Greenpeace says Chernobyl food radiation persists

Apr 04, 2011

(AP) -- Greenpeace said Monday that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are still eating food contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion a quarter-century after the blast.

In a report, the environmental group said samples of milk, berries, potatoes and root vegetables in two Ukrainian regions show unacceptably high levels of the cesium-137 from the 1986 blast. The regions are in northwestern Ukraine, outside the so-called "exclusion zone" around the plant, where residency is generally prohibited.

Greenpeace researcher Iryna Labunska criticized the government for halting counter-radiation measures in the regions two years ago. Those measures included supplying uncontaminated hay for dairy cattle.

Ukrainian government officials were not immediately available for comment.

A reactor at the plant exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing a cloud of radiation over much of the Northern Hemisphere. A zone of about 30-kilometer (19-mile) radius around the plant was declared uninhabitable, although some plant workers still live there for short periods and a few hundred other people have returned despite government encouragement to stay away.

The samples cited by Greenpeace were taken in the Rivne and Zhitomir regions, which were in the direct path of the radiation cloud.

In one village in the Rivne region, milk samples showed up to 16 times higher than the accepted norms, Greenpeace said. Mushroom and berry samples showed four times as high as acceptable.

The report said that although most of the milk is consumed in the region where it's produced, the berries and mushrooms presented a wider danger because they could be sold at poorly supervised markets throughout the country.

Explore further: Canada's Winnipeg still under boil-water advisory

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US West Coast: on frontline from nuclear cloud?

Mar 14, 2011

California is closely watching the crisis at a Japanese nuclear plant, but officials downplayed the threat that a radioactive cloud blown across the Pacific could pose for the US West Coast.

So far, risk low from radiation in food in Japan

Mar 21, 2011

(AP) -- Radiation-tainted spinach from Japan's damaged nuclear reactors may sound scary, but here's a reality check: Even if any made it to stores there, you'd have to be Popeye to eat enough to worry.

Experts say don't worry about radiation in US milk

Apr 01, 2011

(AP) -- So now Japan's radioactive fallout is showing up in milk on the U.S. West Coast. Not to worry, though. It turns out that traces of radioactivity are in many foods we eat, the air we breathe and the ...

Fears of health risks rise amid Japan crisis

Mar 15, 2011

(AP) -- Fears about health risks rose dramatically in Japan Tuesday with news of a greater radiation release and renewed warnings to remaining residents within 20 miles to stay indoors.

Recommended for you

Canada's Winnipeg still under boil-water advisory

17 minutes ago

Residents of Canada's sixth-largest city were advised to keep boiling tap water before using it late Wednesday, even though latest tests showed no traces of harmful bacteria, officials said.

New York blood shortages casualty of shutdown

27 minutes ago

New York City issued an urgent call for blood donors Wednesday, saying supplies were low after authorities shut down America's largest city for a winter storm that failed to materialize.

Health insurers using drug coverage to discriminate

10 hours ago

Some insurers offering health plans through the new federal marketplace may be using drug coverage decisions to discourage people with HIV from selecting their plans, according to a new study from Harvard ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.