Research Article
Volume 9 Issue 3 - 2020
The Evidence of Radiation-Induced Congenital Malformations after Chernobyl and in Germany: Who Cares for Radiation Protection of the Unborn?
Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake*
German Society for Radiation Protection, Grenzstrasse, Germany
*Corresponding Author: Inge Schmitz-Feuerhake, German Society for Radiation Protection, Grenzstrasse, Germany.
Received: January 22,2020; Published: February 07, 2020


In former times of radiation-research the “genetically significant dose” was regarded as the main measure for protection in diagnostic radiology, because the hereditary effects were considered to be the most dangerous sequelae and also the effects in embryos and fetuses. There was also established the “10 days rule” in order to exclude exposure in the period of possible pregnancy. The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), however, who is the leading expert board for radiation protection in the developed countries, claims that the genetic radiation risk is nearly negligible, and radiation-induced effects after exposure in utero will not occur below doses of 100 mSv. They refer to reportedly absent effects in the acutely exposed Japanese A-bomb survivors and leave out the conditions in cases of low dose chronical exposure as for example by radioactive contaminations. Congenital malformations were found in a variety of European regions affected by Chernobyl fallout, besides stillbirths and Down´s syndrome, showing high radiation risks for the descendants of exposed parents. This is confirmed by two recent studies in Germany in the offspring of exposed military personnel and of female employees in radiation medicine.

Our conclusion is that medical diagnostic radiation exposure in Germany has contributed to the rising rates of congenital malformations in this country. Minimization of gonadal doses must become again a central aim in radiation diagnostics for children and patients in reproductive ages. Current dose limits for occupational exposure and in pregnancy must be lowered considerably.

Keywords: Low Level Effects; Teratogenic Radiation Effects; Radiation Genetics; Chernobyl Effects; Radiation Risk; Radiation-Protection


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Citation: Schmitz-Feuerhake. “The Evidence of Radiation-Induced Congenital Malformations after Chernobyl and in Germany: Who Cares for Radiation Protection of the Unborn?”. EC Paediatrics 9.3 (2020): 01-06.

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