Investigations on Health Conditions of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Accident Recovery Workers from Latvia in Late Period after Disaster

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Abstract

The paper summarises the main findings on Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) accident recovery workers from Latvia and their health disturbances, which have been studied by the authors during the last two decades. Approximately 6000 persons from Latvia participated in CNPP clean-up works in 1986–1991. During their work period in Chernobyl they were exposed to external as well as to internal irradiation, but since their return to Latvia they were living in a relatively uncontaminated area. Regular careful medical examinations and clinical studies of CNPP clean-up workers have been conducted during the 25 years after disaster, gathering knowledge on radiation late effects. The aim of the present review is to summarise the most important information about Latvian CNPP clean-up worker health revealed by thorough follow-up and research conducted in the period of 25 years after the accident. This paper reviews data of the Latvian State Register of Persons Exposed to Radiation due to CNPP Accident and gives insight in main health effects found by the researchers from the Centre of Occupational and Radiological Medicine (Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital) and Rīga Stradiņš University in a number of epidemiological, clinical, biochemical, immunological, and physiological studies. Latvian research data on health condition of CNPP clean-up workers in the late period after disaster indicate that ionising radiation might cause premature ageing and severe polymorbidity in humans.

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