The Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident happened on April 26, 1986. We investigated the cause of the striking increase in frequency of thyroid cancer in children who lived within a 150 km radius of Chernobyl and who were born before and after the accident. No thyroid cancer was seen in 9472 children born in 1987-89, whereas one and 31 thyroid cancers were recorded in 2409 children born April 27, 1986, to Dec 31, 1986, and 9720 born Jan 1, 1983, to April 26, 1986, respectively. Short-lived radioactive fallout caused by the Chernobyl accident probably induced thyroid cancer in children living near Chernobyl.
Health effects as a result of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant occurred in 1986 are considered in the paper. Wrong prognosis of the health effects with respect to mortality and morbidity among the population exposed to low radiation doses is shown. Proven increase in thyroid cancer cases among people who were children aged from 0 to 18 at the time of the accident is shown. Linear relationship between thyroid cancer cases and dose to thyroid ranged from 0.2 to 4.0 Gy is considered. An additional absolute risk of thyroid cancer in children varies in the range 1.9-2.6 cases per 10(4) person-year Gy. During the fifteen years following the accident no cases of acute and chronic radiation sickness have been revealed because the population living in contaminated areas received low radiation doses. Also, exposures to low radiation doses did not result in excess of malignant tumors among population. In some cases the outcomes of acute radiation sickness were as follows: radiation damages to the skin, cancer cataracts, development of oncopathology.
Presented are the results of morphological studies of radiation sickness, congenital malformations and malignant tumors which have developed in Chemobyl victims. Until now consequences of the accident remain a subject of practical and research medicine. Scope of relevant topical problems the pathologists will have to investigate in the future is discussed.
The Chernobyl accident resulted in a number of cases of thyroid cancer in females under the age of 20 y. Many of these individuals were treated with surgical removal of the thyroid gland followed by 131I ablation of residual thyroid tissue. Epidemiologic evidence demonstrates that 131I treatment for thyroid cancer or hyperthyroidism in adult women confers negligible risk of breast cancer. However, comparable data for younger women do not exist. Studies of external radiation exposure indicate that, for radiation exposures of as low as 0.2-0.7 Gy, the risk of breast cancer is greater for infant and adolescent female breast tissues than for adult female breast tissues. METHODS: The effective half-time of 131I measured in athyrotic patients was used together with the OLINDA/EXM computer code to estimate doses to breast tissue in 10-y-old, 15-y-old, and young adult females from ablation treatment. RESULTS: The dose to pediatric and young adult female breast tissue associated with a 5.6-GBq (150 mCi) ablation treatment may range from 0.35 to 0.55 Gy, resulting in a lifetime risk of breast cancer ranging from 2-4 cases per 100 such individuals exposed and a lifetime risk of solid tumors ranging from 8 to 17 solid tumors per 100 such individuals exposed. Administration of multiple ablation treatments, as often occurs with metastases, could result in doses ranging from 0.7 to 1 Gy, with corresponding increases in the lifetime cancer risk. CONCLUSION: These estimates suggest the need for additional research and a possible need for surveillance of young Chernobyl thyroid cancer patients who received 131I ablation treatment.
The method of processing and the results of measurements of 131I content in the thyroids of Russian people performed in May-June 1986 are presented. The contribution of radiation from Cs radionuclides in the human body was taken into account in the processing of measurement data with an SRP-68-01 device. The greatest individual 131I content was found in the thyroids of inhabitants of the Bryansk region, up to 250-350 kBq, and in the Tula and Orel regions, up to 100 kBq. The average 131I thyroid activity in the middle of May 1986 reached 80 kBq for inhabitants of some settlements in the Bryansk region, 5-8 kBq in the Tula region and 5 kBq in the Orel region.
We assessed the major lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood, thyroid ultrasonography, levels of serum autoantibodies to thyroglobulin (AbTg), thyroid hormones, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in 53 children without any chronic diseases living continuously around Chernobyl. The subjects ranged in age from 7 to 14 years and had different doses of 131I to their thyroid. Healthy children living on noncontaminated areas were assessed as controls. The majority of children with doses of 131I had normal levels of thyroid hormones. However, the percentages of positive sera for AbTg, TSH levels, ultrasonographic thyroid abnormalities, and abnormal echogenicity were significantly higher in children with doses of 131I than in controls. The dose of 131I to thyroid correlated positively with serum AbTg levels, percentage of CD3+CD4+ cells, and CD3+CD4+/CD3+CD8+ cell ratio and negatively with number of CD3+CD8+ and CD3-/CD16, CD56+ cells. Thus, our study demonstrates an association between dose of 131I and autoimmune thyroid disorders in this population of children.
Measurements of 137Cs contamination in the urine of 37 individuals were performed in 1995 and 1996 in order to evaluate the 137Cs daily urinary excretion in the northwestern italian people ten years from the Chernobyl accident. The difference between the average 137Cs daily urinary excretion assessed for 1995 and for 1996 was not statistically significant. Using the values of urine contamination, an estimate of 0.2 Bq(-1) of mean ingested activity was obtained. A mean committed effective dose of about 1 microSv was determined as due to the 137Cs ingestion during 1 y at 10 y after the accident. Such a dose is lower by a factor of 10(3) than the corresponding value for the population of North Italy in the first year following the Chernobyl accident.