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Detrimental Genetic Effects of Ionizing Radiation across Europe after the Chernobyl Accident.

Vortrag: 25 Jahre Tschernobyl, Russische Röntgengesellschaft, 15 February 2011, Moskau, Russland. (2011)
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Man made ionizing radiation poses an ongoing increasing environmental and human risk underestimated and not yet fully understood. Detrimental genetic effects in exposed human populations have been considered and investigated ever since the discovery of the mutagenic properties of X-rays. The most important public health criteria available for studying those effects in man are cancer, birth defects, stillbirths, and the human birth sex odds. The disaster at the Nuclear Power Plant in Chernobyl resulted in the exposure of a large number of people to ionizing radiation that varied substantially, creating a new situation for epidemiology. Whereas pertinent data on environmental and health topics are partly available, there is often no (optimum) utilization of the existing databases. Thus, greater input from mathematicians and statisticians is urgently needed to scrutinize those data, and the full spectrum of different data analysis approaches should be applied appropriately at all stages of environmental health research. We carried out ecological time trend analyses and spatial-temporal analyses of genetic health indicators based on aggregated data for continents, countries, districts, and municipalities. We found long-term dose dependent impacts of radioactive fallout after Chernobyl on stillbirths, birth defects, and the human sex odds at birth. Significant ecological relative risks for stillbirths and birth defects are in the range of 1.005 to 1.020 per kBq/m2 137Cs, which translates to a preliminary relative risk coefficient in the order of magnitude of 1.50 per mSv/a. German district-by-district data imply a significant sex odds ratio of 1.015 per mSv/a. Moreover, time and distance trend analyses reveal disturbances of the sex odds after the atmospheric atomic bomb testing overall, and near normally operating nuclear facilities in Germany and Switzerland, respectively. In conclusion, the effects of ionizing radiation at doses below 10 mSv are little understood. Our observations on radiation-induced genetic effects suggest that there is harm at doses even below one mSv or that the internationally established radiation risk concept based on absorbed average energy by biologic matter is invalid.
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Publikationstyp Sonstiges: Vortrag
Konferenztitel 25 Jahre Tschernobyl, Russische Röntgengesellschaft
Konferzenzdatum 15 February 2011
Konferenzort Moskau, Russland