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The report considers whether studies of health effects related to the radioactive contamination of western Europe caused by the releases from the Chernobyl reactor accident would be useful. The report evaluates the exposure patterns and the dose levels within the European Community, the different health effects that might be induced by such doses, and the likelihood that epidemiological studies could produce scientifically useful information. The report concludes that at the exposure levels experienced in the European Community, the study of post Chernobyl cancer rates in adults and the study of heritable genetic effects in the offspring of those exposed would be unproductive. It also concludes that even a study of childhood cancer following in utero exposure would be unlikely to demonstrate any attributable increase in risk. However, the report recommends that a small epidemiological survey of childhood cancer be conducted within areas where selected cancer registration was in existence at the time of the Chernobyl accident to check the ability to predict risks from doses of the order received, to contribute to the understanding of the occurrence of childhood leukemia and to allay public anxiety.

Additional information

Authors: BRECKOW J, University of Würzburg (DE);KELLERER A M, University of Würzburg (DE);KNOX E G, University of Birmingham (GB);RICHARDSON S, INSERM, Villejuif (FR);DOLL R, Oxford University (GB);BOICE J D, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD (US);ESTEVE J, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon (FR);SILINI G, UNSCEAR, Bergamo (IT);THIESSEN J W, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima-Nagasaki (JP)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 12551 EN (1990) 93 pp., FS, ECU 8.75
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