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Evolution of childhood leukemia rates in the regions of the former Soviet Union contaminated by the Chernobyl reactor fallout / Entwicklung der Leukaemieraten bei Kindern in den durch Tschernobyl radioaktiv belasteten Gebieten der ehemaligen Sowjetunion

  • Becker, Susanne I.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2003
OpenGrey Repository


The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) that took place on April, 26th, 1986 led to a considerable release of radioactive substances which spread to vast parts of Europe. The regions most highly contaminated by this fall-out are Belarus, the Western parts of Russia, and the Northern parts of the Ukraine. It is known that leukaemias, especially the acute leukaemias predominant in children, can be induced by ionising radiation. This study was designed to elucidate the question whether the continued low radiation exposure after the ChNPP accident had led to an observable increase in the affected population. To this aim, all leukaemia cases that had occurred in children in the most highly contaminated regions between 1982 and 1998 were subjected to a pooled temporal and regional analysis, where the non-contaminated parts of Belarus served as control for the regional analysis. It could be shown that the analysed material is complete (also for the pre-accidental period) and, through retrospective case ascertainment, of extraordinarily high quality. This study documents comparable leukaemia rates in children in the contaminated and the noncontaminated regions, as well as in the pre-accidental and the post accidental periods. This result is in line with the estimation of expected excess cases using current risk estimates. It does, thus, not contradict the fact that leukaemias can principally be induced by radiation. / SIGLE / Available from TIB Hannover: RO 3190(615) / FIZ - Fachinformationszzentrum Karlsruhe / TIB - Technische Informationsbibliothek / DE / Germany

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