Health status and internal radiocontamination assessment in children exposed to the fallout of the Chernobyl accident

Raffaele DeVita, Antonella Olivieri, Angela Spinelli, Maria G. Grollino, Laura Padovani, Giuseppe Tarroni, Raffaele Cozza, Mariella Sorcini, Pio Pennelli, Giuseppe Casparrini, Giovanni Serlupi Crescenzi, Francesco Mauro, Salvatore Carta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Chernobyl fallout caused release of radioisotope contaminants in a very large area that includes Belarus, the Ukraine, and the Russian Federation. In this study, the authors monitored the health status and level of internal contamination in 422 children who resided in the aforementioned areas and who were ≤ 10 y of age at the time of the accident. The children came to Italy for a 1-mo period between 1991 and 1992. During this time, the children underwent pediatric checkups and biochemical, immunological, and thyroid analyses. All children underwent whole-body counter measurements, and urine radiotoxicological analysis was performed for 224 of them. The 24 children evacuated from Pripiat, a village very close to the Chernobyl reactor site, were selected for cytogenetic analysis. All of these children continue to have a detectable internal contamination of caesium radioisotopes. This condition is likely the result of ground and foodstuff contamination in the various areas. The children did not evidence overt pathologies related to ionizing radiation. However, minor alterations in immunological and thyroid parameters were observed in the group of the evacuated children. Traditional cytogenetic dosimetry was not possible, but the occurrence of acentric fragments was observed-indicating a persistent effect of continuous exposure to low doses of radiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Environmental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Health status and internal radiocontamination assessment in children exposed to the fallout of the Chernobyl accident'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this