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Russian doctors announce that cesium-137 in colleague's tissues was from food, not the Nyonoksa nuclear explosion

The government of Russia’s Arkhangelsk region reported today on the results of medical examinations that followed the region’s August 8 nuclear accident. The patients examined included doctors who treated the victims of the blast. While 110 health workers in a variety of roles did not display “radiation levels above acceptable standards,” one doctor did have unusually high levels of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 in his muscle tissue.

Medical specialists from Russia’s Federal Medical and Biological Agency (FMBA) told regional officials that the cesium-137 came from food items the doctor had previously ingested, not from the doctor’s contact with victims of a nuclear explosion. Cesium-137, they noted, “can accumulate in fish, mushrooms, lichens, and underwater plants.”

An employee of the Arkhangelsk regional hospital had previously told Meduza that the doctor whose tissues showed heightened cesium-137 levels was told he may have absorbed the isotope during a recent trip to Thailand. According to our source, FMBA experts told the doctor, “You must have eaten some Fukushima crabs!”

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