The thyroid doses received by the juvenile population of Belarus following the Chernobyl accident ranged up to about 10 Gy. The thyroid cancer risk estimate recommended in NCRP Report No. 80 was used to predict the number of thyroid cancer cases among children during 1990-1992 in selected Belarussian regions and cities. The results obtained using this risk estimate show an excess of thyroid cancer cases being registered vs. the predicted cases. Thyroid cancer incidence rate among boys under investigation is higher than among girls in the postaccident period. The excess of the observed over the expected incidence in the general juvenile population is caused by the high thyroid cancer incidence rate among boys. These results, which can be considered part of the first stage of a thorough thyroid cancer risk estimation after the Chernobyl accident, demonstrate the critical need to complete these studies in depth.
Sixteen people (15 from Byelorussia, one from Kiev) possibly exposed to radioactivity released by the Chernobyl accident were investigated for chromosome aberrations induced in lymphocytes. Statistically significant increases of the yield of dicentric chromosomes were observed in five people.
In a previous paper we reported that a group of children exposed to ionizing radiation following the Chernobyl accident exhibited an appreciable number of chromosome breaks and rearrangements reflecting the persistence of a radiation-induced damage. The results suggested that the children were still exposed to radioactive contamination through consumer foodstuff and life styles. In the present paper, 31 exposed children have been considered together with a control group of 11 children with the aim to confirm previous results. All children underwent whole-body counter (WBC) measures and conventional cytogenetic analysis. The frequency of chromosome aberrations detected by conventional cytogenetics in the group of children chronically exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation resulted in significant differences with respect to the control group. The present work suggests that, for these groups of children, even if the frequency of aberrations is very low and the observation of statistically significant differences is consequently a problem, a persistently abnormal cytogenetic picture is still present several years after the accident.
The present study concerns the monitoring of children from the Byelorussian, Ukrainian and Russian republics exposed to the fall-out of the Chernobyl accident. Cytogenetic analyses have been performed on 41 children coming from different areas and exhibiting varying amounts of 137Cs internal contamination, as evaluated by whole-body counter (WBC) analysis. On a total of 28,670 metaphases scored, radiation-induced chromosome damage is still present, although at a very low frequency. Due to the very low fraction of dicentrics, because of the time elapsed from the accident and the relatively low doses of exposure, radiobiological dosimetry is not possible for these children. However, considering that the WBC data indicate that the children are still exposed to 137Cs contamination, the observed occurrence of stable chromosome rearrangements and breaks may represent the persisting effect of continuous low doses of radiation. The present study also indicates that the parallel use of internal contamination dosimetry and cytogenetics could be usefully employed to monitor individual exposure to radiation and to define further management measures.
The authors provide the results of measuring the content of radionuclides in foods in the first 4 years after the Chernobyl accident and the data on the diet of the population. Pollution of foods was demonstrated to decrease with time. The supply of 137Cs to the body fell 3-fold from 1986 to 1989. The rejection of foods in the most polluted Vetkovsk and Narovlyansk regions made it possible to reduce 3-6-fold the mean daily supply of 137Cs with the diet and up to 2-fold the supply of 90Sr.
The biological effect of 131I was studied in sheep kept on a diet deficient in stable iodine. An increased capture and accretion of iodine in the thyroid gland and in the whole body were observed. The disturbances in the structure and function of the thyroid gland, liver and haemopoietic organs were more pronounced in the animals kept on the iodine deficient diet.
Radioiodine released to the atmosphere from the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the spring of 1986 resulted in large-scale thyroid-gland exposure of populations in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. Because of the short half life of 131I (8.04 d), adequate data on the intensities and patterns of iodine deposition were not collected, especially in the regions where the incidence of childhood-thyroid cancer is now increasing. Results are presented from a feasibility study that show that accelerator-mass-spectrometry measurements of 129I (half life 16 x 106 y) in soil can be used to reconstruct 131I-deposition density and thus help in the thyroid-dosimetry effort that is now urgently needed to support epidemiologic studies of childhood-thyroid cancer in the affected regions.