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Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2003;105(1-4):601-8.

Uncertainties in thyroid dose reconstruction after Chernobyl.

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  • 1Radiation Protection Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Technological Sciences, Melnikova 53, 04050 Kiev, Ukraine.


The most significant impact of the Chernobyl accident of 26 April 1986 is the increased incidence of thyroid cancer among Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians who were exposed as children to radioiodines in fallout resulting from atmospheric releases. The US National Cancer Institute (NCI), in cooperation with the ministries of health of Belarus and Ukraine, is involved in epidemiological studies of thyroid diseases related to the accident. Individual thyroid doses, as well as uncertainties, have been estimated for the members of the cohort studies (approximately 13,000 Ukrainians and 12,000 Belarusians). The cohort subjects, who were selected from the large group of children whose thyroids were monitored for gamma radiation within a few weeks of the accident, provided personal information on their residence history and dietary habits during interviews. Thyroid dose estimates range from 1 mGy to more than 20 Gy. The uncertainties are found to be approximately log-normally distributed, with geometric standard deviations ranging from 1.6 to 5.0. The medians of the geometric standard deviations are 1.7 for the Ukrainian subjects and 2.1 for the Belarusian subjects. The major sources of uncertainty in the thyroid dose estimates are found to be those related to the thyroid mass of the subject and to the estimation of the thyroidal content of 131I at the time of thyroid monitoring.

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