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Int J Radiat Biol. 2001 Jan;77(1):111-6.

A cluster of childhood leukaemias near two neighbouring nuclear installations in Northern Germany: prevalence of chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes.

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1
Institut für Epidemiologie, GSF-Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, Oberschleissheim. brueske.hohlfeld@gsf.de

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Between 1990 and 1991 a leukaemia cluster was observed in children living close to the combined site of a nuclear power plant and a nuclear research facility in Elbmarsch, a region in Lower Saxony (Germany). We aim to investigate the prevalence of presumably radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations in peripheral blood lymphocytes of children in Elbmarsch and children of a control region in order to find out whether there was an uncontrolled release of radioactive material which resulted in a substantial exposure.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The frequency of dicentric and ring chromosomes in lymphocytes of the peripheral blood in 42 children in Elbmarsch and 30 children in Plön was investigated. Children in both groups had been permanent residents of the study area.

RESULTS:

The mean frequency of dicentric and ring chromosomes in Elbmarsch was 14/32580 cells (=0.430 x 10(-3); 95% CI 0.24-0.70 x 10(-3) cells), and in Plön it was 17/24065 cells (=0.706 x 10(-3); 95% CI 0.42-1.10 x 10(-3) cells).

CONCLUSIONS:

No difference in the frequency of dicentric and ring chromosomes was observed between children in Elbmarsch living close to a combined site of a nuclear power plant and a nuclear research facility and children living in the control area Plön. The power of the study to detect a threefold or higher increase in the aberration frequency was at least 0.86.

PMID:
11213343
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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