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.
The chromosome dicentric aberrations in the lymphocytes and levels of antibodies to human thyroid microsomal antigen in the serum of the children lived in the area of Bryansk Province suffered from the Chernobyl accident was examined. Correlation between those tests was not estimated: the autoantibodies were revealed in group with dicentrics and without those in 4.0% and 4.5% of cases correspondingly. Antimicrosomal antibodies were revealed more frequently (5.0%) and in higher titers in the children from the more polluted Bryansk Province than in those from Kaluga Province (3.1%). These data can testify about the role of inside radiation of thyroid gland in appearance of autoimmune thyroiditis signs.
The children living in 4 regions of Russia contaminated as a result of the Chernobyl catastrophe were investigated. The control group consisted of the children of 2 regions which did not undergo this influence. The investigations were made 1-3 years after the catastrophe took place. An increase of etiologically non-clear asthenic-vegetative disorders was determined in the regions of radiation contamination. They were observed mainly among the children who had light residual organic cerebral deficiency. The authors cannot exclude the impact of the psychogenic factors.
For evaluation of the possibility of the appearance of autoimmune thyroiditis in children and juveniles lived in the areas of Kaluga Province [correction of region] suffered from the Chernobyl accident the content of antibodies to human thyroid microsomal antigen was investigated. Percentage of positive sera varied from 4.8% to 1.2% during 6 years. There is significant difference in the frequency of the antibody appearance between persons suffered from radioactive iodine and unsuffered ones. Correlation between levels of antimicrosomal antibodies and radiation dose obtained from incorporated radioactive iodine was not estimated.
The authors provide the results of long-term investigations of the consequences of environmental pollution from the military nuclear plant in the Southern Urals. Altogether 28,100 individuals who received substantial doses of external and internal radiation in the Techa riverside in the early fifties were entered into the study. The increase in the leukemia incidence as compared with unexposed controls has been confirmed on a statistical basis. The majority of excess cases of leukemia were recorded within the 5th to the 20th year after irradiation and may be attributed to the acute and chronic granulocytic types. The level of leukemia risk on the basis of the Techa river data is evaluated as 0.48-1.10 per 10(4) persons/years/Gy.
Three nuclear accidents besides Chernobyl have occurred in the former Soviet Union. The accidents occurred around Kyshtym and Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains between 1949 and 1967 and contaminated over one-half million people. The health ministries are now interested in the data previously collected on these irradiated populations in order to examine the health (e.g., psychological, hereditary, genome damage, etc.) implications of long-term radiation exposure.
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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To study early (deterministic) and long-term effects of radiation exposure, the "Clinic" medical-dosimetric database for the Mayak Production Association worker cohort has been established at the Southern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI). This paper describes the principles of organization, structure and prospects of future utilization of this database.