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Ukrainian children are drinking radioactive milk

More than 30 years later, not even the milk near the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site is safe.

A study published in science journal Environment International shows that children are drinking milk 12 times more radioactive than what the Ukrainian government deems acceptable, even though they live up to 140 miles from where the catastrophe happened. But it's not as if these families, who live in a poor, rural area, are oblivious to the problem.

"These people know that the milk is unsafe, but they tell us, 'We don’t have a choice, we have to feed our families,'" the study's principal author told The New York Times.

Most of what spilled from Chernobyl's nuclear plant broke down over the 32 years since the spill, says the Times. But one radioactive isotope has persisted and spreads through soil and the grass cows eat. People in the study lived outside the 1,000-square-mile exclusion zone around the plant, yet they're still exposed to these cancer-causing chemicals because it's too expensive to mitigate the problem with a special cow feed.