk from individual sector to contain cesium-137. 1141 (22.4%) samples did not correspond to standards. It appeared that in the north districts of Rivne Oblast the level of radionuclide pollution is still high. The most polluted milk of the individual sector is from Volodymyrets, Rokytne and Zarichne rayons.
Also there were tested mushrooms and wild berries to contain cesium-137. In total there were conducted 947 tests, including 282 by the department of radioation hygiene. According to the tests, 41.5% of mushrooms and 7.8% of berries do not correspond to standards. The most polluted mushrooms and berries were in Dubrovytsya, Zarichne, Berezne, Volodymyrets, Sarny, and Rokytne rayons.
There was registered considerable exceeding over the current norms in potato from Rokytne rayon: 32 samples out of 155 were considerably polluted (20.6%).
According to the Settlement Dosimetry Certification Program being realized in cities and villages polluted by Chornobyl radiation, there were calculated levels of incorporated cesium by people in northern rayons. Last year the Radiation Hygiene Department and Rokytne District Sanitary-and-Epidemiologic Station examined 108 settlements in Volodymyrets, Zarichne, Dubrovytsya, Rokytne and Berezne rayons. There was measured Cs-137 radioactivity in 11242 persons. Year irradiation dose 0.5-1.0 mSv was registered in 337 persons (adults and children); 1.0-2.0 mSv – in 71 persons (Rokytne, Dubrovytsya, Zarichne rayons), over 2 mSv – in 3 persons including 3 children (Rokytne rayon). Maximum activity indices were in: Rokytne rayon – 66715 Bq (equivalent of 2.1 mSv); Zarichne rayon (Bir and Sernyky villages) – 47504 Bq (1.68 mSv); Dubrovytsya rayon (Budymlya, Verbivka, Velyky Cheremel villages) – 48992 Bq (1.54 mSv).
The Settlement Dosimetry Certification Program allows estimation of settlements radiation status and based on the radiation-absorbed doze data – planning counter-measures to reduce the amount of additional irradiation. The results of the radiation surveillance in Rivne oblast during the post accident time confirm the necessity of constant radiation control for radionuclide contents in foods, drinking water, environment and nonadmission of radiation polluted food usage.