The aim of the SOUL project is to quantify risks of late health effects associated with low-dose rate exposure to plutonium, strontium and external gamma radiation. This will be done by improving, updating and analysing dosimetric and health data for the Mayak worker cohort (MWC), the extended Techa River cohort (ETRC) and the Techa River offspring cohort (TROC). Key dosimetric elements include electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) measurements of tooth enamel, photon spectra measurements, luminescence measurements of absorbed doses in bricks, measurements of strontium distributions in teeth, fluorescence in-situ hybridisation (FISH) measurements of chromosome aberrations, and modelling of internal doses of foetuses and infants. The dosimetric work aims to produce updated dose data bases Mayak Doses 2008 and Techa Doses 2008. In order to increase statistical precision and validity, the number of individuals in the cohorts will be extended, and information on vital status and cause of death will be updated. In the TROC, cancer and cardiovascular disorders will be studied as late health effects following exposure early in life. Non-cancer effects will be studied in the ETRC. The pathogenesis of lung cancer in the MWC will be studied in order to improve the current knowledge. The MWC will be used to study cancer incidence, and mortality and morbidity of circulatory diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke. In the studies, initial feasibility analyses will be followed - if affirmative - by analyses that are based on longer follow-up and dosimetric data bases improved within the framework of SOUL. Although SOUL is expected to give significant input to the understanding of radiation risks, Southern Urals radiation risk research has to be tinued beyond the project mainly because a longer follow-up is needed to fully quantify lifetime risks. Part of the work in SOUL is dedicated to supporting such future analyses.
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Funding SchemeIP - Integrated Project