Evidence of disease and birth defects in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other territories affected by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986
page 16

DYNAMICS OF HEALTH STATUS OF RESIDENTS IN THE LUGYNY DISTRICT AFTER THE ACCIDENT AT THE CHNPS. Godlevsky I, Hosp. of Lugyny Territorial Medical Assn; Nasvit O, Inst. Hydrobiol. NAS Ukraine.
Concentrates on depression of the immune system, suggesting that it is the mediating cause of dramatically increased morbidity: "According to data of the Central District Hospital of the Lugyny district (Zhytomyr, Ukraine) depression of the reactivity of the immune system is found in practically all patients .... clearly manifested through the increase in the number and duration of infectious diseases, growth of destructive forms of tuberculosis, relapse of diseases, increase in the number of frequently ill people, reduction of remaining life of oncology patients after diagnosis, a more severe course of diseases, increase in virulence of infecting agents (LLRC notes that this was foretold by Andrei Sakharov), and growth in the number of allergic diseases". There is detailed discussion of several classes of disease. Most striking evidence is analysis of the reduction of life remain to patients after cancer diagnosis. In 1984-5 a patient diagnosed with stomach or lung cancer could expect on average to live a further 60 months (stomach cancer) or 40 months (lung). In 1992 this had dropped by around 75-80%, to 15 months for stomach cancer, and 8 months for lung, but by 1996 a patient with either disease could expect to live only 2 months. [LLRC observes that this runs counter to the view that increased incidence of cancer has been an artefact caused by increased vigilance and hence better ascertainment since the Chernobyl accident - better ascertainment would surely involve earlier diagnosis and a better prognosis.]
Research established an increase in morbidity in new-borns, specifically prenatal conditions such as inherent pneumonia. Inhabitants of the district display premature ageing and significant reduction in life expectancy.

LENS OPACITIES IN CHILDREN OF BELARUS AFFECTED BY THE CHERNOBYL ACCIDENT, Arinchin A N, Ospennikova L A, Res. Clin. Inst. Radn. Med. and Endocrinology , Ministry of Health Republic of Belarus, Minsk.
12.5% greater frequency of lensopathy in children relative to controls, 25.4% of study group had large opacities cf. 1.1% controls, multiple opacities (>6) in 24.3% of study group cf. 8.7% controls, positive relationship between level of Cs137 in body tissue and intensity of lens opacity.

Cytogenetic methods investigating children born before Chernobyl revealed a significant increase in unstable chromosomal aberrations relative to controls. The level of these aberrations is increasing with time. The appearance of multiaberrant cells in exposed children (compared with none in controls) several years after the accident "seems to be associated with ... dose structure due to increasing contribution from internal radioactivity to the total dose, probably testifying to the effect of dense ionisations from plutonium. The author regrets that such dose commitments are still not taken into account in recent assessments of doses. Commenting on the findings of "rogue" cells she distances herself from refusal by other workers to ascribe the emergence of such cells to radiation exposure.

General conclusion is the seriousness of genetic disturbance in the children. Results of seven year monitoring with in vivo micronucleus analysis of lymphocytes shows highest levels of mutation in children born before Chernobyl. Consequently the principle of radiation protection according to the level of annual radiation dose is not acceptable to protect children .. because it does not take into account the total dose since 1986...
Analysis of results shows that under the chronic influence of ionising radiation complex interactions mutation and selective pressures on cells with genetic injuries have been taking place in lymphocyte populations in the children. Substantial differences were found between subjects and controls both in vivo and ex vivo. The micronuclei levels in lymphocyte populations in vivo did not decrease between 1988-1994 but increased approximately one order. Mitotic division ex vivo in cultures indicated substantial changes in different trends.

RESULTS OF LONG-TERM GENETIC MONITORING OF ANIMAL POPULATIONS CHRONICALLY IRRADIATED IN THE RADIO CONTAMINATED AREAS. Goncharova R, Riabokon N., Inst. Gen. and Cytol. Acad. Sci. Belarus Minsk. On the basis of their findings the authors state that since radiation load had decreased by 1991
it can be stated that hereditary apparatus of somatic and germ cells of succeeding animal populations have higher sensitivity to radiation than earlier ones. In other words, in wild populations of bank voles Clethrionomys glareolus, Schreber) there was no genetic adaptation to the mutagenic effect of low level irradiation over the whole investigation period (i.e. from 1986). All cytogenetic effects obtained in wild and laboratory animals at chronic low dose irradiation exceeded expectations based on extrapolation from a range of higher doses at either single exposures or long term irradiation. Abnormal patterns of dose response were revealed for different types of mutation at low chronic doses. Authors briefly review other studies and conclude that it is necessary to emphasis that areas with a wide range of radio contamination density represent high genetic risks for animals and human populations.

CYTOGENETIC EFFECTS OF THE ACTION OF IONISING RADIATION ON HUMAN populations Shevchenko V A, N I Vavilov Inst. General Genetics, RAS Moscow, Snigiryova G P, Moscow Res. Inst. Diag. and Surgery. Min. of Health and Medical Industry of Russian Federation.
Mainly concerned with dose reconstruction. Studies of a number of exposure incidents reveal unstable and stable chromosome aberrations relative to controls. At Chernobyl levels of unstable aberrations declined with time but 8 years after the accident still exceed control values.

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