A cohort of 8,607 Ukrainian Chernobyl clean-up workers during 1986-1987 was formed to study cataract formation after ionizing radiation exposure. Study eligibility required the availability of sufficient exposure information to permit the reconstruction of doses to the lens of the eye. Eligible groups included civilian workers, such as those who built the "sarcophagus" over the reactor, Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Workers, and military reservists who were conscripted for clean-up work. Many of the official doses for workers were estimates, because only a minority wore radiation badges. For 106 military workers, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) measurements of extracted teeth were compared with the recorded doses as the basis to adjust the recorded γ-ray doses and provide estimates of uncertainties. Beta-particle doses to the lens were estimated with an algorithm devised to take into account the nature and location of Chernobyl work, time since the accident, and protective measures taken. A Monte Carlo routine generated 500 random estimates for each individual from the uncertainty distributions of the γ-ray dose and of the ratio of β-particle to γ-ray doses. The geometric mean of the 500 combined β-particle and γ-ray dose estimates for each individual was used in the data analyses. The median estimated lens dose for the cohort was 123 mGy, while 4.4% received >500 mGy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging