Individual whole-body concentration of (137)Cesium is associated with decreased blood counts in children in the Chernobyl-contaminated areas, Ukraine, 2008-2010.

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The Narodichesky region, Zhitomir Oblast, Ukraine, is situated ∼80 km from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which exploded in 1986 and polluted the environment. A previous study found that children living in villages with high activity of (137)Cesium (Cs) in the soil had decreased levels of hemoglobin, erythrocytes and thrombocytes. These findings motivated the present study that used a more comprehensive exposure assessment, including individual whole-body concentrations (WBC) of (137)Cs (Bq/kg). This cross-sectional sample examined between 2008-2010, included 590 children in the age 0-18 years. Children with higher individual log(WBC) activity in the body had significantly decreased hemoglobin, erythrocyte and thrombocyte counts. The effect of log(WBC) on decreased thrombocyte count was only seen in children older than 12 years. The average village activity of (137)Cs (kBq/m(2)) in soil was associated with decreased blood counts only indirectly, through (137)Cs in the body as an intermediate variable. Children in this study were born at least 4 years after the accident and thus exposed to low doses of ionizing radiation from (137)Cs. This cross-sectional study indicates that low levels may be associated with decreased blood counts, but we cannot exclude that these results are due to residual confounding factors.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 25 September 2013; doi:10.1038/jes.2013.60.


  • Anna Lindgren
  • Eugenia Stepanova
  • Vitaliy Vdovenko
  • Daria McMahon
  • Oksana Litvinetz
  • Elena Leonovich
  • Wilfried Karmaus
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-342
JournalJournal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

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