Advertisement

Mutated Cells in Blood Tied to Chernobyl

March 20, 1987|Associated Press

LIVERMORE — Preliminary results of blood tests from Soviet survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear accident show a link between the amount of radiation exposure and the number of mutated cells in the blood system, U.S. scientists said Thursday.

Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory announced their findings after analyzing blood samples of 16 survivors of the worst nuclear disaster in history. Additional tests are being arranged, they said.

The April 26 accident in the Soviet Union killed 31 people within the first seven months after the accident and exposed thousands of people to dangerous levels of radiation that may lead to a form of leukemia.

Dr. Ronald Jensen of Lawrence Livermore's biomedical sciences division said the laboratory used a blood analysis designed to determine the number of toxic chemicals to which individuals have been exposed by measuring the effects of that exposure on the blood.

The normal number of variant cells found in the blood system is 10 per 1 million undamaged cells, but Jensen said the Chernobyl victims showed numbers ranging from 100 to 550 per 1 million undamaged cells.

Jensen said the blood samples were acquired from the Soviets by Dr. Robert Gale of UCLA, who helped the Soviets perform bone marrow transplants after the Chernobyl disaster. The samples had been taken four to six months after the accident.

Nothing is known about the health conditions of any of the victims whose blood samples were analyzed, Jensen said.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|