DEAR ABBY: I have a question that has been bothering me a great deal. I feel embarrassed to ask, but I must.
My teen-age daughter has been receiving pen-pal letters from a girl in Ukraine (U.S.S.R.) who happens to live a few hundred miles from the Chernobyl disaster in a city called Dnepropetrovsk. Because I'm a natural worrier, mother of five and pregnant again, every time she receives a letter, I can't help but wonder if it is safe (non-radioactive).
I realize it has been five years since that tragedy, and cleanup has taken place, but I don't know whom to ask. Please help me. -- LOUISIANA WORRIER
DEAR WORRIER: Put your mind at ease. According to William Curtis, project leader at the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Radiation Programs, there is nothing to worry about. (Mr. Curtis is an oceanographer who journeyed to Chernobyl last year to conduct surveys for the EPA on radiation levels in the Black Sea.) He assured me that if his word isn't enough to ease your worry, you may take the envelopes to be analyzed at any university that has a radiation department.