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Epidemiological Cohorts


Presented here is a review of the current studies and cohorts of persons exposed to low dose radiation in Europe. The survey was performed via three questionnaires (General information and study design, biological samples, dosimetry), meetings and direct contacts with the Principal Investigators and contributors.

Information was collected on 59 studies on European persons exposed to low dose radiations. Among them, 25 were related to an occupational exposure, 10 to an environmental exposure and 24 to a medical exposure.

                        Exposure context of low dose radiation studies in Europe



Occupational Exposure


Two out of the 25 occupational exposure studies focused on flying personnel, 13 on nuclear workers, 5 on cleanup workers, 4 on uranium miners and 1 on radium luminisers.


            Professions included in the occupational exposure studies



Environmental Exposure


Among the 10 reported environmental exposure studies, 5 were related to Chernobyl accident, 2 to Ozyorsk, 2 to the Techa River Cohort and 1 to residential radon.

For Chernobyl accident related studies, the external exposure was exclusively γ rays whereas the internal exposures were cesium and iodine. For Ozyorsk and Techa River related studies, the external exposure were γ and β rays and some internal exposure was also present (iodine and other). For the residential radon related study, the exposure consisted only in internal α rays.

Studies included adults, offspring, children and/or in utero patients and were conducted in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Czech Republic.



                                  Exposure context for environmental studies


Medical Exposure

Among the 24 reported medical exposure studies, 11 were related to diagnostics, 12 to radiotherapy, and 1 to other type of treatment.

For almost all studies, the external exposure was represented by X-rays. Few studies reported internal exposure (thorium, radium, iridium, iodine).


                    Types of medical exposure


Most studies assessed the effects of medical exposure in adults.


                          Age categories in medical exposure cohorts


The most represented countries were France (34%) and Germany (25%).