The purpose of this paper is to investigate how well various assays on blood can detect radiation dose to people exposed many years previously and, if possible, to estimate that dose. The assays were applied to persons resident close to Chernobyl in 1986. Blood samples were taken 13-15 years after the reactor accident. The assays used were the frequencies of lymphocyte chromosomal translocations, micronuclei, HPRT mutations and apoptotic cells. Translocation yields in the exposed groups were marginally higher than in their respective controls, leading to dose estimates of about 0.2 Gy but with large uncertainties. All other assays showed inconsistency from person to person or other variations apparently not related dose. The measurement of translocations, it is concluded, is the biological method of choice for retrospective dosimetry.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work described here was funded by an Inco-Copernicus project No IC15-CT98-0220 from the Commission of European Communities. We sadly report the death of one of the authors, Dr. L. S. Mikhalevich, between the conclusion of the project and the submission of this paper.
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