(V.B. Nesterenko’s report at the International conference “Medical Consequences of the Chernobyl Catastrophe: results of 15-year researches”, June 4-8, 2001, Kiev, Ukraine)
As it is known that more than 23% of the territory of Belarus were exposed to the radiation contamination above 1 Ci/km2 as a result of the Chernobyl accident. In 1986 more than 2 million people including 500 thousand children lived in 3,668 places on this territory. Over 1,685 thousand ha of forests and 1,6 million ha of agricultural holdings were contaminated with 137Cs.
During all those years 135 thousand people were resettled, 260 thousand ha of agricultural holdings were excluded from the land tenure.
The economic damage from the accident at the Chernobyl NPP exceeds 235 billion US dollars, which is equal to 32 national budgets of 1985.
In spite of the fact that during all those years Belarus spends about 20% of the national budget for the program on overcoming the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster annually and it is an excessive burden for the budget of the country, the inhabitants of the suffered regions do not get the sufficient radiation protection.
After the fallout of long-lived radionuclides on the territory of Belarus the significant part of the accumulated within the upper soil layer and today the soil is a main source of the radionuclide contamination of agricultural products. The main dose burden (more than 80%) is being received by the inhabitants of the contaminated areas of Belarus through the use of the locally produced foodstuffs, which are heavily contaminated, with radionuclides of 137Cs and 90Sr.
Having the same menu as the adults have the children get 3-5 times higher dose burdens from the locally produced foodstuffs because of their lower weight and of the more active processes of metabolism in child’s organism. Children living in villages have the dose burden 5-6 times higher than the children of their age who live in cities.
Until 1990 the contaminated regions of Belarus were supplied with clean foodstuffs. Besides, the financial status, together with the support from the State of the Soviet Union permitted to the villagers to buy clean foodstuffs (first of all, milk). About 700-800 thousand children were on rehabilitation in the clean regions of Belarus, Russia, the Ukraine and Western countries annually. At present, the State can direct only 200-220 children to improve their health in the clean districts of Belarus, and 50-60 children are on rehabilitation abroad annually.
Since 1990 the Institute of Radiation Safety “Belrad” has made the monitoring of the 137Cs- concentrations in foodstuffs of the population in the local radiation control centres (LRCC) established at the Local Soviets (at schools, dispensaries) under the financial support from the Chernobyl Committee. These LRCC were created in 370 biggest villages of the Chernobyl areas of Gomel, Brest, Mogilyov regions and one LRCC functions in Minsk region. Today because of the lack of financing only 83 of 370 LRCC established in 1990-1993 continue to function in these regions, including 23 LRCC supported due to the charitable help from Germany.
The computer data bank of the Institute “Belrad” contains more then 320 thousand results of the measurement of the 137Cs- concentrations in the local foodstuffs made at the LRCC.
The analysis of these data shows that about 15% of milk samples tested in the LRCC have the 137Cs- concentrations higher than the permissible levels (100 Bq/l, according to the RDU-99) are. More than 80% of natural products (mushrooms, berries, game, fish) from these regions 137Cs- concentrations exceed the permissible levels. It is known that 60% of the annual dose burden of the rural children is formed due to the consumption of the locally produced milk with the high 137Cs- concentration and 40% - due to the contaminations of the natural products.
Setting strict permissible levels of the 137Cs- and 90Sr- concentrations in the main dose-forming foodstuffs is one of the most effective measures of radiation protection of the population.
In Russia and the Ukraine the hygienic standards for all children and teenagers under 18 the permissible levels of the 137Cs- concentrations in foodstuffs equal to 50-70 Bq/kg (which corresponds to the dose limit of 0.3 mSv/a) were established.
At the end of November 2000 in Bryansk region of Russia the stuff of the Institute “Belrad” measured about 380 children in the kindergarten, the gymnasium and the village school on the Spectrometer of Human Radiation (SHR). At the same time the 137Cs-concentration was determined in foodstuffs in the kindergarten, the gymnasium and the school.
On December 1-2, 2000 more than 180 children from the village Valavsk of Gomel region of Belarus were checked up on the SHR by the stuff of the Institute “Belrad”.
The average 137Cs concentration in the bodies of the children from the village Valavsk were 2,5 times higher than the 137Cs concentration in the bodies of the Russian children. It can be attributed to the fact that the permissible levels of the 137Cs concentration approved by the MPHS of Belarus exceeds the appropriate Russian standard for milk twice, and for meat in 3 times.
Unlike the Ukraine even today in Belarus 27,871 people, including 6,758 children, live in the areas with the contamination density above 15 Ci/km2.
Because of the high 137Cs concentration in milk, the main dose-forming product for the rural children (today the highest levels of the 137Cs concentration in milk from private farms reaches 1,400-1,500 Bq/l) there is a risk of accumulating the high 137Cs level in children’s bodies. It is probably one of the main reasons of the significant worsening of children’s health.
On April 15, 2000 at the parliamentary debates of the National Assembly of Belarus as well as on December 7, 2000 at the scientific session of the General Assembly of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus it was stated in the reports of the physicians and the Chernobyl Committee that the number of the healthy children had decreased from 85% (in 1985) up to 20% (in 1999).
It is obvious that having got the present financial abilities both of the State and the population it is impossible to guarantee the conditions of the safe living of the population. The main danger of the further deterioration of the health of the nation results from the substantial contamination of the local foodstuffs contaminated with radionuclides higher than the permissible levels are.
Measurements of the <sup>137</sup>Cs accumulation in children’s bodies made by the Institute “Belrad”
Since 1995 the Institute “Belrad” has started teamwork together with the Institute for Human Ecology (Ukraine). The Institute for Human Ecology has developed the highly sensitive complex of spectrometry of human radiation (SHR), which can be placed within the microbus. Such SHR became available for the most outlying rural regions of Belarus.
The SHR shows how many Becquerel concentrates in one kilo of one child’s weight. 1Bq is equal to one nuclear decay per one second. If the SHR indication is 20 Bq/kg for a child who weighs 10 kg it means that 200 nuclear decays pro one second takes place in his or her body, with g-radiation emission (SHR does not measures a- and b-radiation).
In 1996-2000 the Institute “Belrad” checked up over 92 thousand children in six regions of Belarus on the SHR. The measurements showed that 70-90% of children had the 137Cs accumulation in the body above 15 Bq/kg, the children in many villages had the level of the 137Cs accumulation 200-400 Bq/kg, some children in Gomel region had 1,500-4,000 Bq/kg, and up to 6,300-7,000 Bq/kg in some villages.
Our SHR-measurements demonstrated that the area of the environmental disaster in Belarus is much bigger than the area of radiation contamination due to the spreading foodstuff contaminated with radionuclides.
Even in the city of Minsk the measurements the 137Cs accumulation in children’s bodies in 20 schools showed that only 10% of the children had the radionuclide accumulation in the organism less than 5-7 Bq/kg and the maximal values were 700-900 Bq/kg.
Our SHR-measurements were carried out simultaneously with the medical check-up of the children by the physicians of the Gomel Medical Institute (professor Yu.I.Bandazhevsky). In 1996-99 these medical checkups showed that at the levels of the 137Cs-accumulation over 50 Bq/kg the following pathological changes in vital organs and systems, first of all, cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, immune, reproductive, digestive, excretory, etc. can be registered.
The professor Bandazhevsky’s pathologoanatomic researches demonstrate the highly irregular character (up to 10-30 times) of the accumulation of the radioactive caesium in different vitally important organs (heart, kidneys, liver etc).
The professor Bandazhevsky’s pathologoanatomic researches demonstrate the highly irregular character (up to 10-30 times) of the accumulation of the radioactive caesium in different vitally important organs (heart, kidneys, liver etc).
The graph shows the dependence between the radionuclides concentration in the body and the number of the children which have got no electrocardiographic heart changes.
You can see that among children having 5 Bq/kg more than 80% are healthy, while having 11 Bq/kg only 35% of children are healthy. It means that 65% of children having dose burden of 11 Bq/kg have electrocardiographic modifications. Having radiocesium accumulation in the body above 70 Bq/kg almost 90% of children have got the ECG- modifications.
Essentially these representative SHR-measurements with the reliable sampling of children in hundreds of villages of the Chernobyl regions of Belarus together with the revealed high level of the 137Cs accumulation in their bodies show the insufficiency of the implemented measures for the radiation protection of the children’s health in Belarus.
For all these years we have been trying to realise the reasons of the fundamental mistakes in organising radiation protection of the population.
Our scientists, first of all physicians, spent a lot of time analysing, struggling with medical consequences but did not single out the priorities for the society on prophylaxis of diseases, radiation protection of the population, providing the population of the contaminated districts with medicines, substances and food additives stimulating the decontamination of the body from radionuclides.
4-5 years ago the Ministry of Agriculture started to produce mixed fodder with sorbents, which allowed to reduce the 137Cs concentration in milk in 2-3 times when using about 0.5-1 kg of fodder per one cow daily on the territory of Belarusian Polesye. However, instead of required 200-250 kg per year only 50 kg of such fodder were received in the private and later its production was stopped.
During 4-5 years the State program on pastures cultivating using the necessary mineral fertilisers (Ca, K, P) and on providing the private sector with 0.5 ha of pasture and 0.5 ha of hayfield per one cow was in force.
However the information of the 137Cs contamination of milk received from the LRCC in 1999-2000 shows that nowadays the milk from the private sector is contaminated with the 137Cs higher than the permissible levels are 5-10 times more often than the milk from the public sector.
In 2000 the State radiation control services revealed the excess of the permissible levels of the 90Sr concentration in 90% of cereals in Khoyniki district, in 46% - in Bragin district, in 40% - in Narovlya district, in 30% - in Kalinkovichi district. It requires the immediate ban for meat, milk, and cereals production in these areas.
Setting the strict permissible levels of the 137Cs and 90Sr in the main foodstuff creating the dose is one of the most effective measures of the radiation protection.
In this case the position of MPHS of the Republic of Belarus and the National Committee on Radiation Protection of the Population of Belarus seems to be obscure and contradictory. They have a good understanding of the problems of the Ministries of the Agricultural Products and seem to protect rather the interests of the producers of n agricultural products than the people’s health in the developing norms of the National Permissible Levels (RDU) and the Radiation Safety Standards.
The lack of the dose limit for children (0.3 mSv/year) and the strict regulation of the radionuclide concentration in foodstuffs for children like it in Russia and the Ukraine, is one of the main reasons of the catastrophic deterioration of the children’s health.
As a specialist in the sphere of radiation protection I can insist on establishing the interference level – 30% of the dangerous limit (i.e. 15-20 Bq/kg) for children in accordance with the principles of radiation protection and international safety standards and reaching this level it is necessary to carry out the whole complex of radiation protection of the children of the Chernobyl regions.
The direct SHR-measurements of the 137Cs accumulation in the bodies of the inhabitants of Gomel region showed that the Dose Catalogue 1998/99 prepared by the MPHS of Belarus on the basis of the 137Cs concentration in 10 milk samples and 10 potatoes samples underestimates the annual dose burdens of the inhabitants in 3-8 times and can not be used for their radiation protection.
It is obvious that a new Dose Catalogue of the population of Belarus in part of the inner dose burden should be made on the basis of the representative data of the direct SHR-measurements of the 137Cs accumulation in the reliable sampling of the inhabitants of each settlement of the Chernobyl regions of Belarus.
The MPHS of the Republic of Belarus underestimates the importance of setting the dose dependence of diseases and, therefore, the SHRs are used inefficiently in the clinical examination or medical checkups of the population of Belarus.
Only combining the SHR-measurements of the 137Cs accumulation in the body and the medical check-ups of the population the causal relationship (dose dependence) between the growth of morbidity and the radionuclide content in the human body can be revealed.
Such knowledge can be received in the Chernobyl regions of Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia only.
They could be an important factor for designing radiation protection and treating people, for persuading the world community in the necessity to help Belarus to minimise people’s radiation and the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl NPP (nowadays, the causal relationship with Chernobyl accident is recognised only 1800 case of the thyroid cancer of children and teenagers).
For 5 years the Institute “Belrad” has been sending the data of 137Cs accumulation in children’s bodies and the professor Yu.I. Bandazhevsky only used them when making a medical check-up of the children of Gomel region for revealing the dose dependence of many children’s diseases.
The effects of the radionuclide influence on the human health depended on the dose were discovered by the professor Yu.I. Bandazhevsky when studying:
- cardiovascular system (the frequency of ECG-modifications),
- organs of vision (the frequency of cataracts),
- endocrine system (the thyroxin and cortisol level in blood),
- female reproductive system (the progesterone and estradiol levels in blood),
- hemogenic system (the number of erythrocytes in blood), etc.
The MPHS of Republic of Belarus should probably take into account the professor’s Yu.I. Bandazhevsky conclusion that a high radioactive caesium accumulation takes place in the thyroid gland after its damage by the radioactive iodine.
Without trying to substitute the MPHS of the Republic of Belarus the Institute “Belrad” decided to create the system of monitoring of the children from the Chernobyl regions of Belarus.
We prepared the international project on creating the system of radiation monitoring of the level of the 137Cs accumulation in children’s bodies with the help of the SHR and testing of the effectiveness of the measures of radiation protection with the help of the SHR.
In order to provide the reliability of the annual double SHR-measurements of 500 thousand children it is necessary to make 120-150 thousand measurements per year. For this purpose it is necessary to have 12-15 mobile SHR-laboratories. I first declared this program at the conference devoted to the consequences of the Chernobyl accident for the population of Belarus at Strasbourg on April 17, 1996.
Since 1996 under the financial help of the charitable organisations of Ireland, Germany, the USA, and Norway the Institute “Belrad” has made seven mobile radiological laboratories equipped with the SHR and gamma-radiometers RUG-92 (for controlling foodstuffs) on the basis of the microbuses Ford-Transit.
In my report at the conference in Europarliament (Strasbourg) on October 4, 2000  it was shown that the negative consequences of the Chernobyl accident for Belarus did not decrease. Taking into account a long half-life for 137Cs (30 years) and a small vertical migration of radionuclides, some more decades they will be concentrated in the root-inhabited layer of both farmland and woodland soils and all these years the inhabitants of the Chernobyl regions will have to follow a new restraining life-style.
In this connection the importance of the therapeutic researches in the Ukraine, which have shown the possibility to reduce the concentrations of toxic radionuclides in the body through the use of enterosorbents (pectins) with food against the continuous radionuclide intake with the contaminated foodstuffs, its obvious.
The experience of using pectin food additives in Belarus and the Ukraine was studied in the Institute “Belrad” in details. After making the clinical tests the Ministry of Public Health of Ukraine recommended the pectin-containing pills “Yablopect” for the people living or working on the territories contaminated with radionuclides as well as for the system of sanatoriums and health resorts for rehabilitation of the people suffered from the Chernobyl accident.
It is recommended to take up to 15 g of pectin (2-4 pills) per day for adults, and 1-2 pills daily for children during 20-30 days. The course of prophylactic should be repeated every three months. After taking the “Yablopect” during a month the 30-40% decontamination of child’s body from the 137Cs and 35-70% - from the lead is achieved.
In 1997 N.A. Gres’ made the clinical testing of the influence of pectin preparations (vitapectin, pectin) on the dynamic of the microelement blood structure of children in the clinic of the Research Institute for Radiation Medicine and Endocrinology of the Ministry of Public Health “Aksakovshchina”. The researches showed the 53.3% decrease of the lead concentration and 24% decrease of the mercury. The parallel control of the iron, copper, and zinc concentrations in blood showed that all the essential microelements were not removed from the body and their concentrations in blood remained unchanged.
The aim of our project was to show the level of the radiation contamination of the population and their foodstuffs, to familiarise the inhabitants of these regions with the complex of simple measures for the reduction of the dose burdens. The demonstration of the effectiveness of using the affordable pectin medicines for radiation protection of the children is one of the important parts of this program.
Spreading the information about the radionuclide accumulation in children’s bodies, the radiation contamination of foodstuffs, the other problems that the population of the contaminated areas faces had drawn the attention of a great number of the charitable foundations and organisations.
Some of those foundations helped the Institute “Belrad” financing the projects on radiation monitoring of 137Cs accumulation in children’s bodies and their radiation protection through pectin medicines.
For example, the American charitable McArthur Foundation has been financing these works and the purchasing of the SHR for some years; the German environmental youth organisation “JANUN” (A. Riemann) and the foundation “Leben nach Tschernobyl” finance the operation of 23 LRCC. A number of the charitable organisations and private persons from Ireland, England, Austria, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Norway, and Switzerland also take part in these projects.
In 1999 within the frameworks of the joint international project together with the Austrian Chernobyl Initiative (Elfi Meusburger) the effectiveness of the concept of radiation protection of children through pectins and the SHR-measurements of 137Cs accumulation was made for 1,000 children.
During a year the 3-4-repeated prophylaxis with the pectin pills “Yablopect” and the SHR-measurements before and after the course were implemented. In the village Belyayevka of Chechersk district the 61% decrease of the 137Cs concentration in children was achieved due to the use of the “Yablopect”, in the village Dublin of Bragin district – 59%, in the village Kirov of Narovlya district – 46%, in the village Demidov of Narovlya district – 36%, in the village Polesye of Chechersk district – 50%, and in the village Sivitsa of Volozhin district – 83%. The figure 2 shows the dynamics of changing the average specific activity of the children from the village Sivitsa.
During 1999 the Institute “Belrad” with the help of the Austrian and German pharmacists developed a new composition of the pectin food additive “Vitapect” that included seven vitamins and four microelements (K, Ca, Zn, Se).
On March 20, 2000 the Institute “Belrad” received the certificate of the State hygienic registration for production, distribution and use of the food additive “Vitapect” in the MHPS of the Republic of Belarus. The laboratory production with the possibility to produce 300 cans of the vitamin pectin food additive “Vitapect” per day (each can contains a monthly dose) was created in the Institute “Belrad”.
In August 2000 in accordance with the approved program of the Chernobyl Committee in the sanatorium “Belarus” where parents with their children from the Chernobyl regions of Belarus improve their health (150 children and 150 parents each month), an expert examination was made.
Under the participation of the representatives of the MPHS, the Chernobyl Committee, the Institute “Belrad” and the staff of the sanatorium “Belarus” that research allowed to control the effectiveness of the elimination of radionuclides from the body. The vitamin complex Vitus-Iod was prescribed to 22 patients, Spirulina Platensis preparation — to 18 persons, pectin food additive “Vitapect” — to 27 persons, pectin food additive “Yablopect” — to 30 persons, the control group did not take those food additives.
The results of the measurements were the following during the rehabilitation and due to eating the clean food:
- the decrease of 137Cs-concentration in the control group made 16.8% (approximately equal concerning children and adults);
- the use of the pectin preparations (“Yablopect” and “Vitapect”) allowed reducing the 137Cs-concentration in children’s bodies on 49.5% and in their parents’ bodies on 40.9%;
- the use of the vitamin preparation “Vitus-Iod” – on 24.9% (adults) and on 31.1% (children);
- the use of the Spirulina – on 26.8% (both in children’s and adults’ bodies).
Combining the pectin prophylaxis and children’s rehabilitation in Belarus as well as abroad gave very good results.
In 1999 during their rehabilitation in Italy and because of the use of enterosorbents at the same time 650 children reduced the 137Cs-concentration in their bodies on 52-52%.
In 2000 the project with the English Fond “Chernobyl Children’s Life Line” was realized: the 137Cs concentration of 1,215 children were measured at the airport Minsk-2 before the departure to England. They received the pectin preparation “Vitapect” (Belarus, Institute “Belrad”). The second control of the children made at the airport after returning from England showed that the 137Cs concentration in their bodies was reduced on 65-95%.
The same project was realized for 1,100 children having travelled to Ireland for rehabilitation and having taking pectins their. The SHR-control before departure and on arrival showed the decrease of the 137Cs concentration in their bodies on 50%.
The Institute “Belrad” has got a possibility for the further expansion of mobiles SHR-laboratories and for the increase of the production of the food additive “Vitapect”.
International examination of the project of the Institute “Belrad” on behalf of the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES)
The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus confirmed that the SHR-measurement, which detector registers the g-radiation going out of the human body, is a physical procedure but not a medical activity.
In connection with the negative and tendentious specialists’ of the MPHS attitude towards all the proposals of the Institute “Belrad” the MES leaders directed the project of the Institute “Radiation Monitoring of Children of the Chernobyl Districts of Belarus on the SHR, Effectiveness of Their Radiation Protection Through the Use of Pectins And Urgency of Organizing the Production of the Food Additive “Vitapect” in the Republic” for the international examination of the well-known and recognized scientists.
The international experts confirmed that:
- SHR-measurements are the physical procedure и and cannot be considered as the medical activity;
- It is reasonable to use the data of SHR-measurements of the 137Cs-concentration in the human body for assessing the annual radiation dose;
- It is reasonable to include the pectin food additives in the menu of the children from the Chernobyl regions of Belarus financed by the state under the Chernobyl program; it is actual to produce the pectin food additive “Vitapect” in the Institute “Belrad”.
The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus reported the checkups on spectrometers of the human radiation was not determined in the standard acts on activity categories which require receiving the license of the MPHS.
Taking it into account the Institute “Belrad” sent a letter to the MPHS and reported in it that the Institute was not a part of the MPHS and could not accept the prohibition on SHR-measurements because that prohibition was not based on the present legislation of Belarus.
It is necessary to give the information about the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe to the population
In 1986 the price of the monopoly of the MPHS of the USSR was too big: the population was not informed about the nuclear danger, about the necessity of the iodine prophylaxis in time. The Institute “Belrad” considers it to be its task to inform the population, the local authorities, and the leaders of the republic about the key problems of the radiation safety of the population in time.
For many month already the MPHS has been continuing to assert its monopoly in this problem despite of the decision of the NAS of Belarus, the international experts and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus.
For these years the Institute “Belrad” has been regularly representing the information about the results of the SHR-measurements of the 137Cs accumulation in children’s bodies to the local authorities (to the Executive Committees), to the school directors and the heads of kindergartens.
The actual data of the state of children’s health in Belarus represented at the parliamentary debates of the National Assembly of Belarus in 1999 and in 2000, at the scientific session of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus on the problems of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident in December, 2000 show that the permissible levels of the 137Cs-accumulation in children’s bodies which were approved by the Ministry for Public Health services are unreasonably high and do not guarantee the radiation protection of the children.
At the map there are the levels of the 137Cs accumulation of the children of Lelchitsy, Yelsk, and Narovlya district of Gomel region. They show that more than 90% of children need the radiation protection.
The next two years the Institute “Belrad” is going to publish a map of radiation contamination of children of Belarus to the population and the Government. It will allow singling out the regions, which are especially dangerous for living of children who need the additional rehabilitation in clean regions (or abroad). Special attention should be paid to the quality of their food and to the decontamination of their bodies through the pectin food additives.
During these years the Institute hopes to organise the production and distribution system of pectin food additives like “Vitapect” for 500 thousand children from Chernobyl regions of Belarus on the spaces of the Charity House in Minsk with the financial support from the charitable organisations of Germany, England and France, as well as from EU structures.
The Institute of Radiation Safety “Belrad” has determined the strategy of countermeasures for the radiation protection of the population of Belarus after the large-scale radiation accident at the Chernobyl NPP on the basis of the following principles:
- The significant part of the territory of Belarus was exposed to the radiation contamination with long-lived radionuclides: 23% of the territory of the country – to 137Cs, 10% – to 90Sr, and 2% – 239Pu;
- Over 2 million people (including 500 thousand children) are still living on the contaminated territories. Since 1986 135 thousand people have been resettled from the most dangerous areas; 27,871 people (including 6,758 children) still live on the territories with the level of contamination more than 15 Bq/km2;
- The economic damage of the Chernobyl accident for Belarus exceeds 235 billion US dollars. It is equal to 32 annual national budgets of 1985; Belarus is not able to overcome such economic burden by its own;
- After the accident at the Chernobyl NPP the significant part of long-living radionuclides was accumulated within the upper soil layer and today the soil is the main source of the contamination of agricultural products with radionuclides; the inhabitants of the contaminated areas of Belarus receive the main dose burden (more than 80%) due to the consumption of the foodstuffs produced locally and heavily contaminated with the 137Cs and 90Sr-radionuclides;
- The severe economic crisis in Belarus, together with low living standards of its inhabitants does not allow producing clean foodstuffs. It is necessary to organise a special training for the population on the measures of radiation protection;
- Inability (because of the economic potential of the State) to implement the protective measures in the agricultural production cycle on the contaminated lands aimed at the reduction of the intake of radionuclides from the soil into the plant (cultivating the pastures and hayfields using fertilisers, liming the soils);
- Potentialities for the reduction of the 137Cs concentration in the main dose-forming product – milk through feeding cows with mixed fodder containing sorbents and through separating milk;
- Possibilities for provide children and pregnant women with clean foodstuffs and with food additives intensifying the elimination of radionuclides and heavy metals from the body;
- Necessity of training teachers, children, parents to the basic principles of the radiation safety on the protection of the body from radionuclides;
- Importance of informing the population about the level of the contamination of the local foodstuffs with radionuclides and the radionuclide concentration in the bodies of the inhabitants (especially children) with the existing menu and life style;
- Introduction of the regular decontamination of the body from radionuclides into the life style is an effective measure of radiation protection of the population of the Chernobyl regions;
- The use of food additives – pectin preparations with the complex of vitamins and microelements showed the high efficiency in quick elimination of radionuclides, heavy metals, and nitrates;
- The annual rehabilitation of children during 1-2 months in clean regions, rehabilitation centres, sanatoriums and trips abroad combined with the obligatory taking pectin preparations (one-time reduction of the concentration of radionuclides in children’s body on 40-60% and lowering the annual dose burden on 10% approximately);
- Detailed informing of the population about the level of the 1137Cs accumulation, teaching them the simple methods of radiation protection, taking pectin food additives 3-4 times a year (21 day courses), rehabilitation in clean region once or twice a year will allow to reduce the annual dose burden in 2-3 times.
The non-governmental organisations of Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France and the USA taken part in these projects confirm the necessity of the protective measures implemented by the Institute “Belrad” in order to minimise the consequences of the radiation effects of children.
During all these years the Institute “Belrad” tries to implement the concept of radiation protection of the population of Chernobyl regions of Belarus through the implementation of a number of the international projects:
- Creation of a network of the local radiation control centres for controlling foodstuffs at schools, dispensaries in the largest villages of the Chernobyl regions (about 500 villages) and informing the population about the contamination degree of the locally produced foodstuffs with radionuclides;
- Creation of 15 mobile laboratories equipped with SHR for the monitoring of the radionuclide accumulation in children’s bodies in 500 places and assessment of the effectiveness of implementing protective measures, including the use of pectin preparations;
- Creation of the production of pectin food additives, of their delivery and distribution system at schools and kindergartens of the Chernobyl regions of Belarus;
- Establishing the educational centre and realizing the educational program for training of the teachers-ecologists in the basic principles of radiation protection in 911 schools of the Chernobyl regions;
- Creation of the training and rehabilitation centre under the program “Mother and Child” for the parents and pre-school children with high levels of the radionuclide accumulation in the body, implementation of the measures for their radiation and medical rehabilitation and training of parents in the measures of radiation protection of children;
- Creation of the radioecological computer information centre in Belarus;
- Establishing the international centre for the implementation of the joint projects on monitoring and medical diagnostics of children and their rehabilitation.
It is advisable to implement the proposed concept of radiation and social protection of the population of the Chernobyl regions of Belarus within the frameworks of the Concept of social protection of the Charity House (one of the co-founders of the Institute of Radiation Safety “Belrad”) in Minsk.
We hope to get the technical and financial support from the state structures of the EU countries, as well as from the charitable organisations, which will allow equipping the facilities rendered to the Institute “Belrad” in the Charity House and to implement the above stated projects. In order to realise these projects the following equipment is necessary:
- sets of pharmaceutical equipment for producing pectin-containing preparations;
- delivering premixes of vitamins B, E, C, β- carotene, mineral components of microelements K, Zn, Se, Ca, Fe, etc. for the every day output of 8,000 units of pectin food additives for 500 thousand children of the Chernobyl regions of Belarus;
- delivering medical equipment for the diagnostic and rehabilitation of children;
- purchasing microbuses and spectrometers of human radiation for 8 mobile laboratories.
The implementation of a number of the projects supported by national and foreign Chernobyl foundations and initiatives of Ireland, Germany, Austria, the USA, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and France shows good prospects of such measures in minimising and preventing the post-Chernobyl radiation effects of the population of Belarus.