Releases of radioactive materials from the Mayak Production Association in 1949–1956 resulted in contamination of the Techa River; a nuclide of major interest was 90Sr, which downstream residents consumed with water from the river and with milk contaminated by cows' consumption of river water and contaminated pasture. Over the years, several reconstructions of dose have been performed for the approximately 30,000 persons who make up the Extended Techa River Cohort. The purpose of the study described here was to derive a revised reference-90Sr-intake function for the members of this cohort. The revision was necessary because recently discovered data have provided a more accurate description of the time course of the releases, and more is now known about the importance of the pasture grass-cow-milk pathway for the members of this cohort. The fundamental basis for the derivation of the reference-90Sr-intake function remains the same: thousands of measurements of 90Sr content in bone with a special whole-body counter, thousands of measurements of beta-activity of front teeth with a special tooth-beta counter, and a variety of other measurements, including post mortem measurements of 90Sr in bone, measurements of 90Sr in cow's milk, and measurements of beta activity in human excreta. Results of the new analyses are that the major intake started in September 1950 and peaked somewhat later than originally postulated. However, the total intake for adult residents has not changed significantly. For children of some birth years, the intake and incorporation of 90Sr in bone tissue have changed substantially.
* Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine, Vorovskogo 68 a, 454076 Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation; † Southern Urals State University, Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation; ‡ Division of Radiobiology, Department of Radiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; § Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352.
For correspondence contact: Evgenia I. Tolstykh, Urals Research Center for Radiation Medicine, Vorovskogo 68 a, 454076 Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation, or email at email@example.com.
(Manuscript accepted 15 November 2010).