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.
In Norway, external doses of radiation resulting from fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear accident were estimated from detailed measurements, including soil deposition patterns. Internal doses were estimated from measurements of radioactive cesium in meat and milk supplies. The doses were calculated as average monthly doses for each of 454 municipalities during 36 consecutive months after the accident in spring 1986. Prospectively collected data on all newborns listed in the Medical Birth Registry of Norway who were conceived in the period May 1983-April 1989 were used to assess possible dose-response relations between estimated external and food-based exposures and congenital malformations and some other conditions. A positive association was observed between total radiation dose (external plus food-based) and hydrocephaly, while a negative association was observed for Down's syndrome. However, an important conclusion of the study was that no associations were found for conditions previously reported to be associated with radiation, i.e., small head circumference, congenital cataracts, anencephaly, spina bifida, and low birth weight. Potential sources of bias, including exposure misclassification and incomplete ascertainment of cases, are discussed.
Because of their well-documented exposures to repeated low doses of ionizing radiation, nuclear reactor workers offer an opportunity to assess cancer risk from low-dose radiation. A cohort of all 15,619 Finnish nuclear reactor workers was established through dose-monitoring records. A questionnaire survey revealed no substantial differences in consumption of tobacco or alcohol between different exposure groups nor between nuclear power company employees and contract workers. In the follow-up for cancer incidence, no clear excess in cancer incidence was observed overall, nor was any observed in any of the specific cancer types studied. There was little evidence for an association between cancer incidence and cumulative radiation dose, but the statistical power was limited. More precise estimates will be available from an international collaborative study of nuclear industry workers, including our cohort.
The incidence of and mortality from cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) have been studied in a cohort of 12,210 workers first employed at one of the main plants of the Mayak nuclear facility during 1948-1958 and followed up to 31 December 2000. Information on external ?-ray doses is available for virtually all of these workers (99.9%); the mean total ?-ray dose (± SD) was 0.91 ± 0.95 Gy (99th percentile 3.9 Gy) for men and 0.65 ± 0.75 Gy (99th percentile 2.99 Gy) for women. In contrast, plutonium body burden was measured only for 30.0% of workers; among those monitored, the mean cumulative liver dose from plutonium a-particle exposure (± SD) was 0.40 ± 1.15 Gy (99th percentile 5.88 Gy) for men and 0.81 ± 4.60 Gy (99th percentile 15.95 Gy) for women. A total of 4418 cases of CVD, including 665 cases of stroke, and 753 deaths from CVD, including 404 deaths from stroke, were identified in the study cohort. Having adjusted for non-radiation factors, there were statistically significant increasing trends in CVD incidence but not mortality with both total external ?-ray dose and internal liver dose. Much of the evidence for increased incidence in relation to external dose arose for workers with cumulative doses above 1 Gy. Although the dose response is consistent with linearity, the statistical power to detect non-linearity at external doses below 1 Gy was low. CVD incidence was statistically significantly higher among workers with a plutonium liver dose above 0.1 Gy. There was a statistically significant increasing trend in incidence with increasing internal dose, even after adjusting for external dose, although the trend estimates differed between workers at different plants. The risk estimates for external radiation are generally compatible with those from other large occupational studies, although the incidence data point to higher risk estimates compared to those from the Japanese A-bomb survivors.
Studies of the association between the Chernobyl accident in April 1986 and reproductive outcome, with particular reference to congenital anomalies, are reviewed. All of the studies so far have been based on the detection of a change in frequency over time. An increased frequency of trisomy 21 in the former West Berlin in January 1987, and increases in the frequency of neural tube defects in several small hospital-based series in Turkey, are not confirmed in larger and more representative series in Europe. No clear changes in the prevalence at birth of anomalies which might be associated with the accident are apparent in Byelorussia or the Ukraine, the republics with the highest exposure to fallout. However, these data are difficult to interpret as the methods of acquisition have not been described and they have not yet been reported in full. Thus, there is no consistent evidence of a detrimental physical effect of the Chernobyl accident on congenital anomalies. This is also the case for other measured outcomes of pregnancy. There is evidence of indirect effects--an increase in induced abortions substantial enough to show as a reduction in total births, due to anxieties created. Data are not available on the reproductive outcomes of women pregnant at the time of the accident who were evacuated from the 30 km zone of immediate contamination, of workers in the plant at the time of the accident or of decontamination workers. Moreover, no data are available from several of the other countries closest to the Chernobyl area.
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.