Faculty Articles


Radiobiological Evaluation of Immigrants from the Vicinity of Chernobyl



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International Journal of Radiation Biology





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Eighty individuals (55 adults and 25 children) who were residents of four cities (Kiev, Mozyr, Gomel and Bobrujsk) located 100± 200 km from Chernobyl at the time of the accident in 1986 were tested after immigrating to the US from 1989–1991. A whole-body counter was employed to quantitate radiocesium content. In addition, two biological measures of radiation effects, namely, chromosomal integrity using the micronucleus assay and somatic mutation analysis of erythrocytes at the glycophorin A (GPA) locus, were applied to this group. Radiocesium activity in the body ranged from 0 to 56.8 Bq/kg with a mean and standard deviation of 5.0 ± 8.2 and a median value of 2.0 Bq/kg. Mean radiocesium content by groups was highest in adult males (9.0 ± 11.7; range 0.21–56.8 Bq/kg) followed by adult females (3.3 ± 4.5; range 0–2. ́3 Bq/kg), male children (3.0 ± 5.7; range 0–20.2 Bq/kg) and lowest in female children (1.6 ± 3.5; range 0–12.7 Bq/kg). Individuals with the highest radiocesium content in each group belonged to one family that lived in Mozyr (100 km from Chernobyl) until emigrating in 1989. The frequency of lymphocyte micronuclei and erythrocyte GPA allele- loss (é /N) somatic mutations were both significantly correlated with radiocesium content (r=0.57, p=0.002; r=0.75, p=0.002, respectively). The micronucleus frequency also correlated with the estimated internal absorbed dose from radiocesium in a subset of 20 immigrants for whom this calculation was possible (r=0.71, p=0.0005). Altogether, the biomonitoring data indicate that some subjects had radiation doses sufficient to produce gene and chromosomal mutations in blood cells, although these affects cannot be attributed solely to radiocesium exposure.


Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Osteopathic Medicine and Osteopathy

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