A common problem in determining the health consequences of radiation exposure is factoring out other carcinogenic influences.
The conditions in Namibia provide a test case for distinguishing the effects of long-term low-dose exposure to uranium from the other environmental factors because of good air quality and the lack of other industries with negative health effects.
Present records indicate a much higher prevalence of cancer among male workers in the open-pit uranium mine in Namibia compared with the general population.
The objective of the present study was to determine whether long-term exposure to low doses of uranium increases the risk of a biological radiation damage which would lead to malignant diseases and to derive a dose-response model for these miners.
To investigate this risk, we measured uranium excretion in urine, neutrophil counts and the serum level of FSH, LH and testosterone and analyzed chromosome aberrations in whole blood cells using fluorescence in situ hybridization.
A representative cohort of 75 non-smoking, HIV-negative miners was compared to a control group of 31 individuals with no occupational history in mining.
A sixfold increase in uranium excretion among the miners compared to the controls was recorded (P<0.001).
Furthermore, we determined a significant reduction in testosterone levels (P<0.008) and neutrophil count (P<0.004) in miners compared to the unexposed controls. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Namibie, Afrique, Exposition professionnelle, Mine, Uranium, Analyse risque, Carcinogenèse, Long terme, Facteur milieu, Radiocontamination, Modélisation, Relation dose réponse, Aberration chromosomique, In situ, Hybridation, Homme, Exploration hormonale
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Namibia, Africa, Occupational exposure, Mine, Uranium, Risk analysis, Carcinogenesis, Long term, Environmental factor, Radioactive contamination, Modeling, Dose activity relation, Chromosomal aberration, In situ, Hybridization, Human, Hormonal investigation
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0299577
Code Inist : 002A08F03. Création : 15/07/1997.