In October 1990 a Netherlands humanitarian fact finding mission on aid to people affected by the Chernobyl disaster visited contaminated regions in Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine. The mission consisted of medical, socio-psychological and agricultural experts. The results of radioactivity measurements on food products sampled in the contaminated areas are reported here and the radiation burden for the Soviet citizens due to these products is discussed. The radiocaesium contamination measured in 19 food products ranged between 0 and 170 Bq kg–1 and 40K from 25 to 200 Bq kg–1 in the fresh product. Strontium-90, measured in a few samples, was found to be between 1.8 and 30 Bq kg–1. Mushrooms and reindeer moss were very highly contaminated: from 103000 to 284000 Bq kg–1 of radiocaesium in the fresh product. Strontium-90 in these samples was 7.8–1550 Bq kg–1. The contamination of all food products was far below the stated limits, except for mushrooms. Extrapolation of the results to the total food consumption gave the radioactive burden due to this food as an estimated 0.2 mSv per year. All of the food products investigated, except mushrooms, can be regarded as safe with respect to radioactive contamination. In addition to sampling agricultural produce, field exposure measurements were also carried out. The measured values, expressed in equivalent doses, ranged from 1.8 to 14 mSv per year at a height of 1 m, with a median value of about 4 mSv per year.
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