Chromosome aberrations in Syrian hamsters following very low radiation doses in vivo

D. C. Lloyd*, Paul Finnon, Alan Edwards, Jacqueline Haines

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper addresses a report of a large increase (~ 6- to 11-fold) in chromosome aberrations in lymphocytes of persons in Salzburg attributed to their exposure to fallout from the Chernobyl cloud. Their additional exposure, ~ 0.3 mGy in 1 year, comprised about a 30% increase in their normal background radiation dose. The report has attracted considerable attention because, if correct, it seriously challenges assumptions of linearity in the low-dose response for chromosomal damage and, by implication, the linear, no-threshold hypothesis for risk of induced cancer. An experiment has been carried out with Syrian hamsters treated with caesium-137 to produce a range of doses comparable with those calculated for the persons in Salzburg. No significant elevation in lymphocyte aberration yields was found in the hamsters, thus arguing against the conclusions of the Salzburg study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 1997


  • Chromosome aberration
  • Low dose response
  • Radiocesium


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