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.
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 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 aim of the present study was the observation of the frequency of antithyroid autoantibodies in the population in low endemic goitre area after mass iodine prophylaxis after the Chernobyl catastrophe and the estimation of TSH and thyroid hormones secretion in this population. On the basis of the investigations carried out we could conclude that the frequency of antithyroid autoantibodies in the population with confirmed endemic goitre is comparable to the frequency of antithyroid autoantibodies in the healthy population. ATA occurrence in children after iodine prophylaxis could confirm the hypothesis that thyroglobulin immunity is higher after iodine intake. The lower T3 concentration observed in the group with antithyroid autoantibodies suggests that autoantibodies may be involved in the thyroid hormones synthesis or peripheral conversion of thyroid hormones.
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.
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.
The qualitative and quantitative parameters of hemopoiesis and immunocompetent cells were studied in 365 children in the early "iodine" and long-term periods after the accident. In accordance with primary response, a group consisting of 28 subjects with so-called "radiation injury" was distinguished. The early period was marked by unusual qualitative and quantitative hematological changes which, however, did not lead to the development of the hematological syndrome characteristic of acute radiation injury. Certain deviations that corresponded to somatic pathology were detectable at the late periods after the accident.
It was attempted to assess the incidence of thyroid diseases in Polish children born between 1980-1986, who at the time of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster were 0-6 years old, or whose mothers were in the third trimester of pregnancy. 3071 children have been examined, 1772 girls and 1299 boys. The following were assessed in each child: the health status, the developmental level, the thyroid ultrasound examination, and the level of TSH, FT4, antithyroid antibodies ATM and ATGL in the blood serum. Disorders in thyroid morphology (abnormal echogenicity) have been found in 462 children (15%), almost twice as much in girls than in boys. Goiter has been recognized in 4.6% of all children, an abnormal echogenity in 5.4% and focal changes in 4.8%. 3.9% of children have been found to have a high level of ATM antibodies, and 8.7%--a high level of ATGL antibodies. Among 6 children, who had thyroidectomy, 2 children have been diagnosed to have ca papillary and 4 children--adenoma.