Individuals who traveled to contaminated areas after the Fukushima nuclear accident have concerns about the health effects. However, medical follow-up for any adverse health effects will be difficult without personal dose measurements. Cytogenetic biodosimetry is a reasonable method of assessing absorbed doses retrospectively. We analyzed dicentric chromosomes for 265 Fukushima travelers, mostly journalists and rescue workers, who had been dispatched to northeastern Japan during the nuclear emergency. As a control group, 37 healthy volunteers who had not visited Japan since the accident were enrolled. Yields of dicentrics and absorbed doses calculated from a dose-response calibration curve for travelers and the control group were compared. The cut-off level for dicentric chromosomes in the controls was 3.5 per 1000 cells. Of the 265 travelers, 31 had elevated numbers of dicentrics (High-Dics group) while 234 were below the cut-off (Normal-Dics group). All but one of the individuals in the High-Dics group also reported a significantly higher number of medical exposures to radiation within the past three years compared with the Normal-Dics or control groups. The 225 travelers with no history of medical exposure showed no difference of dicentrics yield compared to the control group. Our data indicate that Fukushima travel alone did not enhance the yield of dicentrics. © 2012 The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Japan Radiation Research Society and Japanese Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.
- Fukushima travel
- medical exposure