Radiation Background Improves In Russian Regions Exposed To Chernobyl Fallout

After the fifteen years since the Chernobyl disaster, the radiation background in Russian regions exposed to the radioactive fallout has improved considerably. According to a report from the press service of the Russian Ministry of Emergencies, this results both from natural processes and a complex of agrotechnical and other rehabilitation procedures. In April 1996, radioactive contamination was detected in 19 regions of Russia, in a territory inhabited by more than three million persons. 2.9 million hectares of agricultural land was contaminated. Presently, about 150,000 inhabitants of the Bryansk and Kaluga Regions are exposed to above-average radiation levels. The assessment and minimization of medical consequences of the disaster have remained among the main tasks of governmental agencies responsible for protection of the population from consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. 500,000 persons are under special medical control. About one-third of 170 thyroid cancer cases among the inhabitants of the Bryansk Region have been ascribed to intense radiation. 145 cases of leucosis have been detected among participants in the clean-up operations, with 50 of them caused by exposure to radiation, and 55 cases of thyroid cancer have been registered. Some 27% of the Chernobyl clean-up contributors receive disability pensions. -O- (mal/kom) 26/04/01 17:13 

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