Whole body measurements on reindeer herders in Finnmark, Norway

Updated 2012-01-27

Elevated levels of 137Cs caused by previous atmospheric nuclear weapons tests fallout and the Chernobyl accident have been observed in Finnmark, Northern Norway. Due to the large consumption of potentially contaminated reindeer meat, whole body measurements of 137Cs levels in reindeer herders have been performed since 1965.

This is not a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Project time span
1965 - 2010
Data collection
1965 - 2010
Data processing
1965 - 2010
Data reporting
1965 - 2010

Contact information

Contact person
Lavrans Skuterud
Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Grini næringspark 13, N-1361 Østerås Norway
+47 72485174
Other project contacts
Håvard Thørring Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Grini næringspark 13, N-1361 Østerås Norway

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Human media
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

Whole body measurements, reindeer, 137Cs


Regions studied
Radioactivity TDC
Other areas

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
Data centres
Radioactivity TDC
References to key publications (or planned publications) and data reports
[1]: Westerlund EA, Berthelsen T, Berteig L (1987). Cesium-137 body burdens in Norwegian Lapps, 1965-1983. Health Phys 52:171-177. [2]: Skuterud L, Bergan T, Mehli H (2002). Estimating 137Cs ingestion doses to Saamis in Kautokeino (Norway) using whole body counting vs. dietary survey results and food samples. In: Ilus E, ed. Proceedings of the 8th Nordic seminar on radioecology, 25-28 February 2001, Rovaniemi, Finland. Roskilde: Nordic nuclear safety research; NKS-70: 131-135. [3]: Thørring H, Hosseini A, Skuterud L, Bergan T (2004). Radioaktiv forurensning i befolkningsgrupper i 1999 og 2002. Reindriftsutøvere i Midt-Norge og Kautokeino. StrålevernRapport 2004:12. Østerås: Statens strålevern (in Norwegian). [4] Skuterud L, Thørring H, Eikelmann IM, Møller B, Hosseini A, Bergan T. Persistent radiocaesium contamination in Norwegian reindeer and reindeer herders. In: Strand P, Børretzen P, Jølle T: Proceedings from the 2nd International conference on radioactivity in the environment, 2-6 October 2005, Nice, France. Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, pp. 11-14, 2005.
Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

• The 1965-1990 measurements were performed using simplified Palmer geometry (NaI detector). No additional shielding of the equipment was used (see [1] for more info about method). • NaI-detector with additional (lead) shielding was used in 1993. • HPGe-detector was applied from 1996-2002 (equipment from FOA, Umeå, Sweden). See [3] for details. • NRPAs mobile equipment (HPGe-detector) was used in 2005 and 2010 (see StrålevernInfo 2006:9 for more info).

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Indigenous AND traditional knowledge used in this project

Partly, Reindeer herders are the monitored group and their nutrition intake are studied.

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