Document Detail

Chronic radiation exposure in the Rivne-Polissia region of Ukraine: implications for birth defects.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20737614     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVES: The health effects of chronic low-dose radiation exposure remains a controversial question. Monitoring after the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine suggested that chronic low-dose radiation exposure was not linked to cancer mortality among the general population. However, elevated rates of birth defects in contaminated compared to uncontaminated regions suggest that exposure to radiation in utero might impact development and that chronic radiation exposure might represent an underestimated risk to human health.
METHODS: We sought to determine current radiation exposure routes in Rivne-Polissia, a region of Ukraine contaminated by the Chernobyl accident. This represents a first step toward comprehensive studies of the effects of chronic radiation exposure on human health. We designed and administered a dietary and activity survey to 344 women in Polissia. We assessed types and sources of food consumed, types of outdoor activities, and alcohol intake.
RESULTS: Alcohol intake was low and alone does not account for the observed high rates of birth defects. Wild foods, especially mushrooms and berries, and locally produced foods, especially milk related, were major radiation exposure routes. Additionally, women were exposed to radiation through inhalation while burning grasses and potato vines in fields, and wood for cooking and heating.
CONCLUSIONS: Twenty four years after the Chernobyl accident, women continue to be chronically exposed to low-dose radiation at levels exceeding current recommendations. This might contribute (especially synergistically with alcohol consumption and micronutrient deficiencies) to higher prevalence of birth defects in areas of Ukraine with high levels of radiation contamination compared to uncontaminated areas.
Kelsey Needham Dancause; Lyubov Yevtushok; Serhiy Lapchenko; Ihor Shumlyansky; Genadiy Shevchenko; Wladimir Wertelecki; Ralph M Garruto
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council     Volume:  22     ISSN:  1520-6300     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Hum. Biol.     Publication Date:    2010 Sep-Oct
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-08-25     Completed Date:  2011-01-12     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8915029     Medline TA:  Am J Hum Biol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  667-74     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
(c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Department of Anthropology, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York 13902-6000, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Abnormalities, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*,  etiology*
Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
Beverages / statistics & numerical data*
Cesium Radioisotopes / toxicity*
Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
Food / statistics & numerical data
Food Contamination, Radioactive / statistics & numerical data*
Food Habits
Fossil Fuels
Health Surveys
Inhalation Exposure
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology
Soil Pollutants, Radioactive / toxicity
Ukraine / epidemiology
Water Pollutants, Radioactive / toxicity
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Cesium Radioisotopes; 0/Fossil Fuels; 0/Soil Pollutants, Radioactive; 0/Water Pollutants, Radioactive

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