"This is a letter of information from professor Vasili Nesterenko, leader of the Institute of Radiation Saftey in Minsk. He wrote this letter to the prime minister of Norway, and some other ministers of the government of Norway, in a sort of desperate cry for help. Hundreds of children in Belarus are now in great danger of developing cancer and other serious illnesses because of the food they eat, which is still very contaminated. Please read this letter, it will give you a lot of information which I'm sure was unknown to you some minutes ago."
- Svanhild


THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
Institute of Radiation Saftey
BELRAD

To Whom It May Concern

Information about the radiationproblem in Belarus - 1998.

We would like you to consider the following information, which we need to present you. As a result of Chernobyl's catastrophe, 23% of Belarus' territories were contaminated with radioactive substances, which are extremely dangerous for people's health. Those were radionuclides of caseium, strontium and plutonium. While at the pointed areas there live about 2 million people, 500.000 of which are children, in 3221 aggregations. And the fact that about 80% of radioactive dozes people get from food, is a characteristic of the areas. The level of food contamination with radionuclides exceed any possible acceptable level.

According to the data from the independent local centers of radiation control and from the state sanitation services, about 25% of the locally produced goods and food is contaminated with caesium-137 in the territories, which suffered from Chernobyl catastrophe. The level of contamination exceeds all republican accepted levels.

According to the data from Belarus' Ministry of Health, in 1997 there were discovered 567 localities, where milk was contaminated with caesium-137, which exceeded all accepted levels. There were also registered 47 areas, where milk was contaminated with strontium-90, which exceeded all accepted levels as well.

High percentage of radionuclides in food causes accumulation of considerable amounts of radioactivity in the organism of children and grown-ups. That is proved by the research, made by our Institute. We have at our disposal two portable laboratories with the spectrometers of men irradiation (SMI), with the help of which the Institute examined 8,000 children from Chernobyl zone over the past 2 years.

Most children have the level of accumulated radioactivity in their organism, making up 600-800 becquerel per kg.

High amounts of the accumulated radioactivity in children's organism make them weaker and extremely exposed to the diseases. Very often radioactivity itself becomes a straight reason for children's illnesses.

According to the figures of Professor Yuri I. Bandajevsky at the accumulation of caeisum-137 in children's organism 30-50 becquerel per kg of the organism suffers pathological pertubations of the essential organs (heart, kidneys, liver etc.).

For instance, according to the latest data, the level of malignant oncologic diseases among children from Brest region (Stolin and Luninetsk districts) is almost twice as high as the average level in the region. There the frequency of chronic gastritis is 2-3 times as high as in the most of the more clean areas. The sickness rate of thyroid gland, lymphatic and hemoplastic in those districts is 3-5 times as high as the average in the region.


With respect to what is mentioned above, the problem of health care and safty of more than 500, 000 children, who live in the contaminated areas, is obviously sharp nowadays.

The problem could be partly decided by providing those children with clean food. But, unfortunately, the difficult economic situation in Belarus does not let to do that. The regular treatment of the children at the clean areas is hardly possible either.

Having the same meals with grown-ups, children get 3-5 times bigger dozes of radioactivity.

Considering all this, the more easy and accessible way of treating children is arranging a large-scale and regular examinations of the children with the help of SMI and also by providing them with pectin medicines, which are able to string radionuclides and to let them rather easily go out of the organism. The effectiveness of pectin medicines (for instance, "Yablopect") is proved by the researches, carried out at our institute, when the levels of accumulation of radionuclides in children's organism were carefully measured by SMI before and after taking pectin medicines. Their effectiveness is also approved by Belarus' Ministry of Health, and there is a license of using them.

The large-scale researches with SMI, made by our Institute, showed that one course of taking "Yablopect" (60 tablets, during a month) lowers the accumulation of radionuclides in children organism by 30-50%.

Taking into account the recieved results, the Institute of Radiation Safety "Belrad" has prepared the project "Radiation monotoring of the children from Belarus" regions suffered from Chernobyl catastrophe, and providing them with ratiation safety by using pectin medicines".

We present you this project, and we would like you to examine it carefully. We also beg your financial support for this project in the order of humanitarian aid.

V. B. Nesterenko
The Director of the Institute of
Radiation Safety "Belrad"
Belarus' Academy of Sciences
The Professor, Doctor of Thecnical Scienses.