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Eur J Med Genet. 2017 Jan;60(1):2-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmg.2016.09.019. Epub 2016 Sep 30.

Chornobyl 30 years later: Radiation, pregnancies, and developmental anomalies in Rivne, Ukraine.

Author information

1
Omni-Net for Children International Charitable Fund, Rivne, Ukraine; Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA. Electronic address: genfir3@gmail.com.
2
Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
3
Omni-Net for Children International Charitable Fund, Rivne, Ukraine; Rivne Province Regional Medical Diagnostic Center, Rivne, Ukraine.
4
Omni-Net for Children International Charitable Fund, Rivne, Ukraine; Khmelnytsky City Perinatal Center, Khmelnytsky, Ukraine.
5
Omni-Net for Children International Charitable Fund, Rivne, Ukraine.
6
Volyn Regional Children's Territoral Medical Center, Lutsk, Volyn, Ukraine.

Abstract

In the 30 years since the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster, there is evidence of persistent levels of incorporated ionizing radiation in adults, children and pregnant women in the surrounding area. Measured levels of Cesium-137 vary by region, and may be influenced by dietary and water sources as well as proximity to nuclear power plants. Since 2000, comprehensive, population-based birth defects monitoring has been performed in selected regions of Ukraine to evaluate trends and to generate hypotheses regarding potential causes of unexplained variations in defect rates. Significantly higher rates of microcephaly, neural tube defects, and microphthalmia have been identified in selected regions of Ukraine collectively known as Polissia compared to adjacent regions collectively termed non-Polissia, and these significantly higher rates were evident particularly in the years 2000-2009. The Polissia regions have also demonstrated higher mean whole body counts of Cesium-137 compared to values in individuals residing in other non-Polissia regions. The potential causal relationship between persistent ionizing radiation pollution and selected congenital anomaly rates supports the need for a more thorough, targeted investigation of the sources of persistent ionizing radiation and the biological plausibility of a potential teratogenic effect.

KEYWORDS:

Chornobyl; Congenital malformations; Polissia; Pregnancy; Radiation; Ukraine

PMID:
27697599
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejmg.2016.09.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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