Frequency distributions of 137Cs in fish and mammal populations

Taras K. Oleksyk, Sergiy P. Gashchak, Travis C. Glenn, Charles H. Jagoe, John D. Peles, James R. Purdue, Olga V. Tsyusko, Olexandr O. Zalissky, Michael H. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We collected fish and mammals in several radioactively contaminated locations in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone and analyzed them for 137Cs content. Frequency distributions were built for populations of channel catfish, yellow-necked mice and bank voles. We combined our data with similar data from several other studies to demonstrate the relationship between the standard deviations and means of 137Cs of fish and mammal populations. The frequency distributions of 137Cs in populations of fish and mammals are not normal, as indicated by the strong relationship between standard deviation and mean. Distributions for mammals are more skewed than those for fish. Fish and mammals probably use their environments in fundamentally different ways. The highest concentrations and thus greatest risks are therefore confined to relatively few individuals in each population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Environmental Radioactivity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Support for this research came from a contract (DE-FC09-96SR18,546) between the Department of Energy and The University of Georgia. Facilities and logistical support in Ukraine were provided through Dr. Bondarkov, director of the International Radioecology Laboratory, Slavutych, Ukraine. Other help came from A. Arkhipov, I. Chizhevskyj, P. Johns, A. J. Majeske, and I. Shchohalevich. We also want to thank T. Phillipi for helpful discussions.


  • Chernobyl
  • Chornobyl
  • Cs
  • Fish
  • Frequency distribution
  • Mammals
  • Radioactivity
  • Radiocesium
  • Savannah River Site

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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