1. Chernobyl contamination through time and space

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Nov;1181:5-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04821.x.


Radioactive contamination from the Chernobyl meltdown spread over 40% of Europe (including Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Romania, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Iceland, Slovenia) and wide territories in Asia (including Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Emirates, China), northern Africa, and North America. Nearly 400 million people resided in territories that were contaminated with radioactivity at a level higher than 4 kBq/m(2) (0.11 Ci/km(2)) from April to July 1986. Nearly 5 million people (including, more than 1 million children) still live with dangerous levels of radioactive contamination in Belarus, Ukraine, and European Russia. Claims that the Chernobyl radioactive fallout adds "only 2%" to the global radioactive background overshadows the fact that many affected territories had previously dangerously high levels of radiation. Even if the current level is low, there was high irradiation in the first days and weeks after the Chernobyl catastrophe. There is no reasonable explanation for the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization (Chernobyl Forum, 2005) have completely neglected the consequences of radioactive contamination in other countries, which received more than 50% of the Chernobyl radionuclides, and addressed concerns only in Belarus, Ukraine, and European Russia.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Chernobyl Nuclear Accident*
  • Humans
  • Radiation Monitoring*
  • Radioactive Fallout / analysis*
  • Soil Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Time Factors


  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive
  • Radioactive Fallout
  • Soil Pollutants, Radioactive