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Evidence of children's vulnerability to radiation in the context of radiological/nuclear events and considerations for emergency response.

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  • Evidence of children's vulnerability to radiation in the context of radiological/nuclear events and considerations for emergency response.

    Evidence of children's vulnerability to radiation in the context of radiological/nuclear events and considerations for emergency response.

    Lane R, Reinhardt P, Thompson P.
    Radiation and Health Sciences Division, Directorate of Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, 280 Slater Street, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1P 5S9.
    Abstract

    International organisations, such as International Atomic Energy Agency, United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation and World Health Organisation, together with committees of experts such as Biological Effects of Ionising Radiation and Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment, have assessed the effects of radiation on large exposed populations (Chernobyl accident, and Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bombings) and on nuclear energy workers and people living near nuclear facilities.

    Childhood and in utero exposure to moderate and high levels of ionizing radiation, such as those experienced during the atomic bombings of Japan, or from radiotherapy, is an established cause of leukaemia and solid cancer.


    There is no evidence of increase in solid cancers (excluding thyroid cancer) or leukaemia in the children from Chernobyl, and no evident link between worker's exposure to radiation and leukaemia in their offspring or with the presence of leukaemia clusters around nuclear power plants. It has also not been possible to demonstrate the evidence of radiation hereditary effects in human populations. In accordance with international guidance,

    Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission recommends optimisation of protection strategies to reduce doses to children. The development of credible radiological/nuclear event scenarios would assist in identifying probable sources of radioactivity and pathways of exposure for children. Such scenarios should then be used to identify protection strategies appropriate for children.


    PMID: 20959331 [PubMed - in process]

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20959331
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