Ukrainian cow milk has ‘five times safe level of radioactivity’, study finds
Milk in some areas has radioactivity levels up to five times over the official safe limit, the University of Exeter and a Ukrainian institute found.
Ukrainian villages are still suffering the legacy of Chernobyl more than 30 years on, new research suggests.
Milk in parts of the country has radioactivity levels up to five times over its official safe limit, it found.
Scientists sampled cows’ milk from private farms and homes in the Rivne region, about 200km (125 miles) from the site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion in 1986.
They found levels of radioactive caesium in milk above Ukraine’s safe limit for adults of 100 Becquerel per litre (Bq/L) at six of 14 settlements studied, and above the children’s limit of 40 Bq/L at eight sites.
The highest levels found were about 500 Bq/L – five times over the limit for adults and more than 12 times that for children.
Without adequate countermeasures, what may now seem a purely historical event will remain a daily reality for those communities most impacted Dr Iryna Labunska
The study was carried out at the University of Exeter and the Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural Radiology.
“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,” said Dr Iryna Labunska, of the University of Exeter.