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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis