OBJECTIVE--To evaluate the outcome of pregnancy in Finnish women after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on 26 April 1986. DESIGN--Geographic and temporal cohort study. SETTING--Finland divided into three zones according to amount of radioactive fallout. SUBJECTS--All children who were exposed to radiation during their fetal development. Children born before any effects of the accident could be postulated--that is, between 1 January 1984 and 30 June 1986--served as controls. INTERVENTIONS--Children were divided into three temporal groups: controls, children who were expected to be born in August to December 1986, and children who were expected to be born in February to December 1987. They were also divided, separately, into three groups according to the three geographic zones. END POINT--Incidence of congenital malformations, preterm births, and perinatal deaths. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--There were no significant differences in the incidence of malformations or perinatal deaths among the three temporal and three geographic groups. A significant increase in preterm births occurred among children who were exposed to radiation during the first trimester whose mothers lived in zones 2 and 3, where the external dose rate and estimated surface activity of caesium-137 were highest. CONCLUSIONS--The results suggest that the amount of radioactive fallout that Finnish people were exposed to after the accident at Chernobyl was not high enough to cause fetal damage in children born at term. The higher incidence of premature births among malformed children in the most heavily polluted areas, however, remains unexplained.
Comment In: BMJ. 1989 May 20;298(6684):13842502266
[A computing laboratory-clinical system in the screening of malignant tumors: study of the state of the antioxidant system and level of cellular proliferation markers among the population from the Chernobyl AES accident area]
The author bases and describes the computing laboratory and clinical system for screening groups at a higher risk for malignant neoplasms whose incidence is likely to increase due to irradiation. Two years after the disaster the detected group at a higher risk was 2-2.4 times larger than the control group among persons who received the total irradiation dose 5 rem and over as well as among persons who are to be removed from the area polluted with radionuclides whatever the dose. As the time elapsed since the disaster increases, the number of subjects with a higher level of biomarkers also grows. It is advisable that this system be introduced in all fields of the practical health care in the polluted and control areas to carry out goal-oriented treatment and diagnostic measures in the selected population groups.
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 callus culture of Nicotiana tabacum L. was obtained from the plants chronically irradiated in 10 km zone of Chernobyl Atomic Power Station. The tobacco plants in 10 km zone of Chernobyl during the vegetation period exposed to irradiation with the average dose rate of 0.36 mA/kg (5 mP/h). The total absorbed dose was approximately 0,31 Gy. The morphogenetic analysis of this culture shows a considerable decrease of regeneration index and callus weight.
A selected group of about 20 male researchers at the NIRS that reside in Chiba, Japan, was measured for total body content of radiocesium and 40K every 3 mo from February 1986 to May 1991. A whole-body counter at the NIRS was used to measure their radioactivity in a scanning mode of 5 cm min-1 in a shielded iron room with walls 20 cm in thickness. A maximum radiocesium level of 59 Bq was observed in May 1987. The annual change in the body burden decreased with an apparent half-time of 1.8 y after May 1987. The period of five years was sufficient to eliminate the effects of the accident in this group. Even in the most contaminated period, the dose from radiocesium was below 2 microSv y-1. The cumulative dose for 5 y was estimated to be 5.6 microSv, which is nearly equal to the total dose to the Japanese people caused by the artificial radionuclide fallout for the first year following the accident. It is much smaller than the committed dose of 82 microSv for internally deposited 137Cs resulting from nuclear explosions in 1961 and 1962 and the annual dose of 170 microSv from internal 40K. No detectable health risk was expected for the present group.
Bioassay for individual radionuclides is an essential and first step in estimation of radiation risk to nuclear facilities workers and people who are exposed to the contaminated environment in the event of a nuclear accident or radiological attack. Urine is a frequently used biological sample for this purpose. Tritium and (14)C are important radionuclides for workers in nuclear reactors and radiopharmaceutical laboratories. A method for the determination of tritium and (14)C in organic and inorganic forms in urine has been developed. It involves activated charcoal absorption of organic matter followed by combustion to separate tritiated water from organically-bound tritium. Inorganic (14)C from organically-bound (14)C, the separated tritium and (14)C were measured using liquid scintillation counting. Iodine-129, a long-lived beta emitter, is normally released to the atmosphere during the operation of nuclear facilities, especially in reprocessing plants. The high concentration of iodine in the thyroid makes this radionuclide an important source of exposure to exposed populations. A simple method has been developed in this work for the determination of (129)I in urine by anion exchange preconcentration, extraction purification and liquid scintillation counting. Using accelerator mass spectrometry, urine samples can be analyzed for low level (129)I in both organic and inorganic forms after active charcoal adsorption and solvent extraction separation. Condensed water collected daily from the reactor hall in a Danish research reactor and monthly urine samples from the staff working in the reactor building were collected from 2003-2010 and analyzed using this method, and the results are presented and discussed.
About a two years later after the reactor accident in Chernobyl we carried out a three-year cytogenetical study of children, dwelling in two regions of Ukraine where the radiation fallout occurred. Chromosome analyses of these individuals have shown a significant increase of the frequency of aberrant cells and chromosomal type aberrations in comparison to the control. We have discovered the increase of the level of chromosomal type aberrations, extension in spectrum of complicate aberrations of chromosome (dicentrics, rings and exchange aberrations) with the years and the increase with the years a share of children with various chromosomal abnormalities. Analyses of sister chromatid exchanges (SCE) and a replication index (RI) show a significant increase of RI meaning with the years in comparison to the control. The SCE frequency didn't altered as compared to the control during different years of investigation.
The paper deals with one of the most urgent aspects of irradiation hygiene, namely assessment of risk for irradiation-induced cancers of the thyroid. A model is described to predict high mortality rates of thyroidal cancer in the population due to the catastrophe at the Chernobyl Atomic Power Station. With the model, life-time risk rates involving sex and age at the moment of irradiation, as well as an irradiation mode.