As the Moscow Times reports:
More than 1.5 million Russians live in areas contaminated with radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the country's chief health official said Monday.
Speaking at a news conference two days before the 20th anniversary of the disaster, Gennady Onishchenko, head of the Federal Consumer Protection Service, said many in these areas ate local meat, dairy products and fruit and vegetables, despite doctors' warnings.
In Bryansk, the most country's most contaminated region, health official have recorded 122 cases in the past 20 years of thyroid cancer among children.
All those cases are considered directly related to Chernobyl. The number is likely to grow if those residing in affected areas continue to ignore health warnings, Onishchenko told reporters.
"Our main health concern is that many people seem to ignore, to put it mildly, our recommendations not to ... consume produce that they grow without taking proper precautions," Onishchenko said.