Reconstruction of 90Sr intake for breast-fed infants in the Techa riverside settlements

Evgenia I. Tolstykh, Natalia B. Shagina, Lyudmila M. Peremyslova, Marina O. Degteva, Alan W. Phipps, John Harrison, Timothy Fell

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The Techa River (Southern Urals, Russia) was contaminated as a result of radioactive releases by the Mayak plutonium production facility during 1949-1956. The persons born after the onset of the contamination have been identified as the "Techa River Offspring Cohort" (TROC). The TROC has the potential to provide direct data on health effects in progeny that resulted from exposure of a general parent population to chronic radiation. The purpose of the present investigation is the estimation of 90Sr intake from breast milk and river water in the period from birth to 6 months of life, necessary for an infant dose calculation. The investigation is based on all available data concerning radioactive contamination due to global fallouts and Mayak releases in the Southern Urals where extensive radiometric and radiochemical investigations of human tissues and environmental samples were conducted during the second half of the twentieth century. The strontium transfer factor from mother's daily diet to breast milk was estimated as 0.05 (0.01-0.13) d L -1. Based on this transfer factor and data on 90Sr water contamination, the average total 90Sr intake for an infant born in the middle Techa River region was found to be equal to 60-80 kBq in 1950-1951. For the same period, calculations of 90Sr intake using ICRP models gave values of 70-100 kBq. From 1952 onwards, the differences in intakes calculated using the two approaches increased, reaching a factor of 2-3 in 1953. The Techa River data provide the basis for improving and adapting the ICRP models for application to Techa River-specific population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-357
Number of pages9
JournalRadiation and Environmental Biophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was sponsored by the EU under contract number FP6-516478 (SOUL).


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