Chromosome Damage in Relation to Recent Radiation Exposure and Radiation Quality in Nuclear Power Plant Workers

Yang Jee Kim, Joong Won Lee, Yoon Hee Cho, Young Joo Choi, Younghyun Lee, Hai Won Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ionizing radiation is a well-known carcinogen that causes genomic instability. However, the biological and carcinogenetic effects of occupational radiation exposure at low doses have not been extensively studied. The aim of this study was to assess chromosomal instability in power plant workers exposed to occupational radiation at low doses in South Korea. Chromosomal aberrations in the lymphocytes of 201 nuclear power plant workers and 59 sex-matched controls were measured. Chromosomal aberrations in the lymphocytes of 201 nuclear power plant workers (mean age: 41.4 ± 10.0 years) and 59 sex-matched controls (mean age: 47.2 ± 6.0 years) were measured. A total of 500 metaphases for each subject were scored randomly. The means of recent 1.5-year, recent 5.5-year, and cumulative exposed radiation doses among workers were 8.22 ± 7.0 mSv, 30.7 ± 22.0 mSv, and 158.8 ± 86.1 mSv, respectively. The frequency of chromosome-type and chromatid-type aberrations was significantly higher in workers than that in the control group (p < 0.001), and the frequency of chromosome-type aberrations among workers increased in a radiation dose-dependent manner (τ = 0.16, p = 0.005). Poisson regression analyses revealed that chromosome-type aberrations were significantly associated with recent 1.5-year dose after adjusting for confounding variables such as age, smoking, and alcohol intake, even when only the exposed worker was considered. Frequency of multi-aberrant cells (two or more chromosome aberrations within a cell) increased according to cumulative neutron exposure. Our study demonstrates that chromosome damage can be induced in nuclear power plant workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation at low doses below the occupational permissible dose limit. Furthermore, an increase in multi-aberrant cells may provide evidence for chronic neutron exposure in nuclear power plant workers. This study was performed to obtain baseline data for a surveillance program of workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation long-term.

Original languageEnglish
Article number94
JournalToxics
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Chromosome aberration
  • Chronic neutron exposure
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Multi-aberrant cells
  • Nuclear power plant

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Chromosome Damage in Relation to Recent Radiation Exposure and Radiation Quality in Nuclear Power Plant Workers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this