Web edition: June 18, 2010
Print edition: July 3, 2010; Vol.178 #1 (p. 4)
HIGH MILK CONTAMINATION FROM NUCLEAR ACCIDENTS — Radioactive contamination of milk is likely to be “the most widespread hazard” resulting from a nuclear accident or explosion depositing fission products on agricultural land, according to recent studies in England reported in a forthcoming issue of Nature…. Elements that appeared to cause the greatest contamination are the isotopes of iodine and strontium although barium-140 and cesium-137 also contribute to the peril. These findings resulted from a series of 53 experiments with 44 cows in which the fission products were artificially introduced into the diet of the animals and their milk subsequently monitored for radioactivity.