Korean J Epidemiol.  2001 Dec;23(2):8-18.

Correlation Study on Clinical Laboratory Findings with Occupational Exposure to Low Dose Ionizing Radiation in Nuclear Workers in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Radiation Health Research Institute, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co., LTD, Korea. lyking@khnp.co.kr
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE: Even though atomic energy and radioisotope had been made for a peaceful purpose, some of the public do't feel safe possibly due to potential exposure to ionizing radiation. While health effects of high level radiation are almost deterministic, the stochastic effects of the 'low-dose radiation' have not come to a correct conclusion. This correlation study was conducted to assess the health effect due to potential exposure th low-dose radiation in the nuclear power plants workers in Korea.
METHODS
The study subjects was selected among the nuclear workers. Among those who attend the epidemiologic survey for screening of any malignancies done by the study group of Seoul National University Hospital during 1992-1993, 1) those who had undertaken both the physical examination with clinical laboratory tests and the direct interview with questionnaire, 2) male workers, and 3) those with record on radiation dosimetry as well as employment records in the company. Correlation analysis with Pearson's correlation coefficients and quantitative analysis with normal ranges of various tests were done by the PC-SAS for window.
RESULTS
Total cumulative radiation doses was relatively low, ranging 1 mSv at the lowest to 391 mSv at the highest. Moreover, mostly 68.7% of the subjects was within lower limit of total cumulative doses under 10 mSv. Among the clinical laboratory test, statistical significant correlation was see in hemoglobin(HGB), creatinine(CRE), and carcinoembryonic antigen(CEA).
CONCLUSION
This study concluded that health effect of occupational exposure to low-dose ionizing radiation is minimal or, if any, extremely lower than expected in the nuclear power plants workers in Korea. Major limitation of this study is that the healthy worker effect could not excluded. A large-scale prospective epidemiologic study on the relationship between radiation exposure and health hazard is needed to draw a more valid conclusion.

Keyword

Radiation; Nuclear power plant; Occupational exposure; Clinical tests; Radiation effect

MeSH Terms

Employment
Epidemiologic Studies
Healthy Worker Effect
Humans
Korea*
Male
Mass Screening
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Power Plants
Occupational Exposure*
Physical Examination
Radiation Effects
Radiation, Ionizing*
Radiometry
Reference Values
Seoul
Statistics as Topic*
Surveys and Questionnaires
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