Americium-241 (²4¹Am) is the second most significant radiation hazard after ²³?Pu at some of the Mayak Production Association facilities. This study summarizes current data on the accumulation, distribution, and excretion of americium compared with plutonium in different organs from former Mayak PA workers. Americium and plutonium were measured in autopsy and bioassay samples and correlated with the presence or absence of chronic disease and with biological transportability of the aerosols encountered at different workplaces. The relative accumulation of ²4¹Am was found to be increasing in the workers over time. This is likely from ²4¹Pu that increases with time in reprocessed fuel and from the increased concentrations of ²4¹Am and ²4¹Pu in inhaled alpha-active aerosols. While differences were observed in lung retention with exposures to different industrial compounds with different transportabilities (i.e., dioxide and nitrates), there were no significant differences in lung retention between americium and plutonium within each transportability group. In the non-pulmonary organs, the highest ratios of ²4¹Am/²4¹Am + SPu were observed in the skeleton. The relative ratios of americium in the skeleton versus liver were significantly greater than for plutonium. The relative amounts of americium and plutonium found in the skeleton compared with the liver were even greater in workers with documented chronic liver diseases. Excretion rates of ²4¹Am in ‘‘healthy’’ workers were estimated using bioassay and autopsy data. The data suggest that impaired liver function leads to reduced hepatic ²4¹Am retention, leading to increased ²4¹Am excretion.
This report examines the claim that Irish mortality in the second quarter (April-June) of 1986 increased due to the cloud of radioactive material released by the damaged reactor in Chernobyl. Over the period 1971-1987, based on date of registration, the death rates in the second quarter showed marked year to year variation often exceeding that expected on the basis of chance alone. In 1986 the percentage of annual deaths occurring between April and June, and the death rate itself, were both significantly higher than in most other years between 1981 and 1987. The 1986 figures were not however, significantly higher than those observed in years prior to 1981. Since the distribution of mortality by cause was not consistent with the hypothesis relating low level radiation to immediate mortality, and since causality cannot be inferred from a temporal association per se, the Chernobyl accident cannot be implicated in the excess mortality observed in the second quarter of 1986.
The paper describes the image of radiation menace. Basic differences in image parameters are revealed for some population groups. The psychological levels of the image are regarded as psychosocial phenomena. Some specific psychological consequences of mental regression are outlined in the paper.
Residents of Vienna, Austria were whole-body counted for radiocesium content due to fallout deposited after the Chernobyl accident. Data for a 2-y period were compared with prior estimates of radiocesium body burden based on food consumption. Our results suggest that the prior estimates be revised and the rejection limit be increased by a factor of 2 for contaminated food.
Little is known about long-term cancer risks following in utero radiation exposure. We evaluated the association between in utero radiation exposure and risk of solid cancer and leukemia mortality among 8,000 offspring, born from 1948-1988, of female workers at the Mayak Nuclear Facility in Ozyorsk, Russia. Mother's cumulative gamma radiation uterine dose during pregnancy served as a surrogate for fetal dose. We used Poisson regression methods to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of solid cancer and leukemia mortality associated with in utero radiation exposure and to quantify excess relative risks (ERRs) as a function of dose. Using currently available dosimetry information, 3,226 (40%) offspring were exposed in utero (mean dose = 54.5 mGy). Based on 75 deaths from solid cancers (28 exposed) and 12 (6 exposed) deaths from leukemia, in utero exposure status was not significantly associated with solid cancer: RR = 0.94, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.49; ERR/Gy = -0.1 (95% CI
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The Chernobyl nuclear disaster of April 26, 1986, triggered a chain of devastating events that later included an unexpected increase in childhood thyroid cancer and evidence of iodine deficiency (ID) in Russia. For the Russian people the Chernobyl event had profound psychological impacts, provoking anxiety about nuclear technology and mistrust of governmental control efforts. Frequently in public health a crisis is required to create the political will to manage longstanding problems, and public health officials must rapidly mobilize to take advantage of the opportunity. In this case, ID, previously not seen as a problem in Russia, was recognized to be potentially serious, and the Russian Federation, assisted by the catalytic bi-national effort of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation (Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission (GCC)) established a model salt iodization policy, developed a planning process, and implemented a program to prevent ID through a systematic approach that included the people, government, and private groups using open communication, dissemination of the findings, and action plans. By 1999, political will had been mobilized and over 20% of the nation's salt was being iodized, up from about 1% in 1996. Universal iodization of salt was not a specific objective of the GCC; however, the increasing availability of iodized salt is leading to the elimination of ID, which is now a political goal in Russia. The full realization of this goal will require more time for education, marketing, and possibly legislative action.
Cytogenetic analysis of chromosomal aberrations (CA) in 175,229 cells from 1113 individuals, both unexposed and occupationally or environmentally exposed to heavy metals (mercury and lead), organic (styrene, formaldehyde, phenol and benzo(a)pyrene) and inorganic (sulfur and nitrogen oxides, hydrogen and ammonium fluorides) volatile substances and/or ionizing radiation was performed. In addition, 11,250 cells from 225 individuals were scored for the frequency of sister-chromatid exchanges (SCE). Increased frequencies of CA were found in all occupationally exposed groups. A principal difference between the exposure to heavy metals and organic substances was found: increase in the CA frequency was dependent on duration of exposure to mercury but not dependent on duration of exposure to styrene, formaldehyde and phenol. A higher CA incidence was found in lymphocytes of children living in the vicinity of a plant manufacturing phosphate fertilizers. This indicates that children are a sensitive study group for the assessment of environmental exposure. However, the results of SCE analysis in these children were inconclusive. Exposure to ionizing radiation was found to cause chromosome breaks and chromatid exchanges in Chernobyl clean-up workers and chromatid breaks, chromatid exchanges, dicentric chromosomes and chromosome translocations in workers from the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. The increased frequency of chromatid exchanges in individuals exposed to ionizing radiation was quite unexpected. This may be attributed to the action of some unrecognized life-style or occupational factors, or to be a result of radiation-induced genomic instability. Also an increased SCE frequency was found in lymphocytes of Chernobyl clean-up workers.
Results of the application of apparatus AKA-2 for the formation of compressive anastomoses under complicated conditions are discussed. Among them are: acute and chronic ileus, peritonitis, diabetes mellitus etc. Common negative factors for all the patients were symptoms of secondary immune deficiency and specific endogenous intoxication resulting from chronic internal irradiation by radionuclides (consequences of the disaster in Chernobyl atomic power station in 1986). In 1987-1990 operations were performed on 84 patients. Compressive colonic anastomoses were made with apparatus AKA-2. All the patients lived in Kiev and neighbouring regions from 1986. From the patients operated upon 81% had colorectal cancer localized in left portions of the colon, 19% of the patients had inflammatory diseases of the colon. The application of compressive colonic anastomoses under the complicated conditions proved to be sufficiently reliable in the nearest and late terms of observations.
The rate of cortical bone resorption was assessed from long-term in vivo measurements of (90)Sr content in the skeleton for men aged 50-80 years and for women 0-30 years after menopause. Measurements of (90)Sr were conducted with a whole body counter (WBC) for residents of the Techa Riverside communities (Southern Urals, Russia), who ingested large amounts of (90)Sr as a result of releases of liquid radioactive wastes into the river from the Mayak plutonium facility in early 1950s. The results of this study showed an increase in the rate of cortical bone resorption in both men and women, as based on the use of accidentally ingested (90)Sr as a tracer for bone metabolism. In men there was a continuous gradual increase in the rate of cortical bone resorption after 55 years from 2.8 to 4.5%/year by the age of 75 years. In women, there was a doubled increase in the rate of cortical bone resorption after menopause of up to 6%/year; then the rate remained unchanged for 10-12 years with a subsequent gradual decline down to 5-5.5%/year. Comparison of the rate of cortical bone resorption in men and women older than 55 years showed that women expressed significantly higher levels of cortical bone resorption.