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Med Confl Surviv. 2009 Jul-Sep;25(3):206-20. doi: 10.1080/13623690902943396.

Childhood cancers near German nuclear power stations: hypothesis to explain the cancer increases.

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In early 2008, the very large Kinderkrebs in der Umgebung von Kernkraftwerken [Childhood Cancer near Nuclear Power Plants] (KiKK) study in Germany reported increases in leukaemias and solid cancers among children living near all German nuclear power plants (NPPs). This study, previously described in Medicine, Conflict and Survival, has triggered debates in many countries as to the cause or causes of these increased cancers. An accompanying article reports on the recent developments on the KiKK study including the responses by German radiation agencies, and the results of recent epidemiological studies near United Kingdom and French nuclear installations. This article outlines a possible explanation for the increased cancers. In essence, doses from environmental NPP emissions to embryos/foetuses in pregnant women near NPPs may be larger than suspected, and haematopoietic tissues may be considerably more radiosensitive in embryos/foetuses than in newborn babies. The article concludes with recommendations for further research.

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